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How to Structure Your Google Ads & PPC Campaigns

When you really get going with Google Ads and PPC search campaigns, things can get a little complex. Building a campaign structure keeps everything straight and allows you to create a more effective overall plan with your campaigns. How you structure ad campaigns is important because it provides the backbone of your strategy.

This post will dive into how you can set up an effective Google Ads and PPC campaign structure.

Benefits of a Google Ads & PPC Campaign Structure

So, what is an ad campaign structure? Your account structure will map the setup of campaigns, ad groups, defined keywords, ads and landing pages. This structure will help you define your goals and set clear parameters for each ad. The number of ads you need depends on how many products or services you are advertising, how segmented your groups are, which locations you want to target and which platforms you are going to be advertising on.

When set up correctly, the structure is going to help you create a stronger digital ad strategy. An effective campaign structure:

  • Improves campaign organization
  • Leads to a higher quality score
  • Keeps campaigns relevant to a search
  • Defines direction for an efficient budget
  • Provides direction for creating ad copy
  • Clarifies analytics reports for strategy

How to Structure Your Google Ads & PPC Campaigns

The more defined you make your structure, the more impact each ad can have on the target audience. The campaign structure is going to help clarify your efforts and hone in on a very specific goal aimed at a very specific group. This helps you create a number of ads that are designed to cover different areas in your advertising strategy.

Choose Your Google Ads & PPC Budget

Setting a budget can be difficult when you are first starting out. Most companies start small to test out the process before launching into robust campaigns. This process can make it difficult to see effective and consistent results because it is a little hit-or-miss. On the other hand, you don’t want to blow your entire budget on campaigns that fall flat.

Choose Goals

Start by clarifying your overall objective. This might include goals like lead generation, cost per acquisition (CPA), increasing brand awareness, email opt-ins or boosting conversions.

Research Keywords

You will want to start defining keywords by considering what your audience is searching for. You can do some preliminary keyword research just using the Google search bar. Try combinations that include location, commercial keywords (“discount,” “buy now,” “sale,” “compare”) and search phrases (“best tips for,” “how to”). Make a list of the topics you’d like to rank for, creating basic categories that the more targeted keywords will fall under. These generic keywords are probably going to be very hard to rank for and pretty pricey, but they will help you with the next step.

Use Keyword Planner

With the Google Keyword Planner tool, you will be able to see related relevant keywords, the search volume, the cost per click (CPC), the competition value and the page bidding prices. Knowing the cost of your target keywords is crucial to setting an accurate budget for PPC campaigns. Use those category keywords you established to help you choose related keywords to use for your ads. Ideally, you will find relevant keywords that are low cost with high search volume. This often occurs with very targeted keywords.

Determine Keyword Budget

To set your budget, you will have to define how much the keyword is going to cost for every click (CPC), your website’s conversion rate and the average lifetime value (LTV) of your customer. The website conversion rate will tell you how much traffic you need to generate to get a customer. Multiply your conversion rate by the cost per click, and you will find out the cost per acquisition (CPA). This number needs to be significantly lower than the lifetime value (LTV) of the customer in order to make fiscal sense.

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Structure of Google Ads PPC Campaigns

Now that you have an idea of which keywords are feasible for your initial campaigns, you can start to establish your structure. However, you set up your structure, make sure your names stay consistent throughout the structure for clarity.


This is the first series of overarching groups. It might be defined by product type, location, audience and more. This is the largest umbrella categories that ad groups will fall under. If you have products for women and different products for men, for example, you might have “Men” and “Women” be the overarching campaigns. Or, if you offer two product types—say, software and managed services—then you will make those the campaigns, while the specific products are further defined underneath.

Ad Groups

Establish exactly which products or services you are going to be advertising underneath the campaigns. If a company had “Managed Services” as a campaign, they might have “IT Services” and “Tech Security” as the campaigns. This helps you clarify which keywords are going to fall under specific ad groups.


Build a list of the relevant and cost-effective keywords, choosing the best ones for each ad group.

Negative Keywords

Select the exclusion keywords that you want to use to help better target the right leads. This will block traffic you don’t want and help get traffic to the right place.

Ad Test

Your first round of ads for each ad group and keywords is a test to see if you have a good grasp of your target audience. Before you even run your ads, you might want to vet your concepts with a sample audience. Or you could run an ad split test (A/B testing) to see which one does better at getting traffic to the landing page. The goal is to strategically test out your theories before spending most of your budget.

Landing Pages

You should have pages that are specifically designed to nurture the leads from every individual ad. The messaging should align with the ad the visitor clicked on, since that messaging was something that resonated with them. The landing page should follow the campaign objective and work toward a call to action (CTA). Sometimes, it is better to walk your visitors through a buyer’s journey because they aren’t ready for conversion. So, not all landing pages are going to push straight to sales. Your landing page might ask for contact information, offer something of value (like an e-book) or move them to a page that helps them continue to the next stage in their buyer journey.

Best Google Ads PPC Structure

There are some key focuses you might want to consider when building your structure.

  • Website Structure: You can use landing pages you already have in place to be more cost-effective with your initial ads. Write your ad copy to align with the landing page and fit under the specific ad group.
  • Products/Services: Your products might be defined by brand names, sizes, cost and more. These differences could all be used to help specifically target a certain audience group.
  • Location: Of course, locations can help create targeted keywords that are more cost effective because the competition isn’t as high. You will likely have landing pages for each location to help improve targeting, so you might be able to use the landing pages that are already in place. Breaking your ads into areas can also be helpful for defining separate budgets for each location.
  • Time: Seasonal- or holiday-based advertising will shift throughout the year. You might also have company-specific events to celebrate or product launches to advertise. Consider how this will impact your ad copy and keywords.

Leverage Ad Extensions

You can include ad extensions to increase specific interactions that will benefit your campaign. This will make your ad more appealing and give your ad more space on the search page. You might use the extensions to include location details, provide specific page navigation options and much more. Some of the most common ad extensions include:

  • Sitelinks Extensions
  • Call-out Extensions
  • Call Extensions
  • Message Extensions
  • Structured Snippet Extension
  • Location Extension
  • Promotion Extension
  • App Extension

Some of these can even be helpful for increasing impact for clickless searches (or zero-click searches). If a search user wants to find local services you offer, having location extensions on your ad might help them immediately identify your company as a nearby option.

Creating the Perfect Google PPC Ad

A lot of small details will impact your ad performance. This is why A/B testing is often used by marketers to determine which details are going to change the appeal factor for your audience. The perfect PPC ad is going to target qualified leads and have a high click-thru rate (CTR).

In order to create a successful ad:

  • Define your target audience
  • Choose right keywords
  • Stay within character limits
  • Focus on relevancy
  • Leverage the right extensions
  • Direct to a relevant landing page

Building an Effective Ad Strategy

From creating the structure to writing your ads, there is a lot to learn about creating an effective strategy for PPC and Google Ads. Marcel Digital can help you get results with customized ad campaigns, rigorous A/B testing and continuous strategy optimization.

Our marketing clients experienced a 78% increase in conversions on average in 2019.

As a Google Premier Partner, we are in the top 3% of all Google Partners worldwide. We handle your paid media in-house, offering you transparency throughout the process. If you are ready to clarify your advertising, contact us today.

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About the author

Morgan Oakes

Morgan is the Paid Media Director at Marcel Digital, specializing in creative ways to provide solutions in paid advertising platforms for all types of goals.

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