One of the ways that digital marketing is different from traditional marketing is the ability to track and measure precisely what is working and what isn’t. With that data, marketers can then make adjustments to their marketing efforts to double down on what is working and pivot away from what isn’t.

In order to optimize your paid media efforts, you first have to set up your account in such a way that makes it easy both to evaluate and to modify your advertising campaigns. Since Google is the biggest player in paid media, let’s look more closely at:

  • The framework of a Google Ads account
  • How each element in the framework impacts your account’s success
  • What can happen when an account is not structured properly

What is Google Ads Account Structure?

The foundation for optimizing your Google Ads account is good account structure. Your Google Ads structure matters for multiple reasons. It can impact how search queries trigger your ads, your quality score, and your ability to manage your account. So what are the pieces of a Google Ads account?

The Google Ads Account Structure Framework

  1. Account: This is where your business information such as billing, user permissions, and more are kept.
  2. Campaign: Campaigns are how you will advertise your business solutions or offers throughout the Google network. There are eight different types of campaigns that you can run on the Google network based on your marketing goals. You can choose from search, display, video, shopping, app, local, smart, and performance max campaigns.
  3. Ad Group: Inside your campaigns are your ad groups. Your ad groups are where keywords that you want to target with relevant ads will be housed. Depending on your campaign budget it is good practice to have 10 to 20 ad groups per campaign.
  4. Keyword: Keywords are found within your ad groups, and they determine how your ads will be displayed. When someone searches for something on Google that is relevant to your keywords, Google will display your ad. The best practice is to have 15 to 20 tightly themed keywords within each ad group.
  5. Ads: This is the text copy or other creative (image, graphic, video, etc) that Google will display when the keywords you are targeting are relevant to a search query. It is good practice to have two to three ads to test for optimization.
  6. Landing Page: When someone clicks on your ad this is the page that Google will send them to. Each ad group can only have one landing page. The best practice is to align your landing page to the search query intent.

graphic showing google ads account structure layers and best practices

Why is Google Ads Account Structure Important?

Google wants your ads showing to people who are interested in your products, services, or offers. The better aligned your ads are to a search query, the higher the likelihood of it getting clicks which would generate revenue for Google and the higher the likelihood of you getting a conversion which would generate revenue for you.

Your ad relevance is highly impacted by your account structure. How you organize your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads, and landing pages will help Google understand themes in your account. This makes it easy to serve your ads to the right audience. Serving your ads to the right audience means you get a higher click-through rate.

For example, we reviewed a higher education account recently that didn’t have tightly themed ad groups: one ad group for a specific degree program had 12 keywords, but they included a wide range of intent, from the degree itself to its cost and training as well as certification and whether it was “near me.”

Each of these searchers has a different intent and if they are all served the same ad, they will not see that ad as equally relevant to what they were searching for. Serving an ad specific to each intent through your ad copy and landing page reduces friction and improves conversions. It’s like going to a store and the condiments aisle has ketchup just like you’d expect.

What is Quality Score and How Does Account Structure Impact It?

Quality score is a metric that Google provides which tells you on a scale of 1 – 10 how your ad ranks compared to other advertisers’ ads. The higher your quality score, the more relevant your ad is to the intent of what someone is searching for compared to other advertisers competing for the same keyword.

Your account structure is important here because your quality score is calculated by your expected click through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. The better your quality score the more Google will reward you by changing the amount you have to spend to advertise on their network. You’ll spend less on your advertising efforts because a higher quality score means that in the auctions you will pay less for the same keywords your competitors are competing for.

How Does Account Structure Help with Account Management?

A well-structured account is like having an organized closet space. When your closet is well organized, you can find the right combination of clothes to wear for any occasion, which saves you time and decision anxiety or stress.

Having an account that is not properly structured can slow you down or even prevent you from optimizing your account based on business needs. It can also cause you to spend your budget in ways that are not efficient. If it isn’t obvious that you already have a Hawaiian shirt in the back of your closet that you can wear to a party with a tropical theme, you might go buy a new one, spending money that you didn’t have to spend.

Below is an example of an account that we audited which had poor account structure, in this case related specifically to match type segmentation. Match types are how search queries trigger your ads. Google has a few different match types that could trigger your ads; different match types have different cost-per-click for the same keyword.

Exact match types are when search queries match your keywords exactly. Phrase match types are search queries that could include terms before or after your keywords and include variations of the keyword which could be singular/plural variations or synonyms. Broad match types include any word in your keywords, in any order; for example, if your keywords include descriptors, your ads will show up in queries that include those descriptors, even if the search query does not include your product or service.

Because budgets are set at the campaign level and the cost-per-click varies widely based on the match type, structuring the account to allow you to adjust your spending by match type will increase efficiency and improve results.

account structure example with mixed match types and the cost differences
Why Google Account Structure is Important

The success of your Google Ads effort is highly impacted by your account structure. Having a good account structure will help Google advertise your products, services, or offers to the right people at the right time. It will also save you time in making operational decisions to get the most out of your marketing budget. When structuring your account give yourself enough time to think through and organize your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads, and landing pages for efficiency and effectiveness. If done correctly, when people search for something relevant to what you offer, your business will be the one to show up to provide a solution, make an offer, or provide a service.

Want to know more? Read our tips for writing compelling PPC ad copy, paid advertising strategies for Facebook, and how our work to restructure their paid media account increased leads by 11800% (not a typo) for a B2B in the energy industry.

Like what you read? Contact us to learn more about the (un)Common Logic approach to digital marketing, including paid advertising best practices, and more!