Structure best practices for creating campaigns and ad groups.

Structure best practices for creating campaigns and ad groups: –

The structure of the account is a fundamental element to guarantee the success of the paid search.

These best practices will help to set up campaigns and ad groups effectively.

Adopting group structure and best practices ensures that keywords, advertising messages, and landing pages are aligned with company goals.

An effective structure is deeply connected to the marketing strategy and business needs.

Also need to think beyond the initial setup and create an agile structure that enables efficient scaling and ongoing maintenance campaigns as the business evolve over time.

Getting the tactical elements right ensures having a structure that is as functional as possible (for example, that supports the most effective reporting and optimization).

It will also position itself well to benefit from the latest paid search innovations that increasingly rely on automation and algorithm-based scripting.

As ad groups run in the context of the campaigns, we’ll first go over some campaign considerations.

Carefully considering how many campaigns are needed will ensure that all relevant keyword topics are covered and that each topic is hosted in its own campaign.

This naturally leads to having the correct number of general ad groups and organizing them in the most relevant way.

While some ad group and structure characteristics vary by engine, particularly among engines in non-English speaking markets, most have the same elements in common.

Best practices for campaign setup:

When deciding what and how many campaigns to have, consider which searches will need the most coverage.

Then assess what device configuration, targeting, and budget management are needed to support business goals.

Follow the money:

Since the budget lives at the campaign level, anything that needs to have a dedicated budget deserves its own campaign.

For terms that need to be funded as fully and continuously as possible, it is recommended to set up a dedicated campaign so that they can be more easily managed.

It is good practice to fully fund the own brand terms as they are targeting the most qualified users who already know the business.

Retargeting (i.e. RLSA) and campaigns that are of strategic importance (e.g. running in key markets) are some other use cases for the need to create priority campaigns to more closely manage key traffic groups.

Orientation parameters:

Engine networks, geography, and desired audiences will further affect the structure.

Bid modifiers at the ad group level can help avoid creating separate campaigns for each targeting instance.

However, for reporting, budget management, and long-term keyword management, we recommend that implementing most settings at the campaign level.

This allows for the highest efficiency reporting on performance and builds campaigns over time, with limited steps required each time a new group or new keywords need to be added.

Network configuration:

Ads are often assumed to appear in search results (i.e. only on the search network).

However, in some cases, it runs on distribution sites or even on the display networks of the given engine.

Take a moment to check which network is needed and select the correct settings.


For geography, it is tempting to have the same footprint that the company has with other media.

However, search engine demand may differ from where offline sales occur.

Take a moment to research where search engine demand is most likely to come from (DMA, cities, states, regions, countries).

Then set up a couple of individual campaigns for the major markets with

If budget allows, create an extra “general” campaign to cover the remaining traffic in the rest of the possible places where consumers can come from.

While it is tempting to select English or all languages, do the research on where most of the traffic will come from and if the site fully supports it.

If one can target multiple languages, create multiple campaigns for each language version.


Use the own and third-party data that is available to guide the structure.

Creating separate campaigns for remarketing, targeting previous users with RLSA campaigns, is a common use case.

Consider further dividing the structure, especially if are selling multiple products or services.

For example, creating standalone campaigns for users who have purchased some products but not others will closely support cross-selling business goals with specific budgets, geo-targeting (if necessary), ads, and reports.

This is not possible if it is attempted at the ad group level.

Device configuration:

Performance per device continues to vary, making it an important optimization lever.

Before dividing the campaigns by device, consider these pros and cons.

  • Engine algorithms have now evolved to take device signals into account when optimizing bids in its automated algorithms.
  • Splitting campaigns by device greatly reduces the traffic and KPIs available for optimization and can create campaigns that are not large enough in volume for significant optimization.
  • If the site has a responsive design and other mobile best practices, the mobile user experience is likely to be fairly robust, and mobile campaigns can have the same goals as non-mobile campaigns.
  • Unless mobile devices represent a significant amount of traffic, cost, and goals, dividing campaigns or groups by device is not recommended.
  • Instead, if not using automated bidding solutions, use device bid modifiers to achieve device-level efficiencies and ad customizers to tailor ad messages to users on different devices.

