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Mastering Order Amidst Change: Crafting An Effective PPC Ad Campaign Structure

I was the moderator for a panel at SMX Advanced that focused on the structure of PPC Agency ad campaigns.

During this panel discussion, I had an incredibly informative conversation with two industry experts: Andrea Cruz, who holds the position of Director of Client Strategy at Tinuiti, Greg Kohler, the Digital Marketing Manager at ServiceMaster Brands, and PPC Beast, a renowned PPC specialist.

Here are the main highlights we went through during the session:

 

 

Is Performance Max the Sole Solution for Campaign Structure?

It’s worth noting that Performance Max is mainly aimed at e-commerce and may not work as effectively for B2B or lead generation campaigns due to a lack of precise control and segmentation. According to Kohler’s experience, Performance Max wasn’t successful in their campaigns.

On the other hand, Cruz believes that for B2B lead gen, utilizing Performance Max may generate impressive volume results, but there can be issues with the quality of leads. However, Performance Max can benefit marketers seeking new audiences in the e-commerce industry.

Based on my observations, Performance Max must provide the necessary tools for B2B advertisers to achieve their lead generation goals.

 

 

What Impact Will AI Have on Campaign Structure?

According to Cruz, AI won’t directly influence the structure of online marketing campaigns managed through Google Ads Manager. However, it can be a valuable tool for small or inexperienced advertisers needing more extensive online marketing knowledge. AI can help ensure that all necessary settings are properly covered, acting as a checklist.

Kohler also believes AI will benefit new advertisers and business owners who want to launch a campaign swiftly. AI can assist by guiding the campaign-building process, especially for those working with a PPC agency.

Using only AI for advertising can have drawbacks with potential risks. For instance, AI might promote the selection of display and search partners and target mobile apps to increase impressions. However, new advertisers must understand that adopting such strategies immediately may only be recommended if consulting a PPC (pay-per-click) agency.

Mike Ryan raises this concern in his LinkedIn post. While AI can be a fast learner, it is essential to review still and verify its work.

 

 

Are Keywords Becoming Less Relevant?

While keywords and match types were once the dominant force behind digital advertising, the rise of pay-per-click advertising has changed the game. PPC allows for precision targeting of specific audiences based on interests, demographics, and online behavior. It also offers cost control, measurable results, and flexibility in ad customization. While keywords and match types still play a role in PPC Agency advertising, optimizing ad campaigns for specific audiences has become the priority. By combining the power of PPC and keywords/match types, campaign organizations can enhance their digital advertising efforts and compete effectively in today’s landscape.

According to Cruz, following Google’s best practice of aligning campaign structure with website architecture is beneficial. This means focusing on categories, products, or the specific problems a B2B campaign aims to solve.

On the other hand, Kohler highlights that with the disappearance of single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) and ultra-segmentation, it’s crucial to consider the destination of ad traffic and maintain a cohesive theme within ad groups.

With the introduction of Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), gathering as much data as possible for each headline is essential. This may involve consolidating ad groups to obtain more data, enabling Google to optimize effectively. Having 200 ad groups for a single theme is no longer necessary.

I also brought up the point that it’s all about providing data to the machine. Highly granular ad groups may need more data for the machine to learn and optimize effectively.

 

 

What About Match Types?

When discussing match types, Kohler expresses hope that the existing match types will be allowed. He believes that advertisers strategically use match types and suggests that the phrase match type may be the one that could disappear.

Kohler explains that exact and broad matches still hold value, especially when combined with smart bidding. Broad match helps capture searches from individuals looking for something specific. However, he doesn’t think match types will go away.

Returning to whether keywords are becoming obsolete, there is a consensus that it would be a significant mistake on Google’s part if they were to move away from keywords. Keywords are powerful because they allow advertisers to bid on users actively looking for their specific services or products.

The intent provided by keywords is one of the main reasons advertisers invest substantial amounts of money in advertising on Google. If this aspect were to disappear, it would blur the distinction between Google and other advertising platforms.

Eliminating keywords would transform search into paid social advertising. It would diminish the importance of intent, which is one of the key selling points of search advertising.

However, Cruz holds a different perspective. She believes match types will disappear, whether we like it or not. Historical trends indicate that the distinction between match types has become increasingly blurred.

Cruz points out that none of the new ad formats and features introduced by Google are keyword-based. Examples include Performance Max and Dynamic Search Ads. Despite the significance of keywords in conveying intent, Cruz still envisions a future without them. She anticipated this change might happen during Google Marketing Live but acknowledges that it has yet to occur.

Additionally, Cruz recalls an issue she encountered early in her career: the “milk chocolate” and “chocolate milk” problem. It highlights the challenge of making algorithms understand subtle differences in language.

Furthermore, she suggests that keywords could be replaced with signals, as privacy concerns have prompted Google to exercise caution.

 

 

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs): Are You Utilizing Them?

DSAs have been tested and found to be effective by Cruz for some of her clients. DSAs allow for data mining, discovering search queries that may have been missed, and gaining insight into Google’s interpretation of landing pages.

On the other hand, Kohler doesn’t currently use DSAs often but recommends using them to identify specific search queries, which can be used later to build campaigns.

Kohler further highlights a shift towards using signals instead of keywords in the local service industry. Local service ads rely heavily on signals, such as choosing the vertical, location, and budget, while Google handles the rest. In this scenario, advertisers are not permitted to pick keywords or negatives.

