Whenever we have a client that is interested in a PPC audit, one of the first things we look at is the foundation PPC structures of the campaigns and how the ad groups have been labeled in association per each campaign amongst other things.
This is important for a few reasons. How a campaign is organized from its campaigns, ad groups and keyword selection, helps the PPC optimizer determine faster and easier any edits that need to be made. Below are some common PPC Structure mistakes and solutions to help overcome a disorganized PPC account that by simplifying its structure will help provide a more comprehensive analysis and an increase in its performance.
Mistake 1: Names
The names of your campaigns aren’t specific enough or are not properly labeled where you are easily able to determine which ad groups belong per campaign.
Solution: Before clicking on a campaign, you should be able to tell easily by the name of the campaign which ad groups are included per campaign. So, make sure you’re naming your campaigns something that has a clear focus to add better structure and overall organization to your account.
When creating your account’s foundation start with recognizable names for your campaigns, this will set up your account to be easily viewed through, optimized, and successful. This is incredibly beneficial when you are running more than one campaign type.
Here is an example of a campaign name that is labeled to be easily recognized by the optimizer:
Google – Search – Things to Do
By looking at this campaign name, you can tell that this is a Google Search campaign that has a focus on Things to Do. You’ll see more on the importance of this in Mistake 2.
Mistake 2: Ad Groups
Too many ad groups per campaign can waste your time and ad spend.
Solution: Find an ad group that should be divided, by a common denominator.
One way to do this is to make a list of your keywords and see which keywords include the same repetitive word within several of the keywords. Once you do this, it will be easier to organize as seen below by the common denominator and match type:
For example, if you have an attraction based client located in Phoenix, some of your keywords may include ‘Phoenix’ or ‘Things to Do’ in your list.
Of course, having “Things to Do in Phoenix” would most likely be a keyword you would want to use (included in Things to Do in Phoenix Ad Group), but other possible keywords could be “Attractions Near Phoenix” (included in Phoenix Ad Group) and “Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend” (included in Things to Do Ad Group).
Mistake 3: Keywords
Too many keywords per ad group can lead to having unrelated keywords, too many underperforming keywords, potential overbidding, and wasted spend.
Solution: Find keywords that can be, AGAIN divided into separate ad groups by a common denominator.
When you segment out keywords by a common denominator, you now can make more tailored ads geared towards a single focus. From limiting the number of keywords, you will help lower your CPC, increase your CTR, Ad Rank, and Quality Score.
Mistake 4: Mixing Modifiers
Mixing modifiers within the same ad group can cause confusion when optimizing and having too many keywords in an ad group is never a good thing.
Solution: Create multiple ad groups with the same keywords in each relative ad group to stay consistent using a different modifier like above for each ad group.
For example, if you are using both match and phrase modifiers in your campaign, you would have Ad Group 1 be your ad group that only contains keywords with a broad match modifier and Ad Group 2 (phrase) be the ad group that only contains phrase match keywords. The keywords in both ad groups would be the same but will have the designated modifier per ad group.
By separating keywords like this by the modifier, will help enhance your ability to manage each ad group’s set of ads and each keyword’s performance.
Mistake 5: Negative Keywords
Not including negative keywords! If you’re not including negative keywords, you are most likely wasting ad spend on irrelevant searches and clicks that you don’t want your ads to be showing for and this can get costly.
Solution: Add any words that you don’t want your ads to be included in someone’s search results to the negative keyword list. This will help lower your CPL and increase the higher quality of conversions, therefore increasing ROI.
For example, if you have a school as a client that is looking to increase their enrollments, you may want to include negative keywords such as: ‘job and jobs’ because when someone is entering a search query like ‘college jobs’, they are searching for a job, not a college education.
Of course, ultimately when someone wants to go to college, they usually want an education that will help get them closer to their ideal job or career. However, that is not the goal of this specific campaign, so we would want to exclude ‘job and jobs’ from triggering an ad from showing in this search.
PPC Structures Conclusion
These solutions can take up a lot of time to set up the initial foundation, but in the end, it will be worth it! By following these solutions, your optimizing and management of an account will be easier to understand to implement any necessary changes to boost performance.
Do you have any questions after reading this blog? Is there anything that stood out or that didn’t make sense? Ask a question or leave a comment so we can discuss!
Colling Media is a Phoenix, AZ-based full-service advertising agency specializing in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.
Photo by John Schnobrich