The Ultimate Guide To Effectively Structuring A Google Ads Account

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on the Google Search Platform is an effective and speedy way to get those all-important top page search engine results. Making your way to the top of the first page organically is possible. However, ranking organically, using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques takes time. For a refresh on paid versus organic search see our blog here.

For instantaneous results, in comes Google Ads paid advertising platform. Now this isn’t as simple as it sounds of course, a variety of factors will determine the success of your PPC advertising returns. Bid strategies and adjustments, budget constraints, match types, quality score and competition in the market, will all play a role. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us get a good grasp and understanding of the structure of a Google Ads Account.

Google Ads is structured into three layers; Account, Campaign and Ad Groups. Let us talk you through building a well-structured account, the various structural components and why Google Ad account structure is important. 

Why do we need a well-structured account on Google Ads?  

1. Control of Ads

Structuring your Google Ads Account correctly allows you to have greater control over your ads. It will allow you to better determine when and why they will appear and for whom they appear to.

For example, for a Hotel Client – one might run one campaign to promote the hotel as a family friendly hotel and use the campaign to promote a family package by linking the landing page to a special offer. The hotel might run another campaign targeting a specific  destination eg ‘Hotels in Dublin City’. The keywords and ads in these campaigns will be very different, as will the customer and their needs. Having a good structure and separate campaigns, enables better control and management of which ads show and to whom.

2. Quality Score

Well structured accounts will lead to a higher quality score. Quality score is an estimation of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing page experience in terms of relevance and usefulness as ranked by Google. Google rewards accounts will high quality scores with lower costs on bids and better ad positioning. Having a good account structure should enable you achieve a higher quality score for your Google Ads account.

3. Organisation and Optimization

This one is for your own sanity! You will be better able to optimize your account and mange it with a clearly defined structure. 

Four Main Structural Components To Consider

1. Account Level

The account level is home to your campaigns. It is associated with a unique email address, password, and billing information. See here for a step by step guide on how to create a Google Ads account. 

2. Campaign Level

A campaign is an organised group of ads focused on a single broad theme or goal.

For a hotel, the overall goal of the account is to sell rooms directly through the official website. This overall goal can be further segmented based on customer needs and matching offerings from the business. It could also be segmented based on location specificity or on the structure of your own website.  Whichever way you decided to segment and structure your account, it is best to run separate campaigns.

This is because each campaign will contain different keywords, ad text and landing pages as so will need separation.

For example,  you might decide to segment campaigns for a hotel into two types: Generic and Brand campaigns. Brand Campaigns will all contain keywords containing the Brand name of the hotel. Whereas Generic campaigns will bid on generic keywords such as ‘Hotels in Dublin’, ‘Budget Hotels’, ‘Romantic Hotels in Dublin’ etc.

Tip: Competition will be high for generic keywords, for those with limited budget bid conservatively and avoid adding pure broad match keywords.

One might wonder why they would bid on your own brand name? In the hotel industry, great competition exists between booking directly or booking with an Online Travel Agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com. OTAs will bid on your brand name and unfortunately there is no guaranteed a potential customer will skip the ads and go for the first organic result (which is hopefully where your hotel’s website is, if you have implemented SEO techniques!). Using campaigns to bid on your brand name keywords can ensure that you do not loose search traffic to OTAs.

Within the campaign you can decided what type of campaign you want to run depending on your goal. This might be a Search Network Campaign, a Display Network Campaign or a Video Campaign. At this level you will also make your decisions around budget costs, bid strategies (automated v manual), language, location and audience targeting.

3. Ad Group Level

The level below campaigns is where you will find your Ad Groups. These Ad Groups enable you to segment your individual campaigns further.  An ad group will contain one or more ads that share similar targets or themes. Each of your campaigns is made up of one or more ad groups. Think of your Ad Groups like containers, to house your keywords and ad associations.

An example of this might be a campaign created around the theme ‘Hotels for Couples’. We could create one ad group for targeting search traffic for couples looking for boutique hotels and another for romantic hotels. These keywords and ads would vary between the two groups so we would put them in different ad groups housed under the one campaign.

To prevent your ad groups becoming difficult to manage and incurring a low CTR (which will affect your quality score), aim to keep within the below boundaries:

1. Try to stick to a max of 7-10 ad groups per campaign

2. Max of 20 keywords per ad group

3. 2-3 ads per ad group

4. Keyword Level

The level below your Ad Groups will contain your keywords. Keyword Research is highly recommended for selecting keywords. Use tools such as SEM rush or Google Keyword Planner, which is available on the Google Ads interface. These keyword research tools will help you to idenity relevant keywords that demonstrate clear intent and have good search volume.

Tip: Avoid using single keywords such as ‘hotels’, as they don’t give any indication as to what type of hotel (or even where) the user is looking for a hotel.

KEYWORD MATCH TYPES: Each keyword will have a match type associated with it. The match type chosen will determine how the search terms entered by

Google Search Engine users match to you ads. There are 4 match type to choose from:

  • Broad Match – This match type will trigger your ads if your keyword is present anywhere within their search query. Your ad may match to any generally related search, including synonyms. Use this match type with caution as it has the ability to spend highly on potential irrelevant traffic.
  • Broad Match Modifier (BMM) – This match type will trigger your ads if the keywords are present in the search query in the exact or close variant form. Use + before the keyword to enable BMM.
  • Phrase Match – Your ads will trigger on this phase but the search must be in order and uninterrupted but may contain words before or after it.
  • Exact Match – Exactly what it says on the tin!

Tip : Test out different match types. Exact match will target exactly what you are looking for but broad modified match will give you more volume of related searches.

So, there we have it – a brief outline of the three layers of the Google Ads Platform and why it is important to have a good account structure.

Author Bio: Katie McGarr is one of the resident writers for SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin, a firm offering an extensive range of digital marketing and website services to businesses across UK, Ireland, and Continental Europe. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing. 

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