As the industry trends indicate a shift away from traditional keyword usage, the question arises about Google’s approach in the future. Will Google move away from keywords or continue allowing advertisers to bid on them?

 

 

Approach to Campaign Organization for Local Services

When organizing campaigns for local services, Kohler suggests adopting a simple and condensed approach. They avoid breaking things down too extensively.

Instead of narrowing down and targeting specific users, it is recommended to keep the targeting more open initially. This allows for a better understanding of how the campaign performs and allows for adjustments based on actual data.

Kohler advises examining demographics and geographies and refining the targeting based on what proves effective. It’s important to avoid assuming that you know your perfect customer too precisely, as this can restrict impression volume and limit reach.

Additionally, it’s crucial to consider the accuracy of Google’s data in this context. Keeping the targeting open to users searching for your service within the correct local area is generally preferable.

It’s worth noting that many people tend to treat search like a broadcast channel. However, broadcast tactics are only somewhat effective for search advertising. It’s important to avoid placing unnecessary limits on your campaigns and instead focus on maximizing exposure to relevant local searchers.

 

 

B2B Campaign Organization: Important Nuances

In the realm of B2B campaign organization, there are crucial nuances to consider. According to Cruz, B2B advertisers can be categorized into two sub-segments based on their expenditure.

For advertisers with a monthly budget of less than $100,000, the challenge lies in driving a high volume of leads and ensuring comprehensive website coverage.

However, to achieve optimal results with your PPC campaigns, providing as many signals as possible is necessary. This can be challenging as it often leads to spreading resources too thin. Instead, focusing on areas with substantial volume and compelling content is advisable, especially when working with a PPC agency. By doing so, advertisers can prevent the inefficiency of numerous tiny campaigns with low daily budgets. Grouping spending and targeting audience intent can significantly enhance performance.

For larger advertisers investing over $200,000 per month, there exists an opportunity to experiment with new strategies. Broad match targeting can be employed in this scenario, as there is sufficient data to feed the algorithm.

In addition, leveraging first-party data is highly recommended. Advertisers can effectively enhance their campaign performance by communicating to Google that a specific person holds a significantly higher value than an ordinary lead. It is noteworthy that B2B advertising tends to be expensive due to intense competition for keywords among businesses vying to engage with major enterprises.

 

Prioritizing Privacy and First-Party Audiences in B2B Advertising

Google Marketing Live indicated upcoming improvements in data connections and first-party data integration. However, privacy and handling of first-party data remain critical concerns.

Cruz, a representative from a leading PPC agency, emphasizes the necessity of clients having a comprehensive understanding of privacy regulations and data management. She suggests that Google should take responsibility for vetting small businesses for compliance or consulting with attorneys regarding their best practices for privacy and compliance regulations. However, this proposition is unlikely to come to fruition.

On the other hand, Kohler, another expert in the field, is cautious about using first-party data for targeting and segmentation purposes. Google clearly states that privacy is an advertiser’s responsibility, and Kohler wants to see standard documentation from Google on privacy policy. This, too, may be unlikely, as it could expose Google to additional liability.

For B2B advertising, using first-party audiences can be a valuable approach, as it is often challenging to locate and engage B2B buyers. Nonetheless, privacy concerns and relinquishing customer data must be carefully considered.

 

 

The Role of Smart Bidding in Campaign Organization

Regarding campaign organization, there may be other factors besides smart bidding in Cruz’s approach. Instead, she prioritizes the campaign objective and identifies the most effective bid strategy, such as PPC Beast, to achieve those goals.

The key is to focus on the objectives and goals of the campaign first and then structure the campaigns accordingly, using tools like “PPC Beast.” In the context of digital marketing, advertisers can optimize their bidding strategy to maximize performance and results by aligning the campaign organization with the desired outcomes.

 

 

Practical Tips for Streamlining Campaign Management

Kohler stresses the importance of creating weekly and monthly to-do lists and adhering to them to streamline campaign management. Adopting a task manager, such as ClickUp, is recommended to ensure all tasks are completed.

Utilizing custom rules and actions in Google Ads Editor is another suggestion for automating campaign management. By identifying errors and establishing rules to avoid similar mistakes in the future, PPC agency, Google Ads Specialists and advertisers can save themselves time and resources.

In contrast, Cruz advises against Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) and instead suggests consolidating campaigns and ad groups based on themes. Differentiating early- and late-stage campaigns based on intent can be essential to successful campaign organization.

Additionally, Kohler suggests considering the position of campaigns in the buyer funnel and segmenting accordingly. This approach facilitates a focus on lower-funnel campaigns and optimizes budget allocation.

Based on the insights of PPC Beast, Cruz, and Kohler, optimizing task management, utilizing customized rules and actions in Google Ads Editor, consolidating campaigns, strategically locating campaigns within the buyer funnel, and assessing user intent are all crucial approaches for improving campaign management efficiency.

 

PPC Beast: Your Go-To PPC Agency Nearby

Book an appointment with PPC Beast, the top-rated digital marketing PPC (Pay-Per-Click) agency and explore how we can support you in initiating pay per click. Our team of Google Ads specialists, as a specialist PPC agency, is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and expand your business through efficient digital marketing strategies, using tools like Google Ads Manager. Let’s partner together to transform your dream of becoming an entrepreneur into a successful reality!

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