Just in Case You Haven’t Heard Lately, PPC Account Structure is Still Important
January 13, 2009
Here at PPC Hero headquarters, we’re in the throes of training a new employee. At the tippity-top of the training agenda, right next to Search Engines 101, is a lesson on PPC account structure. Around here, account structure optimization is really that important. While I drew my less than adequate flow charts on the white board, it occurred to me that there are many reasons why account structure is important. I was able to boil that thought down to 4 primary “reasons why”: Account Management, Ease of Reporting, Targeting Ads for Searchers, and Quality Score.
Before I break into why account structure is important, I’ll recap the basics of a well optimized PPC account. There are 4 components: Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords and Ad Texts. Each play an integral role in the overall performance of your account and your account’s structure. Campaigns are the big rocks, and they house all of the other components. Ad groups come second, though they have a pretty big role in containing your keywords and ad texts. The practice of optimizing your account structure is really all about organization of data. You can read more on how to optimize your account structure here. Now on to why it’s so important!
When managing a pay-per-click account, you want to make things as logical (and simple) as possible. Your account structure can help you to streamline your management duties. Consider this, the majority of your account settings are located at the campaign level. This includes settings for the Content Network, Geo-Targeting, Budget and a host of others. This is most relevant to budget settings. If you have only a single campaign, you have only a single budget – and very little control over the individual sections of your advertising. If you have created a well thought-out and tightly themed account structure, you will be able to manage these settings with ease (and set a separate budget for each campaign).
On a more practical note, your account structure will save you time. Just imagine that you have a single campaign and 50 or heck, a 100 ad groups. Now try to imagine yourself actually going through your daily management routine. Makes you cringe doesn’t it? When you have a great account structure, it’s simple to navigate through your campaigns and ad groups to find what you’re looking for.
Ease of Reporting
A great account structure will make reporting easier. Period. For many of the same reasons management is made easier with optimized structure, reporting becomes simpler as well. When you have 100’s of keywords stuffed into a single ad group, or worse yet, 100s of ad groups stuffed into a single campaign, reporting becomes a nightmare. If you need data for only a select few keywords, you will have to do a lot of manual data manipulation to drill down on the data you need. Your optimized account structure will enable you to quickly and efficiently plot trending graphs for your campaigns and ad groups – providing meaningful data (because your campaigns and ad groups are tightly themed).
Targeting Ads for Searchers
More than anything else, a great account structure allows you to create uber-targeted ad texts. How you structure your account actually informs your ability to write targeted ads. This is the holy grail of PPC account optimization. The trick is to create as detailed ad groups as possible. If your campaign is “Shoes” and you sell blue, red and tennis shoes – you should have three ad groups, “Blue Shoes”, “Red Shoes”, and “Tennis Shoes.” Based on this example, you will be able to write ads that are pin-point targeted. In the “Blue Shoes” ad group, your keywords will be direct variations of “blue shoes.” So you will have no other choice than to write ad texts with the keyword, “blue shoes.” Unless you’re completely missing the point! Conversely, if you had taken the “Shoes” campaign and only created one ad group that targeted blue, red and tennis shoes – you’re ads will not write themselves. You will have to choose which keywords you target and risk losing potential customers who were displayed an irrelevant ad text.
All of this leads to Quality Score, the 800 pound gorilla in the room. When most people write on optimizing for account structure, they take the Quality Score angle – and that’s a fair approach because it is SO IMPORTANT! Because your account structure informs your ability to write targeted ads, account structure is inextricably associated with click-through rate… and thus, Quality Score. I don’t want to sound like I’m skimping on the details, but I’ll leave you with this: improve (optimize) your PPC account structure and you’ll improve your Quality Score.
There’s nothing like training a new employee to see a tried and true PPC staple through refreshed eyes. But it was a good reminder to think through the reasons why PPC account structure is so important.
Let me know your thoughts – why do you feel an optimized PPC account structure is so important?
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