HomeBlogAsk the Experts: What’s the Perfect Way to Structure an AdWords Account?

Ask the Experts: What’s the Perfect Way to Structure an AdWords Account?

Author: Margot Whitney
Last Updated: July 28, 2023 | Paid Search Marketing


Hi everyone! Welcome to this episode of “Ask the Experts.” I’m really excited, this is my first episode. My name’s Margot. I am on the marketing team here at WordStream, and today I’m tackling a question that I’ve gotten plenty of times from customers here at WordStream, which is, “What is the perfect way to structure my AdWords account?”

And, the answer is, there’s actually no perfect way. That might not be, you know, the answer that you wanted to hear, and I apologize, but I am here to provide you with some best practices, and what you can do to really nail your account structure down and get better performance with AdWords.

Why Is AdWords Account Structure So Important?

I want to start off by going over what is so important about account structure. And the reason account structure is so important – there’s actually several reasons. So first off, structuring your account kind of determines how and when your ads are going to appear, and to who. So it really kind of determines how relevant your ads are appearing, which search queries are bringing up your ads, and where those queries are directing your users.

It also affects important metrics like Quality Score. So, we all know that Quality Score is so important – it’s basically the scale of how much Google likes you on a scale of one to 10. So if your account structure is kind of a huge mess, it’s going to result in lower click-through rates, lower performance, lower Quality Scores, and you’re going to be paying more, so that’s another reason why account structure is so, so important.

And lastly, your account structure is going to keep you organized and on top of optimizing if it’s structured well. So we really want to make sure that you’re all really nailing down your account structure and really using these strategies to get the best performance possible through AdWords.

RELATED: The Complete Guide Google Ads Account Structure 

The Five Elements of Google Ads Account Structure

So now that we know why account structure is so important, I want to go over the five components of your account structure before diving into some strategies of how to actually structure your account.

So the first one is your campaigns. So you’re going to have some campaigns within your account, and those are usually around general themes. Usually, the way I like to determine how to structure my campaigns is by budget because you’re going to set a budget for each campaign, and that makes it easier to spread out your budget. Maybe you have certain areas of your account that you want to allocate a higher budget; for example, if you sell products, maybe you work at a bakery, and you sell cakes and cupcakes. You know that cakes are your higher seller, you might want a separate campaign – and separate budget – for your cakes, and then a smaller budget for your cupcake campaign.

Within your campaign, you’re going to have different ad groups. There’s no really best number of ad groups to have per campaign, but I like to keep them pretty, you know, a few ad groups, maybe five or six or so, depending on how large your account is and how much budget you have. The reason for that is because your campaign budget is going to be spread out through those ad groups.

The purpose of an ad group is to actually house your keywords. So within each ad group, you’re going to have a set of semantically related keywords, which then direct to your ads. So then your ad is also, of course, what appears on the search engine results page. And, with your ad, someone’s going to click on your ad and it will lead to the landing page. So those are the five components – your campaigns, your ad groups, your keywords, and then your ads, and then your landing pages. Of course, with your keywords you want to make sure that you’re using the right match types, negative keywords, and so on.

Once you have your account structure nailed down and you really understand the components, then you can decide on the exact strategy you want to use to structure your account, which is what I’m going to dive into next.

Four Strategies for Structuring Your AdWords Account

Alright, so now you’re probably wondering, “Well, how do I structure my account?” So let’s dive into the four strategies that I have found most successful with our clients here at WordStream. Of course, there’s more than four strategies, but these are really the most common ones, and the ones that usually work best.

So the first strategy is structuring your account based on the structure of your website. So this, of course, makes sense, right? Your website – hopefully – is structured really well, so you can take those sections from your website and then form your campaigns, ad groups and keywords around those structures, which will then direct to your relevant landing pages, making it pretty easy for yourself. So, for example, maybe you have a section of your site that’s really focused on content. Maybe it’s your blog section. You might want to have a campaign just focusing on promoting that content, and then different ad groups that are relevant to different content that you want to promote. Then of course you might have a section that’s a little bit more salesy, promoting some of your products. You might want to have different campaigns promoting those products.

The next strategy is structuring your account based on your products or services. So, an example that I like to use is a tennis store. So maybe you sell different tennis bags, different tennis racquets, tennis balls, things of that nature. So perhaps your tennis racquets are your highest seller. In that case, you want to have a campaign just for your tennis racquets. Then, within that campaign, you’ll have a set of ad groups focusing on different models or different brands, maybe female tennis racquets versus male tennis racquets. So getting really granular with it and having those semantically related keywords for female tennis racquets in an ad group, directing to a relevant ad.

Then, you could structure your account based on location. So typically businesses within the travel industry or perhaps that have local storefronts – maybe law offices across a certain state – would want to structure their account based on location. This is really easy because you can actually set your campaigns to target specific locations. So maybe if you’re a hotel business, you’d want to have different campaigns for your different hotels in Arizona, Texas, and Montana, for example.

Lastly, you might want to structure your campaigns based on sales cycles. Usually I see this with B2B companies who have longer sales cycles. So perhaps you have a campaign targeting top of the funnel keywords, which then direct to maybe a content offering or a white paper. You’d probably want to target keywords that are more informative; questions that people are asking, who maybe don’t really know they need your service yet. Then you might want to have a campaign targeting those bottom of the funnel “money” keywords. And, of course, you’d want to have a higher budget because that’s where the money’s coming from.

Thank you guys so much for coming today! If you have any additional questions or comments, leave those below and I’ll get back to you. You can also tweet directly at me @ChappyMargot, or tweet at the WordStream handle @WordStream. And lastly, please click the button below to subscribe and keep getting these videos!

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Meet The Author

Margot Whitney

Margot is a content marketing specialist at WordStream and nutrition graduate student at Framingham State. She loves all things digital, learning about nutrition, running, traveling, and cooking.

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