With the arrival of automation and all the new formats, Google Ads has evolved a lot and tends to become simpler. Building an account structure adapted to your business has become essential to avoid falling into the trap of a single campaignlimiting the vision on the detail of its performance and therefore without possible optimization…
In this article, we give you advice that will help you frame your thoughts as well as some answers on the best practices to adopt to structure your account and make the most of this essential SEA lever.
Understand the different levels of Google Ads
The Google Ads advertising platform is divided into 4 main levels:
- The Administrator Account : it allows to group several accounts at the same time, formerly called Multiaccount Center (CM or MCC);
- The Ads Account : this is where we can find the billing information and access levels of your employees;
- Countrisides :they allow you to define on which network you want to distribute (search, display, shopping..) and with what objective (traffic, sales, store visits..). They are sort of the backbone of the account;
- Ad groups : last level where the ads, extensions and keywords are located.
Structure your account according to your challenges and not according to the organization of your website.
1 – Separate the brand
The question of whether or not to buy your brand comes up very often among advertisers. Buying it allows you to appear at the top of the search engine results page when your SEO results appear below the paid ads shown by your competitors.
If you decide to buy your brand name, it is imperative to separate it from the rest of the keywords purchased and therefore to create separate campaigns. There are 2 main reasons for this:
- For identify and isolate people who already know you and to be able to obtain a clear reading of these performances;
- For adapt its management and maximize the share of voice, while keeping the cost as low as possible.
The most common solution is therefore to create a campaign in order to isolate the “pure” brand. This campaign will target queries containing only your brand name. You must then create two ad groups for the different types of matches:
- One for the”Exact” whose objective is to maximize the share of voice;
- One for theExact Phrases” in order to identify and capture the most frequent combinations of your brand.
Depending on your activity, it is also possible to create a second campaign to buy an association between your brand and a search term, for example:
- Your brand + the name of a city;
- Your brand + a product.
Point of attention: do not forget to exclude all keywords relating to your brand from other campaigns!
2 – Keep a business approach in the segmentation of non-branded campaigns (Search and Shopping)
Off-Brand Search Campaigns
There are as many ways to structure your account as there are companies. The most important thing is to adapt it to your business objectives. Indeed, following the architecture of your site is not always the best solution.
An effective way for the Off-Brand Search is to create campaigns based on your priorities. For example, if you are looking for a return on investment, you can very well segment your offers in order of profitability. Thereby by managing your campaigns to target ROAS, you will be able to seek growth while controlling spending on these products and monitoring the ROI of these campaigns.
To be able to manage and analyze your off-brand campaigns more easily, we advise you to create different ad groups according to the type of your keywords (Exact and Exact Expression).
Some account structure methods such as Hagakure method recommend the massive use of DSA (Dynamic Search Ads) to save time.
DSAs are dynamic ad campaigns or ad groups whose objective is to let Google itself search your site for the keywords that it deems relevant. The DSAs will therefore automatically process all the requests that are not addressed in the classic campaigns. Practical, because being quick to set up, they will allow you to promote the pages of your site which have a lower added value.
You have to be careful not to abuse them, because they can quickly spend a lot of budget. DSAs can also create an overlap with other campaigns, and if they are not closely monitored. It’s a type of campaign that can quickly become “black box”.
Prefer the use of this type of targeting at the level of campaigns rather than ad groups in order to simplify reading and management. Remember to exclude from this campaign or this group of ads the keywords and search terms brand and non-brand already targeted.
Google Shopping campaigns
As with Off-Brand Search, there are different ways to structure Shopping campaigns. However, it is recommended to divide its inventory into several campaigns to be able to analyze and manage more efficiently.
If you use Classic Shoppingone way is to split your products into different campaigns based on their performance. For example, create a first campaign that groups your top products (high volume, high margin). This will guarantee good performance that must be maximized. And a second campaign that will address the other products identified as priorities for the brand. Be careful to exclude the products of the first campaign from the second. This method makes it possible to have indicators in common, but a differentiated management between your top campaigns and the secondary campaigns.
If you use Smart Shopping, the arrival of Pmax makes the Merchant Center even more strategic in your Ads account. You must question your existing structure and integrate the segmentation of your flows into your thinking, always with the same goal: your business objectives and not necessarily the typology of your products.
Be careful, because these “smart” campaigns do not only broadcast on the Shopping network, but on all Google networks (Display, YouTube, Gmail, etc.) and although easy to set up, they remain very “black box”. They probably also use remarketing and do not allow for in-depth analysis.
3- Change your account structure
A structure is likely to evolve at the same time as your offer, according to the performance observed and the new functionalities offered by Google.. When you want to change your structure, you must do it in a methodical way where everything must be thought out and anticipated. In terms of account architecture, test & learn and A/B tests therefore remain the only justices of the peace to make decisions.
Your structure must also evolve according to the KPIs you wish to monitor, but also the offline data you have (profitability, omnichannel performance, etc.) Indeed, an account is not structured in the same way if you are looking for visibility, store traffic, sales or profitability.
As you will have understood, your account structure must adapt to your objectives and to new developments, it is constantly evolving and is never finished. You must always think objectives before thinking structure.
About the Author
Expert in Search and Shopping, Simon Loiret is a Media & SEA consultant at Converteo. He joined the firm in 2021 where he supports advertisers in the strategy and optimization of their campaigns.