Be strategic with the PPC campaign structure

I know what I’m offering may be controversial to some – there are as many ways to structure Google Ads accounts and campaigns as there are account managers – but I’ve been managing Google Ads accounts for over 19 years. . So I feel like I have some expertise in this area.

I’ll cover the search structure, then the purchase structure, followed by the display and video structure. Although they have some similarities, there are enough differences that it makes sense to treat them separately.

Now, before I go into detail, I know Performance Max campaigns are coming, where search, shopping, display and video campaigns are all in one campaign type, but we’re not. still there.

Research campaigns

How many search campaigns should I have?

It depends (you will read this a lot today). Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you offer several different products or services?
  • Do you have different goals for your products?
  • Do you have different markups on your products?
  • Do you offer different services that have different priorities for your business?
  • Do you have a large enough budget to allocate sufficient budget to each of the Search Network campaigns?

Let’s address these questions for both an ecom customer and a lead gen customer.

e-commerce customer: You are a clothing company and sell t-shirts and hoodies for men and women with funny sayings on them. You have pre-printed items as well as custom printed items. You make more money on pre-printed items and you really want to push t-shirts because they’re less bulky to ship. In this case, I would suggest the following campaigns:

  1. Printed T-shirts
  2. Printed hoodies
  3. Custom T-shirts
  4. Custom Hoodies

Most of your spend would go to campaign 1, printed t-shirts, with smaller budgets for the other three, or if you don’t have enough budget (custom printed items tend to be quite competitive ), save custom campaigns for later when you can increase your spend.

Note: This is a very simplistic setup. If you have more diverse product lines, you’ll have a lot more campaigns, but this is a good example to start with.

Lead Generation Client: You are a vehicle moving company – transporting cars, trucks and motorcycles – in the United States. Your advertising objective is quote requests. You make more money moving cars and trucks, but you don’t want to rule out motorcycles altogether, and you tend to increase spending before the Sturgis Bike Rally.

For this client, it makes sense to have two campaigns: one for cars/trucks and one for motorcycles, where you can focus more on cars and trucks until, depending on the season, it’s more makes sense to add a budget to motorcycles.

For both clients, I highly recommend another campaign that focuses on your business name and URL. Read more about my thoughts on Brand Auctions.

How many ad groups should I have?

Again, it depends.

There is no absolute rule that says how many you should have. The rule of thumb is to group similar keywords together, where you can write ad copy that applies to those keywords and direct them to a landing page that makes sense. You don’t want to mix things like t-shirts and hoodies, and you don’t want to include things like t shirts for men and t shirts for women Where printed t shirts and custom t shirts in the same ad group. You want unique ad text and point ad URLs to different landing pages.

That said, I’m not a fan of the SKAGs (single keyword ad groups) that were all the rage with some account managers. I’ve never run them myself, and when clients come to JumpFly from other agencies where their campaigns are set up this way, they seem inefficient and cumbersome. I know some account managers who swear by them, but even the majority have probably given up on this, based on Google’s changes to match types.

How many keywords should I have?

You guessed it – it depends. There is also no hard and fast rule that says how many keywords you should have. You certainly don’t need it as much as you used to when you had to find word order variations and keyword plurals. But you should always try to get coverage on the different ways people might search for your products. And you should continually add to your list over time as searches change.

A cautionary tale: In fact, I had a client who had over 2,500 active campaigns, where each keyword and match type had its own ad group, and the campaigns were named with the dates the keywords were added. . More than 1,500 of them hadn’t had an impression for more than two months, and more than 250 of them hadn’t had a single click for two months. It was impossible to manage with the slightest efficiency.

shopping campaigns

How many Shopping campaigns should I have?

You know the answer now – it depends. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you offer several different products?
  • Do you have different goals for your products?
  • Do you have various markups on your products?
  • Do you have a large enough budget to allow you to allocate enough budget to each of the Shopping campaigns?

Let’s go back to our hypothetical clothing company that sells custom printed shirts and hoodies. In this case, I would most likely have three different Shopping campaigns:

  1. Printed t-shirts and hoodies – making the most of the budget
  2. Custom T-shirts and hoodies – get a smaller percentage of the budget
  3. Catch-All – with a small daily budget

The first two Shopping campaigns would be configured with campaign priority HIGH. If you use eCPC bids, these will have higher bids than the catch-all campaign to be more competitive. If you’re using Maximize Conversion Value with a Target ROAS bid, you’ll want the goal to be lower than the overall campaign goal. The catch-all campaign would be set to a LOW priority.

Why a catch-all campaign? Totes are important for several reasons:

  1. It’s a safety net. If the filtering you use to segment campaigns fails, this is your backup, so you still have Shopping ads running.
  2. This prepares you for what I call the waterfall effect. If a search query is not performing well in one of your high priority campaigns, you can exclude the term. It can then potentially show up in the low priority catch-all campaign at a lower bid. You can do the same with a specific SKU. If you exclude it from the high priority campaign, then it will show up in the low priority campaign with a lower bid. In both cases, you will still have a presence but at a lower cost.

How many ad groups should I have?

This depends on your product line. We rely on product type (which should ideally follow your website hierarchy) to segment. Start larger and let the data guide you to build or break down to the SKU level. For our clothing business, we would start with two ad groups per Shopping campaign.

Campaign name Printed Custom
Ad group 1 Printed T-shirts Custom T-shirts
Ad group 2 Printed hoodies Custom Hoodies

Over time, the data can guide you to break down ad groups by age or gender, or those with your best sellers.

Display and video campaigns

How many display and video campaigns should I have?

The answer to this one is still it depends, but they are different questions:

  • Who am I targeting?
  • What type of ads do I want to use?
  • Will I use smart display or standard display and video campaigns?

To simplify, you can set up a single Smart Display campaign, which will do all the work by adding images, videos, ads and connecting your Google Merchant Feed. The problem with this type of campaign is that you don’t get a lot of insight into what works. You can’t tell how much of your conversions come from people who have visited your site before (remarketing) or who have never heard of you (prospecting). Also, the volume tends to be much lower than normal display campaigns. Or conversely, it can be very high without result.

But if you really want to get the data and have more control, you’ll need to set up your own display and video campaigns. You want to separate remarketing from prospecting and also segment audience types. In an ideal world with an unlimited budget, this would be the setup I would go for Google:

  1. Remarketing on the Display Network
  2. Dynamic Display Remarketing – for ecom businesses whose remarketing code is configured to capture product IDs
  3. Display Prospecting – In Market Audiences
  4. Display Prospecting – Custom Segment Audiences
  5. Video remarketing
  6. Video prospecting – In Market Audiences
  7. Video Prospecting – Custom Segment Audiences

And if I didn’t have an unlimited budget, I would start with display remarketing and video remarketing, then add dynamic display remarketing. Over time, I tested others when I had more budget to spend. And I would also test the Discovery campaigns.

For Microsoft, I would go for this setup on the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN):

  1. MSAN remarketing
  2. MSAN prospecting
  3. MSAN Purchasing

How many ad groups should I have?

Again, no hard and fast rule, but my advice is not to add multiple audiences per ad group. It allows for easier reporting, cleaner data, and the ability to better personalize ads.

That said, the reason this setup works for me is that I set up ad campaigns based on my clients’ goals. This structure helps me optimize campaigns to achieve these goals, as well as easily report on them. I use clear naming conventions that the customer can understand. And if something isn’t working, I can see it and dive in to optimize.

If goals change or product lines become outdated, I can easily update or pause. I have clients with three campaigns and I have clients with over 50 campaigns. It all depends on the customer, their products or services and their goals.