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AdWords Account Structure and Budgeting [9 Best Practices]

Paid Advertising


Google AdWords is one of the most powerful tools used in online advertising, for businesses big and small. Marketers have had a considerable amount of success generating leads through this service with a great ROI.

And while SEM should definitely be a part of your marketing arsenal, setting up your AdWords account structure for your paid advertising strategy can be a daunting task for some. Even more so when strict budgeting is involved. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

The AdWords interface may be a bit tricky to navigate through, but with a well-structured SEM strategy, you can create a likewise well-structured account. This is crucial so that you can have control over how ads get triggered, as well as when and where you want them to appear to maximize your chances of success.

Not having one is akin to building a house without laying the proper foundations. Eventually, it’s going to fall apart at some point in your campaign. The key to a well-structured AdWords account is to start with a robust foundation to make it easy to organize everything so that you can build it the right way from the ground up.


AdWords Account Structuring

One important factor to consider is your budget, which should also dictate how you plan to reach your objectives (more on that later). Unfortunately, there is no single strategy to pull this off successfully. There are, however, tried and tested methods that have proven to work well.


  • Lay a solid foundation

Just like building a house, laying a solid foundation on stable ground sets you off to a great start. This will allow you to complete your AdWords account structure to fit your search advertising plan. You can start by choosing your tools and campaigns that are needed to hit your goal.

If you want to start small, you can opt for a search campaign, but if your goal is to generate leads through calls, a call-only campaign is what you should go for.

For spreading awareness for a totally new brand or product, display campaigns are your best bet. Multiple campaigns can also be executed concurrently to meet several goals.

Once your decision is made, you can now move on to your campaign settings. Toggle your location and language targeting settings, bid strategy and budget to fine-tune your campaign, and move on to the next stage.


  • Create the right number of ad groups in each campaign

For your campaign to run properly, you will now need to set up your ads, where they are tied to a list of keywords within an ad group. Your ad groups are important because they create the structure within each campaign where you can organize them by theme and control keyword association.

For optimum performance, you must know the size of your ad groups to hit that sweet spot. Ideally, you should have 7 to 10 ad groups per campaign, with up to 20 keywords and 2-3 ads per ad group.

There certainly are exceptions, but these are sound guidelines to avoid having bloated ad groups that are difficult to manage.


  • Define your keywords

Defining your keywords is crucial for search engine results, so don’t just rely on your intuition. Use keyword tools to make sure you are bidding on those that get search volume, so don’t hesitate to use the AdWords Keyword planner readily available in your account. You can also use other free keyword tools or even third-party paid options.

The key to successful keyword research is going for those that have clear commercial intent, which means people who use those words in their online search are probably looking to purchase something. More often than not, broad terms don’t show much intent, usually producing low click-through and conversion rates with high cost per action.

To choose those with intent, go for words that include qualifying terms like details that are specific to your product, brand names, and location terms for more targeted keywords.


  • Place ad extensions

Ad extensions are a reliable way to make your ad more appealing since they help boost your click-through rate at no added cost. And while there are many ad extensions out there, you should use those that are right for your account structure.

Adding additional information like consumer ratings, social media info, location tags, phone number, and other site links can mean the difference between a user noticing a keyword that’s relevant to them, and the user ignoring your ad altogether.

AdWords Budgeting

Now that you know how to set things up, you can move on to the more intimidating task of setting your budget for your AdWords campaign. This is the part where you’ll be spending on advertising costs, so it’s best to know how to maximize efficiency with these SEM budgeting practices.


  • Start with a test budget

Determining your initial budget is the great wall you have to overcome to help control costs for your whole campaign. The question you have to ask here is: ‘How much money you want to spend on your clicks?’

It’s going to be tough to know how much you’d want to spend when launching your first paid campaign since you won’t have any historical ad data to benchmark. Testing the waters with a trial budget can help you achieve this. This initial figure should be determined by your average Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), which will help you identify a good Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) goal.

Think of it as investing in market research to find out how to make best use of your finances.


  • Get rid of that budget

Once your AdWords campaign becomes profitable, you can dismiss that initial budget and put more money into the campaign. You won’t have to cap your budget anymore once you’ve gotten the ball rolling because it’ll paying itself off.


  • Pay attention to ROI, not cost

Knowing how to manage costs effectively is definitely a smart move, but this shouldn’t be your sole focus. Your objectives should be directed more on getting the most out of your return on investment from all your advertising efforts.

Don’t be afraid to increase your ad budget if things are going well. As long as you’re keeping your average CPA down, the returns will always outweigh the costs.


  • The same goes for EPC versus CPC

Advertisers are more focused on getting their cost per click down by writing better ads to boost their AdWords scores for cheaper clicks. Yes, this is all good, but you must always look at the bigger picture.

While efficient advertising is always encouraged, minimizing CPC is just half of the equation. You should instead leverage AdWords to boost your earnings per click. Your sales data will give AdWords a good idea of what an ideal user looks like, so it can optimize ad distribution and focus on users with good potential to convert.


  • Funnel your resources into top-performing keywords

Once your ad campaigns have been up and running for some time, you’ll be able to extract ad data to determine what’s been working well. Use this analytical stage to determine your best assets and focus more resources on them.

Ad data will also show under-performing campaigns, which either need to be re-worked or abandoned because they’re operating at a loss.


Get the Ball Rolling!

Indeed, there’s nothing quite as daunting as your first foray into AdWords advertising. But with these tried and tested methods, you’ll be setting the right foundations to grow your advertising campaign and minimizing the risk of resource wastage.

Remember that AdWords account optimization is an ongoing effort. You need to be regularly testing and analyzing your campaigns, continuously tweaking and improving to get the most out of each dollar spent.


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