Building Successful PPC: Structuring your Google AdWords Account


This post is the first in a six-part series written by Portent’s small business team outlining the fundamentals of building your first PPC account through Google AdWords. Follow along in our six-part series as we will be laying down the knowledge detailing best practices for setting yourself up for PPC success.

Structuring your Google AdWords account

Setting yourself up for PPC success through Google AdWords starts with how you decide to structure your PPC account. Properly setting up your account structure forms a strong backbone to create the building blocks of your AdWords account. Having an organized and efficient structure for your campaigns and ad groups will help you better balance your spending budgets, increase your efficiency when it comes to account management, and boost your paid advertising performance.

Getting your account structure right is vital to PPC success.

Determining your Google AdWords campaigns

Before we get too far into it, it’s important to understand what a campaign means in the context of Google AdWords. In the context of PPC, a campaign is a singular set of ad groups (which contain keywords and ads) that share a singular campaign budget and campaign settings. We’ll dive further into campaign settings later in this PPC series but for now, let’s stick to understanding PPC account structure.

Campaigns should be thought of as a container for ad groups: the more relevant to each other those ad groups are, the better.

How your website is organized at its top-level navigation is a good place to start when beginning to build out a preliminary list of potential campaigns.

The screen shot below illustrates an example navigation in which this company breaks down its navigation products by category type:

Site Navigation Example

Following the example above, we can identify four potential PPC campaigns: ‘Specials,’ ‘Paracord,’ ‘Spool,’ and ‘Accessories.’ These campaigns will create the overarching structure for our work moving forward.

With our campaign list taking shape, let’s turn our attention to determining what ad groups will go in each campaign.

Discovering your Ad Groups

At its core level, an ad group is a singular set of keywords and ads. Similar to campaigns, ad groups act as smaller subsets of our campaign as a whole.

Continuing with our paracord e-commerce example, let’s visualize how to organize our ad groups by looking at the navigation built into the website.

Below is a subset which displays the different types of paracord this particular store offers.

Site Navigation Example

Each product type on this list has the potential to be its own ad group. We can use each of these product types to create individual ad groups within a singular campaign.

The following chart gives us a visual representation of how the account structure should be built after we break out our campaigns and ad groups from the website.

Account Structure Chart

After building the structure of your AdWords account, it’s time to move on to filling the structure you’ve just built. That said, we’ll take a look at campaign settings next.

Check out the rest of the six-part series:
PRIMER: What is PPC – Pay Per Click Marketing Explained


Small Business PPC Services - Portent

Chad Kearns

Vice President of Marketing Services
Vice President of Marketing Services

Chad is responsible for guiding Portent's marketing, sales, and agency services. With Portent since 2012, Chad is passionate about ensuring clients receive top-notch service and results from the Portent team. Outside of Portent, Chad loves to be outside- hiking, playing soccer, skiing, and cheering on his Seattle sports teams.

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