AdWords Account Structure: The Next Steps |

AdWords Account Structure: The Next Steps

By Richard Fergie / May 11, 2009

Everyone agrees that getting the account structure right can improve PPC performance and make management a lot easier. When setting up a new account the structure is one of the first things I think about but what is the best way to change the structure of an existing account?

Image by Elsie Esq.

I’ve read a lot about how account structure is important when setting up an account but I haven’t seen anything about the best way to modify and adapt the account structure of an exisiting account.

In a running account I would only make a new campaign if the client wanted to target an additional location or if they wanted to allocate budget in a different way. Making new campaigns in other circumstances can make reporting harder with little extra benefit. This post will mainly focus on when and how to create new ad groups.

My thought process goes something like this:

Take a look at the ad groups in your campaign. I order them by spend because I don’t have any clients for whom this is not an issue, but I this this process will work with clicks and impressions as well if they are your metrics of choice.

Of course some ad groups will have spent more than others, but what I regularly see is that some ad groups spend ALOT more; the distribution of spend often has the same shape as the graphs used to illustrate what the long tail is. If you see this distribution it means that you should segment your top ad groups more.

Why? Lets turn the question around and ask why don’t we segment ad groups as much as possible, so that each ad group only contains one keyword. This enables ad texts to be as targeted as possible but it also creates too much work in managing the account: writing ads takes a lot longer and ad tests take a lot longer to run. In most cases there is not much to gain from doing this as the intention of a person searching for “blue widget” is not very different from someone searching for “blue widgets.” However, for a campaigns most popular ad groups I think this extra effort is worth it.

Look at the keywords inside the most popular ad group and you’ll probably see the same sort of distribution of spend as at the ad group level. Pick one of the top performers and grab all similar keywords; these will make up our new ad group. For the ads for the new group I generally test a more specific one against a copy of the best performer from the old ad group.

Other benefits

The great thing about this method is that you can iterate it; just repeat the same process again the next tiime you feel the ad group structure isn’t up to scratch. Depending on how you segmented the first time you my find the same ad group at the top of the list again, in which case it still drives enough traffic to make further segmentation worthwhile, or you’ll find a different ad group at the top of the list.

Creating a  new ad group with a smaller keyword niche is also an excellent time to do more keyword research within that niche; a niche that has already proven itself to be one of the best sources of AdWords traffic for your business.

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