Making The Case For An Account Restructure

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Most of the time, we inherit PPC accounts from new clients or when we take on new positions as in-house managers. I’ve been in the industry for nearly four years, and I have yet to take on a client that came to us with no account. Naturally, we all like things organized a little differently. Some of that is just preference, but some differences in organization can really have an impact on metrics like quality score. This article will reflect on when it is time to do a restructure and how to go about broaching the topic with a client.


Pinpoint What’s Wrong with The Current Structure


Sure, you may think it’s a hot mess, and it might be hard for you to find things, but you need to really nail exactly what’s wrong. If you tell your client/boss that it’s “just messy”—that could be a hard sell. If that’s all you can come up with, more importantly, you could do more harm than good.


You need to pinpoint what isn’t working and how a restructure will fix it. For instance, you do a snapshot of quality scores by impression and see that 65% of impressions in your account come from keywords with a quality score of five or lower. That’s a big problem, and is likely doing a lot of harm to your account by the way of increased cost-per-clicks.


You could review, and find that many keywords with low quality scores are suffering from low ad relevancy. Creating more, tighter themed ad groups could increase ad relevancy and improve quality scores. This scenario is a perfect reason to restructure, and finding those numbers is vital before making the decision.


Get A Plan for how You’d Like Things To Look


Ok, so you’ve found why you’d like to restructure. Now, you’ll need to figure out how. It needs to make perfect sense with your account goals and solve all the issues you found in the first step.


Ensure that you’ve thought of all potential issues like how you’ll handle bid strategies, budgets, geotargeting, match type segmentation, etc. Cover all of these issues with a mock-up account structure you can present to your client or boss.


Give Consideration To “Shocking” The Account


It’s a legitimate concern that a huge structure change will “shock” the account, since you’ll be erasing the history the account has built up. Give this tactic serious consideration. I’ve seen multiple account restructures that made a ton of sense and really seemed like an easy win go south because the account history that had been built up was lost. It’s hard to know in advance how valuable that history is to the account.


Ensure in your restructuring pitch that you give this scenario consideration and acknowledge that you’re aware of the possibilities. Ignoring it will likely just make it seem like you haven’t thoroughly thought this plan out.


Provide Copious Amounts of Updates Throughout The Process


Nothing is more nerve-wracking for those depending on PPC results than something huge like a restructure. Keeping clients in the loop, especially when performance gets rocky, is going to be really important to keep the buy-in strong.


Hopefully you did a good job in preparing them for the realty that performance might not be the best right away, so any dips in performance should be generally expected, and you should be able to explain exactly what’s going on and how you’re handling it.


Have A Plan B Ready


I already mentioned that not all restructures result in better performance, and I already touched on how important account history can be. For these reasons, you should always have a plan B ready.


In the past, I’ve had my plan B just be that I don’t modify the old campaigns at all. That way, if things don’t pan out, I can just re-enable them. However, sometimes preserving some of that account history by keeping the top performing keywords in the old campaigns and just restructuring around them is the best plan of action.


In those cases, a plan B could be to just go through the change history report and hit “undo” until you’re back where you were.




There are six tactics to get account restructure buy-in and ensure that it goes smoothly with the client or your boss. It’ll be important to identify if the restructure was a win or a loss as quick as possible, but remember that things take time to gain significance, so don’t pull the plug too early. Hopefully you’ve got a success on your hands, and in that case, you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops to ensure the next time you want to restructure, you’ll get an easier buy-in.