What’s In A Name? 4 Principles For Account Structure

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 What’s in a name? That which we call a rose campaign

By any other name would smell as sweet.

Okay, that’s not how the play goes, but it is the world in which thousands of search marketers falsely live in. Is it true that account structure doesn’t matter? (Answer: No.)

Here are four principles to live by when it comes to segmenting your campaigns in the best way:

Know What You Have To Split

There are certain campaign settings which cannot be adjusted at the ad group level. With that in mind, there’s some immediate things that will need to be split up right away:

  • Ad scheduling
  • Location Settings
  • Search Partners
  • Language Settings

This list differs slightly from Google to Bing, but the overall strategy of splitting what you have to split applies to both. Just remember that parity between Google and Bing may help you keep both accounts running smoothly.

Think About Performance

Once you break out the “must-haves,” I prefer to think about further segmenting based on similar performance. Campaign-level metrics are more meaningful when there’s a more homogenous set of keywords within each campaign. Some considerations:

  • Average position: If you are targeting a specific average position on some terms (like the 1.0 on your brand head terms), it makes sense to loop them together. This makes it easier to identify when something goes wrong and needs attention.
  • Device: Since desktop and mobile searchers behave differently, it usually makes sense to split them out at the campaign level. See our post here on how and why we do that at Red Ventures.

Having campaigns split in logical ways based on performance allows you to analyze your data in meaningful segments across various data visualization platforms (like Google Analytics).

Think About Testing

On Google, A/B testing can only be done at the ad group (ACE) or campaign level (Experiments). With this in mind, you can easily run one test per campaign. Make sure your campaigns are the right size to maximize your testing velocity.

  • Extension Consistency: Though extensions can be applied at the campaign or ad group level, I like to have them consistent to campaigns for the most part. This helps me identify when things are off and test as an Experiment rather than a lot of different AG-level ACE tests.
  • Ad Group Consistency: I prefer to utilize Single Keywords Ad Groups. With this in mind, I sometimes use campaigns to run similar ad copies or ad templates and roll up testing results that way.

It’s Personal

At the end of the day, it’s you and your team that need to be on board with the campaign structure. Don’t go making a ton of changes to your campaign nomenclature without talking to your fellow PPC managers. They won’t like it, and you won’t like the fact that they won’t be able to do anything meaningful. Make sure you know your account structure well enough to access the data you need in a quick manner. Otherwise, you’ll be saying

O Romeo Keyword, Romeo Keyword,

Wherefore art thou, Romeo Keyword?

I’d love to hear from you – what of the above do you agree with? Do you disagree? Let me know @PPC_Sean!

Sean Murphy has been a paid search analyst at Red Ventures for the past two years. Prior to that, he was an administrator at a school that taught Chinese to elementary school students. He still hasn’t had to translate ads to Mandarin at RV, but who knows what the future might bring? As a father of two kids under 2, he doesn’t get much sl…zzzzzzzzzz.

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