Why traditional campaign structures belong in the past
Most companies with an eCommerce site structure and organize their Google AdWords campaigns like this:
- 10+ related keywords in an AdGroup (usually a product or product line)
- 3-5 ads that are relevant to the related keywords
- Set the CPC for the AdGroup based on CPA target for the products
Sounds familiar? This structure is very effective for someone managing the campaigns manually or by a “power tool” with a CPA performance target to hit. For the real performance of the campaign (and for the business value) it is worthless. Why?
Related keywords in an AdGroup
You may think that by putting product related keywords into an AdGroup you can now control the ad spend on those products and as such manage the cost of selling those products. Well, guess what? You have no control. Those keywords may drive the sales of other products on the site, and other keywords may drive the sales of the products you are trying to control. You simply cannot control what people are searching for and what they are buying; especially not by grouping keywords in AdGroups!
3-5 ads to a group of keywords
The objective is to create relevant ad copy to related keywords and make the ad copy management more scalable (and convenient for the marketer). Let’s say that one of the ads is performing poorly and you make changes to try to drive the CTR (click through rate) up, and two days later you check in to see how the changes performed. You see that the CTR is the same and draw the conclusion that it made no difference. The reality may be that the ad copy change doubled the CTR for one of the keywords and cut it in half for another keyword; you would never know because you are looking at averages and totals. AdWords success is a result of the keyword (triggers the ad), the Ad (generates the click), and the landing page (captures the conversion). If you could isolate each ad to the keyword that triggers its display, would you like that? Would that enable you to optimize your ad copy for each keyword? See the benefit in doing this when competing for the 1 click there is to be had per Google search?
Rather than using one Ad Group for many keywords, try one Ad Group for each keyword. This allows you to look at and optimize the performance of each keyword separately. Now it’s easy to sort by the keywords that are getting the most impressions, look for the ones with below-average click through rates, and then get to work on optimizing those keywords with ads with laser-pointed accuracy.
Set the CPC for the Ad Group for related keywords
By now you are getting the drift I assume. Each keyword earns its own right to spend your money. If all the keywords have the same conversion rate (or pull in the same amount of revenues relative to ad spend), then the traditional strategy works. But it is never like that; each keyword is unique and needs to be treated accordingly (this gets even more complicated with match types, geo targets, day of the week, etc.). If you spend the same across the board, you live a life of averages with AdWords, and that is no way to compete if you want to WIN! To capture the clicks that drive the most sales/revenues for you, you need to bid accordingly and based on the history of each keyword.
In the new campaign structure you will have the following:
- For each keyword, there will be a broad, phrase, and exact match equivalent
- Each keyword will be bid based on its own conversion rate (or preferably revenue/profit returned). Exact and phrase matches will have higher rates, and you’re willing to pay higher CPCs for these.
- Each Ad Group now has exactly 1 keyword. You may start with template based ads, but over time you’ll tune these to be very specific to the keyword – focusing on the ads with the most impressions.
Setting the same CPC for all keywords in an Ad Group is just silly and will waste your money while you lose the valuable clicks to your competitors.
Campaigns need to be structured with the purpose of isolating the variables that matter and impact conversion rates (or revenues/profits) inside AdWords, not for campaign manager convenience. If you want to see an example of what Finch can do for your account, why we would do it, and what you can expect — visit us at www.finch.com.
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