Avoiding keyword and targeting overlap is a difficult process even when working within the constraints of a single account. Success hinges on Search Query Analysis, and issues are likely if any of these 4 Red Flags Of Ineffective PPC Account Structure are present.

The process becomes much more complicated when working on a series of related brands or company divisions. If not conducted properly, running ads for multiple brands can lead to self-competition, ineffective traffic funneling, and ultimately an underwhelming ROI. When working in these types of accounts there are a series of considerations to fully address:

  • Account Division
  • Keyword/Search Query Overlap
  • Remarketing Overlap
  • Budget and Goal Tracking

If each of these items is monitored, avoiding overlap between multiple accounts is a much more effective process.

Account Division

The first consideration when running ads for multiple accounts is whether or not multiple accounts is actually needed. Separate accounts create a host of additional complexities. For one, it increases the chance of self-competition which would artificially inflate CPC costs. Next, it forces bulk changes to be made in multiple areas through MCC management or platform aggregators such as Kenshoo or Aquisio. While not necessarily difficult, it certainly can increase the time taken to complete routine tasks such as bidding, search query management, and ad testing. Lastly, for some platforms, it will also add to the number of invoices and insertion orders.

That said, there are a variety of reasons why one would turn to multiple accounts for different company divisions:

  • Separate billing: Individual and unique invoices are needed
  • Separate account history desired: YoY/historical numbers easier to compare
  • Simpler budgeting: No work needed to quickly separate totals for each account division
  • Separate account teams: If more than “one team” will  have their hands on the account, a separation will make sure no issues occur with automated rules, bid strategies, etc
  • Need for unique tracking pixels: If audiences are extremely distinct, there can drawbacks to conflating data
  • More than one domain: General rule of thumb is one account per website domain

If any of the above criteria are met, you may be the right fit for multiple accounts. Otherwise, a single joint set-up will be the most time efficient strategy.

Keyword Overlap

When managing multiple accounts with similar offers or services, it is imperative that keyword and search query overlap is limited. If not closely monitored, this can lead to self-competition, ineffective traffic funneling, and inconsistent results. When launching similar account divisions, first consider if there will be geographical overlap. If there is, then I like running a quick analysis to find shared keyword between accounts. This will help reveal any areas that could be problematic.

Keep in mind that even if there are zero shared keywords, it’s likely there still could be considerable overlap. Run the same analysis frequently at the search query level in order to ensure effective account separation.

Remarketing Overlap

Beyond keyword overlap, it’s important to ensure there is a clear distinction in your remarketing audiences. If you’ve chosen to have multiple accounts despite having only one domain, this remains a very real possibility. There is a variety of ways in which you could see this audience overlap:

  • All visitors list
  • Lists of lesser conversions used for lead nurturing
  • Lists targeting specific URL strings

Success will require a very intentional approach to both audience creation and implementation. This will allow for better-tailored ad copy in addition to avoiding any sort of ad fatigue.

Budget and Goal Tracking

The last consideration when running campaigns or accounts for multiple account divisions is the budget and goal tracking portion. In most scenarios, each segment of the account will have a specific budget and associated goal. The simplest way to track these and improve account efficiency is with filters. Here at Hanapin, however, we just may be the biggest fans of Supermetrics in the entire industry. Through this, it’s relatively easy to Automate Your Budget Projections in addition to creating custom dashboards.

In the image above, Supermetrics is auto-updating every day in order to easily track each unique portion of an account. Simply put, Creating Actionable PPC Reports is a must when numerous goals or budgets are present. While many reporting platforms can achieve the above table, we find this option allows a much larger degree of customization and wider array of importable data sources.

Concluding Thoughts

As my time at Hanapin has progressed, it truly feels as though each client we onboard brings a new complexity to strategy and setup. Whether this manifests itself in numerous accounts or a variety of specific divisions within only a single account, it’s imperative that management achieve proper separation between each of these efforts. In order to do so, first determine if the best option is indeed multiple separate accounts. Next, ensure there is no overlap between keyword targeting, search query data, and remarketing audiences. Lastly, generate budget and goal tracking reports to properly assess performance.

Hanapin works with a number of clients that have multiple brands and accounts. Learn more about how we work and solve problems with these type of companies. Plus, you’ll find more resources like this blog post!


Feature image courtesy of Jenni Waterloo