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22 May 2014

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Building Your PPC Account

5-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-building-ppc

The benefits of optimizing PPC accounts, analyzing PPC account performance and testing changes in accounts are something we talk about every day as PPC professionals. However, before any of the optimizing, analyzing and testing can take place, a foundation needs to be set. Just as if you were building a home, a strong foundation needs to be laid down in order to be able to build anything that will withstand the sands of time.

So, why is your PPC account structure so important? Having a strong foundation of organized campaigns, ads, and keywords ensures that your account is set up for success right out of the gate. A well-organized account structure will help you drive improved campaign performance and most importantly, will provide you with the ability to make more educated decisions when analyzing success and failure. In order to help you make better decisions about how to structure your account, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask yourself when planning everything out.

What are my organization’s goals?

Company_GoalsWhenever you’re making any decisions about your account, you always want to keep your organization’s goals at the front of your mind, and this includes when you’re building the campaigns. Obviously, these goals are going to drive the keywords and ads that will be added to your campaign, so you want to make sure that you’re thinking about these goals when building our your account strategy.

Some possible goals include:

  • Drive in qualified leads for you or your sales team to contact
  • Build your brand and/or product awareness
  • Increase overall traffic and visitors to your site
  • Drive in traffic that will convert off-line either via calls or into a brick and mortar store
  • Increase sales volume for your e-commerce site

What are common themes among my services or products?

By identifying common themes among your services or products, you will be able to create a plan that will ensure that your campaigns are set up for success. Identifying core themes that you can break out into either campaigns or ad groups will help you build strong, tight knit keyword lists with highly relevant ads that ultimately will provide you with the best performance.

As I said before, keeping your organization’s goals in mind at all times when making changes to your account will ultimately make sure that you’re set up for success. This being said, grouping your themes together as granularly and as accurately as possible is one of the most influential ways to ensure that you’re driving the most cost-effective activity to your account.

When you break out your keywords into small, tight knit keyword lists and write highly relevant ads to those keywords, you’re going to drive in higher click through rates. When you drive in higher click through rates, Google gives your keywords a higher quality store. When you have a higher quality score, Google then provides you with a lower cost per click. Then once you’ve received lower click costs, your cost per conversion is bound to drop and ultimately (and most importantly) will drive in more revenue to your organization.Strong_Account_Structure_Diagram

Can someone who’s never seen my account before navigate through it?

This tip really is very self-explanatory, but it is absolutely one of the most common questions I ask myself—even as an experienced PPC professional—when I’m building accounts. Naming conventions that are either too broad, too generic or simply don’t tell you what’s going on in that campaign/ad group are one of the easiest pain points to fix. Make it simple and clear for both you and anyone else who may look at your account.

When you’re building your accounts, keep your naming conventions detailed and use that title to inform you of what that campaign/ad group is housing. Examples of strong campaign titles are:

  • Display – Managed Placements
    • A display campaign with managed placements
  • Search – Southwest – Women’s Shoes
    • A search campaign that targets the southwest region and is targeting women’s shoes
  • Search – Spanish – Home Décor
    • A search campaign that is targeting users in Spanish and is targeting home decor

When? Where? How?

Since you’ve now grouped all your common themes together and broke them out into highly relevant campaigns and ad groups, you’re now able to establish specific settings at the campaign level in order to target each individual campaign as accurately as possible.

  • When: When is your demographic searching for your services? Is there a specific time of day that users may be searching for the type of services you offer? Would people not likely search for your services at night, or on the weekends? An example of this is a B2B business that provides services for businesses that tend to work 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday hours.
  • Where: Where are the people you are trying to reach? Are you an attorney who is only able to practice law in California? Then it’s very important to make sure you’re only targeting the regions that your demographic is, in order to avoid any wasted ad spend on unqualified leads.
  • How: How are searchers finding you? Are you a locksmith that most searchers find on their mobile devices when they’re locked out of their home or car? Conversely, are you a software company that provides software for desktop/laptop computers and a searcher on a mobile device will likely not convert?Where_Your_Ads_Appear

What else should I add other than just campaigns for my products/services?

We’ve talked about the importance of breaking out your products and services into tight knit groups. We’ve also talked about making sure that you’re breaking out your campaigns in a way that allows you to create your campaign settings to make sure you’re targeting your demographic as accurately as possible.

So does that mean you’re done and ready to get your campaigns launched? Maybe. But you may still be leaving opportunities on the table. How about adding a branded campaign (if that wasn’t part of your original plan) in order to capture any and all branded queries from searchers who are already highly qualified because they’re familiar with your business? We’ve even listed out 5 reasons we believe adding a branded campaign to your account will aide in driving in cost-effective performance.

How about a remarketing campaign? This is the single most common campaign we add to client’s accounts, because it gives you the ability to re-engage with users who are already familiar with your brand and have already interacted with your site. For more information about setting up a remarketing campaign, visit our How To Do Remarketing guide.Remarketing_Description

If you’re an advertiser who is driving sales to your e-commerce site, an expansion into Product Listing Ads might make sense for you. These provide you with the ability to put your products, your prices and your promotions right in front of users when they’re searching for terms similar to your products. Keep in mind, when creating Product Listing Ads; make sure to keep the common theme question in your mind, as this will help you determine how you want to structure your campaigns for optimum performance.

Ultimately, there isn’t one set in stone way that a PPC account should be structured. However, in our experience here at Vertical Measures, we’ve seen firsthand how simply laying a solid foundation for your account to perform can truly make a night and day difference in your results. As with everything, measure your results and if one account structure doesn’t work for you, do not be afraid to test a change in account structure. Test performance and measure the data: those two tasks are your strongest tools.

Image credit: A guide to building successful Adwords campaigns