Best practices for ad groups:

Start by grouping the desired keywords by topic.

They should be as narrow as reasonably possible to avoid overlaps in specific searches.

Because each ad group supports different ads, one way to orient the ad group structure is based on the copy to expect to run in each case.

For example, if a sports shoe retailer, within the women’s footwear campaign, one could create an ad group for each brand to align with each landing page.

However, depending on the range of products, this can be too general with a wide range of keywords grouped in each group.

In that case, one may want to create campaigns based on shoe brands, with a separate group for each shoe model.

It is common for most of the traffic to be driven by a select number of terms.

In fact, occasionally, a small handful of keywords can drive a lot of traffic and/or share goals.

In those cases, may need multiple groups for these “Power keywords” to live in separate groups with other terms housed in others.

Groups of individual keywords are rare, but they use the same premise. They isolate a keyword in its own group to get the closest thing to performance, copy optimization, testing, and reporting.

With the ad group strategy in place, before finalizing and creating the group structure, consider the match types and how audience needs may affect the focus of the ad text, and then assess the needs of the page. of destiny.

Types of matches:

For greater efficiency and to simplify negative matching, it is recommended that to create duplicate groups by match type.

This best practice, known as match type duplication, implies that each group only has terms of one match type.

Exact Match groups must perform at their best and require no negatives except in unusual circumstances.

Phrase groups and broad matches generally perform worse and are the focus of the negative matches.

Note that to avoid group cannibalization, one will need to have positive exact match terms as negative in phrase and broad groups.

Duplicating groups of match types also have budgetary benefits:

In times of limited budget, it is much easier to stop the lower performing match types with them isolated in different groups.

Having a very high-volume campaign and needing superior control over costs, an alternative approach will work: mirror match types per campaign, so each campaign only has groups and terms of one match type.

Personalized messages for the audience:

The need for different ads is a key reason for group separation.

However, before jumping into creating more groups, see if copy customization can be solved with a feed or ad customizer.

Items such as price, product features, or service items can often be fed through the business data capability.

Whenever a change is needed, instead of creating new ads and groups, business data can be seamlessly updated, filtering the change into the ad text without triggering an Ad Quality Score review.

When messages need to vary for only one audience and that won’t put a significant budget, use ad customizers instead of creating a new group or campaign.

Customizer if statements allow a default text to display to all users and an alternate one for a specific audience.

Landing pages:

Unless running a landing page test to assess site conversion, the best practice is to use one landing page per ad group.

If multiple landing pages are needed, it is a sign that the keywords are not tightly grouped and there are multiple topics within the ad group.

In that case, divide the group so that there is a relationship between the group, the landing page and the focus of the ad copy.

It can be tempting to create a very detailed structure.

If it’s starting to look complex, it probably is. Consider starting a new account.

Not everything has to reside in one engine account, and several are often needed for larger advertising efforts, particularly with multiple budget sources involved.

Motor parity:

It is common for campaigns to be cloned from one engine to another.

However, that can create an unnecessarily large number of campaigns and groups.

Since secondary engines control a much smaller proportion of traffic, many campaigns and groups will see limited traffic.

Instead of cloning everything for each engine, repeat it only on those campaigns and groups that will generate the most significant results, justifying the optimization and reporting efforts.

Naming convention:

Any structural considerations will be incomplete without planning the campaign and the group naming convention.

The best approach is concise, reflects all aspects of orientation, parameter settings, and uses special characters to separate items.

This is key not only for administrative reasons like reporting and optimization (either with an engine or third-party tools).

A strong naming convention facilitates scaling efforts over time.

Simplify the deployment of any automated solution, expand keywords, manage budgets, and more.

But don’t get carried away with incorporating everything imaginable into the ad group or campaign name.

The naming convention should allow determining at a glance what is in the campaign or ad group.

However, filters and tags must be leveraged at the same time.

Use them to quickly report on various parts of the account or campaign, without using too complex a naming convention for campaigns and groups.

As with any element of the paid search strategy, the structure is not a static element.

Please check back regularly, especially if there are website updates.

Site content and landing page changes are opportunities to evolve its structure.

However, if to follow these best practices, future changes should be incremental and avoid changes that affect performance.