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3 Questions To Answer Before Building Out Your PPC Structure

4 MINUTE READ | January 24, 2014

3 Questions To Answer Before Building Out Your PPC Structure

Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned search marketing professional, your account structure is the most important element that determines success in any paid search campaign.

Think of a PPC structure like the foundation of a house. If you build a house with a faulty foundation, you will most likely be making constant repairs, your house will fall down, and you will be sad (just ask two of the famous Three Pigs). Nobody wants to be sad, and especially when you can lose all your money in a blink of an eye due to your account setup.

This is what your structure should resemble.

But, because you are reading this blog, you are already on your way to making sound decisions with your account. By answering the three questions below, you will build a castle that nobody can topple, because your foundation will make the campaign efficient, scalable, and profitable…because, all-in-all, cash is king.

Here at PMG we do this all day.

Question 1: What do I sell?

This is question 1 for a reason — it’s the most important. If you run a successful business, this question should be a breeze for you. But knowing what you sell is key in determining your overall look and feel for your account. If you’re a retailer then perhaps you will want to separate out your campaigns by your product names so that you can easily see at the top level which products perform the best. You can also categorize your products into campaigns. For example, you can take all the shirts you sell, drop them under a shirts campaign, and have every type of shirt broken out under ad groups in that campaign.

Your mind should be burning with ideas now.

Question 2: How can I make my structure efficient and manageable?

After taking over many accounts and making them better, we have found that this is where most marketers fail. They make their structure either too simple, or too complex, which makes it almost impossible to extract any meaningful data. This is what we want to avoid. We want to make our structure work for us and not work for our structure.

Your account structure should be like your home where it’s comfortable and easy to move around in. Avoid being too simple and overcomplicated, and strive to be somewhere in the middle. Set things up so that you’ll be able to easily extract data necessary to tell us exactly what moves we should make to increase ROI.

Here’s a practical way to tell if your account is efficient right now: How long would it take find the performance of a specific product over a specific period of time? If it takes you no more than a couple of minutes, then you probably have a good structure. If it takes you more than 30 minutes to get a simple data point then your structure needs to be rebuilt.

Question 3: Is it scalable?

Remember that PPC management is not set-it-and-forget-it. Think ahead to a year or two in the future and ask yourself, will the structure allow you to keep adding campaigns/ad groups/ads/keywords and still work efficiently and effectively? Or will you have to create another structure to accommodate additional products? Your answer should be, “yes,” to the first question and, “no,” to the second. You should never have two different structures within your accounts as it limits your ability to make money.

Yes, we know the actual work behind answering these questions will be a challenge and you will probably go through several structure iterations before you figure out the right one for you. However, these questions will guide you to find that golden egg structure that will take your PPC campaigns to the next level.

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Posted by George Andrade

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