When people ask what the best tips are for PPC, they assume the answer is some tool for bid management, trick in writing ads, or must have for landing page optimization. What is the best tip for real? Organize your ad groups and campaigns like your business depends on it, because it does.
Tools, tricks, and “must haves” are just aides in the daily activities of a search marketer, paid or natural. They can reduce the amount of time you spend doing repetitive tasks, but they can’t do itfor you.
As with most advice when it comes to Internet marketing, there is no “best” way to organize ad groups and campaigns. It is going to depend on your business and goals. Just as each fingerprint is unique, each business is unique. Please keep that in mind when you read anything about marketing. This is to inspire thoughts, not to give you a “how to.” The examples below are not one or the other. They are mix and match, blend, tweak and customize.
Tips When Organizing
- Start in AdWords and use Editor. The drag and drop feature is priceless. Once you have your campaign set up the way you want, export out. Use that to setup your other accounts.
- Please remember to have an account for each business/website. Never put different businesses in one account, you will grow someday and will want room to move.
- Organize how you want to write your ads, the more specific to the keyword the better, but try to have at least a few keywords in each group.
- Geographic targeting is done at the campaign level – just adding “[keyword] [state]” (or any combo like it) is not enough, you’re leaving out people that don’t add their location in the query.
- Separate out your content and search if at all possible without driving you nuts. It’ll make your campaigns with just search that much more concentrated and powerful. It’ll also help with identifying problems at a glance.
Ways to Organize
There are many ways you might organize your campaigns and ad groups. Google has an article that names a few and some tips from them. And there are other resources out there that have covered this topic and the why. Best way to pick is to look at how your business is set up. Do what makes sense for you. So a screen-printing company might order by gender and age, type of shirt (ex. long sleeve, hoodie), or color to start with. Here is the lowdown and tips about some of the more popular organization types.
This is the most common way to organize campaigns, especially for larger companies with multiple products in one business. Organizing by product allows you to get the campaign up and running with directed ads and landing pages. Be sure you have the ad directed at the specific product, not the business as a whole and there is a specific landing page for each. When your company has multiple products you should never direct to your homepage. Ever. One product, maybe – but never, ever multiple.
Sometimes there is geography to deal with before products. Companies need to realize that even if you are in just one area now, you will expand. Geographic targeting can only be done at the campaign level, and the better you have them set up now, the easier it will be to expand later. Never make geographic ad groups in a nationally targeted campaign and assume that is enough. As mentioned above not everyone identifies the location in their search and sometimes they are too specific to track (ex. Using city name). And be sure to keep this updated. Marketing and tech people are usually the last to know when new states have been added to the mix.
A few others that you might look into include language due to the regional settings and the ad copy or call to action. The focus on other ways of organizing is to display the most targeted ad for the end user. The more targeted you can get, the better.
So just remember, tools can help, but in the end it is going to be how you organize your campaigns that assists in a higher ROI because the account is more targeted to the end user.
Kate Morris is the Director of Client Strategies at New Edge Media. They specialize in paid and natural search consulting and management, along with email, affiliate and social media management.