Have you ever adopted a Google Adwords account from another paid search practitioner and realized just how messy and complicated things are? Google will tell you it’s easy to manage/optimize if you follow their best practices, but as you start down the path of reviewing historical campaigns and ads, it becomes clear there are many different approaches to managing and optimizing a paid search program.
Restructuring an Adwords account is one of the best ways to fix common mistakes and unearth the golden nuggets that will drive performance forward. I’ve heard people say, “There is not much else to optimize,” or, “We’ve hit a performance plateau.” First of all, that is not possible. You can ALWAYS optimize and improve performance. In most cases, a restructure is the first step.
An account restructure is a process by which you reorganize how your campaigns, adgroups, and keywords are set up. It means wiping out your current settings and rethinking your entire strategy. It also means reviewing the historical performance at the most granular level possible and then building out a new foundation.
Or better yet, why not just set up some small tests or make changes to a limited portion of the account to prove the optimizations? Well, the restructure is the optimization and it’s all or nothing.
Restructuring allows you to:
In general, if you look under the hood of any given Adwords account, you will see the same ad copy in every ad group, driving people to the same landing page, which has one call to action. What is the point of splitting out your keywords into different campaigns if every single query is going to result in the same user experience?
Your bounce rate is high, and your conversion rate is low. It’s time to organize your keywords by searcher intent and create new ads that speak to those queries. Rethink your landing page experience and stop shoving your conversion CTA down people’s throats.
Pull a search query report and regroup your keywords by search intent. For example, you can quickly identify keyword themes around “get directions,” “buy now,” or “how to.” For the navigational searches, you want to put these together in a campaign with messaging around “find a store near you,” and provide a landing page experience with a store locator feature. For the purchase searches, your messaging should be purchase driven with a shopping landing page experience. Lastly, for informational searches, provide users with information and use your ad copy to give them a tease of what information you have, like a whitepaper download or blog post.
Possible results include a lower bounce rate, higher Google quality score, lower CPCs, and improved conversion rates.
Another common mistake that a restructure can solve is out-of-control spending. You probably don’t even realize your spending is out of control, but if all of your highest performing keywords are in the same campaigns as your lowest performing keywords, you do not have control of what keywords get your daily budget.
Don’t be afraid of increasing the number of campaigns you have—split them up and reallocate your budget. In fact, if you analyze your keyword performance and find that five keywords are driving the majority of your conversions, create one campaign per keyword, so that you can increase the daily spend for each keyword.
Budget management is actually the fastest way to improve your overall performance—don’t let Google decide how to spend your money.
Now that you’ve reorganized your keywords into new campaigns and you’ve improved your budget allocation, start optimizing at the campaign settings level.
Remember to reset all of your campaign settings upon launching the restructure. Nothing you did in the past will perform the same now that you’ve refreshed your strategy. Give your new structure two weeks to start collecting data and then take a look at all of your settings one by one, campaign by campaign, to find areas of opportunity.
One great place to start is your ad schedule. Create a custom ad schedule for every day of the week so that you can modify your bids by day. For example, if you notice that your navigational campaigns perform better on the weekends, increase your bids by 15% so that your ads show up more often and in a high ad position. This will increase performance. Alternatively, dial down your bids on Fridays, if you realize that conversion rates are lower on that day. This will save you money.
In summary, restructuring your Adwords account can be a beast of a project, but it is well worth it in the long run. You will see an increase in performance and become the hero of your organization. Be patience and allow the new campaigns to ramp up in spend and regain ad position.
If this whole process feels overwhelming to you, leave it to the experts at PACIFIC to handle.