<p style="text-align: left;" align="center">One of the greatest pleasures I find in my job as a PPC’er at Epiphany is taking control of a chaotic, poorly structured account from a client (or another agency) and turning it into a well-organised, easily optimisable sale-generating machine.</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">It should be made clear that I don’t do this to improve the aesthetic, but because I know that if an account has a poor structure, it is almost impossible to optimise it effectively, and that just by deconstructing and reconstructing it, I can deliver improvements in performance very quickly in most cases.</p>
One of the greatest pleasures I find in my job as a PPC’er at Epiphany is taking control of a chaotic, poorly structured account from a client (or another agency) and turning it into a well-organised, easily optimisable sale-generating machine.
It should be made clear that I don’t do this to improve the aesthetic, but because I know that if an account has a poor structure, it is almost impossible to optimise it effectively, and that just by deconstructing and reconstructing it, I can deliver improvements in performance very quickly in most cases.
There are a number of major benefits to having the right account structure, but these are the main ones…
Avoiding Keyword Overlap
Two of the major goals of managing an Adwords account are to make the adverts and landing pages as relevant as possible to the search, and to adjust the bid to reflect the value of the clicks that a search generates as accurately as possible.
But what happens if the same search can trigger adverts in different Ad Groups or Campaigns? It becomes much more difficult to remove ineffective keywords and tailoring adverts becomes almost impossible in some cases. The impact on bid adjustments can be even worse, though. If you have a similar bid in two different Ad Groups on keywords that can match the same search, what happens if you reduce the bids on one of them? All that is likely to happen is that the impressions will migrate over to the other Ad Group.
If you are using Phrase or Modified Broad Match extensively (and you generally will be), the chances of the same search matching keywords in different Ad Groups is high. For large complex accounts, the only solution is to use an intelligent account structure with appropriate negative keywords.
For example, suppose that you sell widgets. You may choose to set up the following Ad Groups:
Widgets – Generic (“widgets”, “widget” etc)
Widgets – Cheap (“cheap widgets”, “cheap widget” etc)
Widgets – Designer (“designer widgets”, “designer widget” etc)
Widgets – Red (“red widgets”, “red widget” etc)
Widgets – Blue (“blue widgets”, “blue widget” etc)
Widgets – Sale (“widgets on sale”, “widget sale” etc)
If you are using Phrase Match, then a search for ‘cheap widgets uk’ could pick up the Generic or Cheap Ad Group. To resolve this, you should put the words ‘cheap’, ‘designer’, ‘red’, ‘blue’ and ‘sale’ in the Generic Ad Group as negative keywords. Similarly, you should include the words ‘cheap’, ‘designer’, ‘red’, ‘blue’ as negatives in the Sale Ad Group (in case somebody searches for ‘designer widget sale’).
If you are using Modified Broad Match, it’s a little more complicated, as you’ll need to decide which Ad Group has precedence. If somebody searches for ‘cheap designer widgets’, should they be shown the Cheap or Designer advert? Once these decisions are made, it’s easy once more to apply appropriate negative keywords to avoid overlap.
Clearly, in the above example, it’s easy to resolve this problem. However, it is only easy to sort out because the Ad Groups have specific words that identify the searches that are relevant to them. Because I’ve included these terms in the name of the Ad Group, it’s that much easier to apply negative keywords.
I would always advocate ensuring that the keywords in any Ad Group have a common theme like this. Even if you believe that different Ad Groups should have the same adverts running and the same bids, there are benefits. And if you want tailored adverts, it’s that much more important.
Writing And Testing Adverts
There are a number of obvious benefits to writing relevant adverts. Because words from the search query are emboldened in the search results, your advert will be more visible if the search query is contained in your advert (or at least part of it). In addition, searchers are more likely to click on an advert that claims to sell exactly what they are looking for, and the conversion rate may benefit if you land users on a page containing what they are searching for.
Clearly, if disparate keywords are contained within an Ad Group, then the advert cannot be tailored very effectively. In the above example, it would be easy to write a ‘cheap’ advert for people seeking cheap widgets, a ‘red’ advert for people seeking red widgets etc. However, for large accounts, there are further benefits.
When you have thousands of Ad Groups across dozens of campaigns, advert testing can be almost impossible without a good account structure. However, having a distinct identity for each Ad Group and Campaign, and indicating that identity in the title of the Ad Group, you can roll out advert tests or make changes to adverts across a large number of Ad Groups much more quickly and easily.
For example, if you had campaigns for different product types (e.g. Widgets, Thingies, Whatsits), and wanted to promote a sale on all ‘cheap’ Ad Groups, then you could easily filter for this keyword in the Ad Group names, and change the Ad Groups en masse easily.
Alternatively, you could test a new landing page for all Thingies Ad Groups, or highlight the latest model in all Ad Groups advertising Nike Whatsits.
One of the problems with advert testing is that most Ad Groups don’t get sufficient conversions to generate significant results – by being able to group them together, you should be able to test adverts across a range of Ad Groups simultaneously. This means you will be able to improve your adverts across all of your Ad Groups, rather than just the ones with the most traffic.
Suppose that you are bidding £1.00 per click on the Cheap Widgets Ad Group, and £1.00 per click on the Designer Widgets Ad Group. Over time, it becomes apparent that the Cheap Widgets Ad Group doesn’t convert very well, so you reduce your bids to £0.50. What happens if somebody searches for the term ‘cheap designer widgets’? Almost certainly, the £1.00 bid from the Designer Ad Group will be used, even if you don’t want it to. And since you aren’t explicitly bidding on this term, the only way to avoid this would be to reduce your bids on all of the Designer keywords, which you probably don’t want to do.
In many sectors, the margins that retailers make on sales can vary dramatically for different product types, or for different brands. By creating campaigns or Ad Groups to reflect this, you can optimise bids to maximise profit much more easily, as you’ll be able to report on profit at Campaign or Ad Group level and adjust bids accordingly.
What are your thoughts? Please leave them below!