PPC Account Structure and Organization Part III

By Jacob Brown | @jakebrownppc | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Back in October I ranted about organized structuring and how much it can help you with the following:


  • Reporting (You can report on different levels more easily)
  • Optimizing (Account updates become easier with a clean account structure)
  • Quality Scores (Ad copy to keyword relevance)
  • Build Outs (Growing accounts becomes easier)


In January, I continued on this rant, going into how a clean structure helps with reporting, and how you can easily report with this structure in place.


Continuing The Discussion


It’s about time I dug back into this rant and how a simple, clean structure can help with all types of accounts. Recently, I presented on the topic at Hero Conf in Portland, Oregon (Some of you may have been there, some of you may want to go to the next Hero Conf located in London in October). Regardless, what was presented at Hero Conf that I have not touched on in the previous “structure rants” is how to incorporate a clean structure based on different business models. I have been utilizing the education industry as a blanket example for these rants. But, wait no longer, as today I will connect the structuring layout with multiple different industries as I did in my presentation in Portland.


First thing to do when deciding on what to include at campaign level is to review four topics of discussion.


How You or Your Client Set Goals


You want to be managing at the campaign level with the same goal in mind. Having different goals per ad group can be difficult to manage for a multitude of reasons. Campaign level bid modifiers and keyword downloads for bid changes at the campaign level are the two that come to mind right away. Being able to manage modifiers and bids with the same goal in mind at the account level is typically the easiest way to set things up, but in some cases this might not be possible. However, we at least need to monitor based on the same goals at the campaign level.


An example of an account where this scenario was not the case involved different goals based on where a keyword was in the funnel. For example, brand terms or SKU number of products would be in the purchase stage of the funnel, while broad keywords that show the user is doing research would be considered at the top of the funnel. You do not want these types of keywords in the same campaign if they are running on different goals.


At What Level You or Your Client View Statistics


It is important to think about how you want to view statistics when choosing the organization of your campaigns. For example, if reporting consists of different targeted locations, you want to make sure the campaigns are segmented by location for ease of reporting. You can always dig into the dimensions tab and get this type of data, but it is much easier to segment by campaign.


Do You Have Budget Restrictions?


I view this as a simple yes or no question. If yes, segment match type at the campaign level. If no, you can typically keep match type segmentation down to the ad group level. The reasoning behind this type of segmentation is so broad match keywords do not eat all of your budget within a campaign that is limited by budget.


For more on match type segmentation and arguments for segmentation at the campaign or ad group level here are some good reads:



How is the Website or Landing Pages Set Up in Terms of Layout or Menus


At what level do you have different landing pages? How is the layout of the menu on an ecommerce site? These are questions you should be asking as you create campaigns for your account. The layout of your site or landing pages can be the same as the layout of your campaigns in many cases.


So, let’s dig into different mock situations and go over how I would structure the account accordingly.


Situation #1: The company is a shoe store who views stats by third party brand (Nike, Converse, etc.), has the same goals account-wide, has a tight budget per each third party brand, and products on the site are segmented in the menu by brand and shoe type.


Recommended Structure Layout at Campaign Level: Network_Third Party Brand_Match Type



  • Search_Nike_Exact
  • Search_Converse_Broad
  • Search_General_Phrase


Recommended Ad Group Structure: Product_Modifier


Situation #2: The company sells insurance and is a lead generation account. The goals are set differently per state and per type of insurance. Some states have a tight budget, while other states have open budgets.


Recommended Structure Layout at Campaign Level: Location_Type of Insurance_Network_Match Type



  • Oregon_Life Insurance_Search_Exact
  • Pennsylvania_General_Search_Broad
  • Indiana_Home Insurance_Display_Contextual Targeting


Recommended Ad Group Structure: Category_Modifier


Situation #3: Electronic component online store that sells parts to engineers. The account has no budget restrictions and judges performance differently by funnel (top of funnel, product specific, or SKU numbers and brand terms). Performance is also reviewed by location per country.


Menu on Site:


Electronic Component Company Layout


Recommended Structure Layout at Campaign Level: Network_Funnel Level_Category 1_Category 2



  • Search_Top of Funnel_Capacitors_None
  • Search_Product Specific_Capacitors_Accessories
  • Search_SKUs_Capacitors_Accessories
  • Display_Top of Funnel_Capacitors_None


Ad Group Level: Product_Modifier_Match Type


Final Thoughts


At the end of the day the consistency of the structure is the most important part, as making the account easy-to-manage will ultimately help not only reporting tactics, but also eventually with performance due to the ease of optimizations.


How do you organize your accounts? Are there ways you segment at the campaign level that are missing in the article? Please comment with your segmentation ideas below.