PPC Chat Streamcap – Pay Per Click Account Structure

Hello again PPCChatters!

We have now successfully completed our 3rd PPCChat thanks to our host Matt Umbro who, once again, brought together some incredibly insightful pay per click professionals to participate. This week’s PPCChat theme was “Pay Per Click Account Structure” and the following is the Streamcap from the live event.

Q1: Search intent is a major factor of any campaign. How finely do you break out campaigns and ad groups?

  • Depends on industry and nature/QS of keywords; low QS keywords get their own ad groups, same with different campaign geos. – Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)
    • Agree about geos and segmenting specific keywords to work on QS. – John Lee
  • Very finely. We’ve been been as granular as 1 keyword (and plurals) per ad group. Really helps with ad writing and ctr. – John Lee (@John_A_Lee)
    • Don’t disagree w/ 1 keyword ad groups but how does that affect your optimization tasks like neg keywords, bid mgmt, etc? Much more time consuming I’m assuming? – Andy Groller
      • Bid mgmnt not a problem thanks to @Acquisio. Optimization hasn’t been an issue. In some cases time has been a concern, but acct performance has offset nicely. – John Lee
        • Figured, but was curious nonetheless. – Andy Groller
    • Good question. What do you do for ad writing? – Luke Alley (@lukealley)
      • When possible, template ad w/ keyword heavy headline. Not always possible, so ad writing can take a while. – John Lee
  • Separate campaigns for mobile and location I do get quite granular with my ad groups. – Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh)
  • Can help determine landing page as well, ie: if visitor is searching for whitepaper vs. demo. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Question also goes back to goals of campaign. Need to make sure structure is working to bring you quality, lead generating traffic. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends on budget, but as finely as possible and still generate impressions… AKA No Low Search Volume filters. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)

Q1 Summary: It seemed that most PPCChatters felt that breaking down an account to a fine and granular level would be preferred way to build a pay per click campaign.

Q2: How much of a factor is budget in determining account structure?

  • I’ve found with less budget fewer individual campaigns work better in order to show ads more throughout the day. – Matt Umbro
  • Both questions are related. Smaller budget = generally fewer break-outs. More volume = more ad groups. – Jeremy J Brown (@JBGuru)
    • Glad others see this the same as I do. – James Svoboda
      • Absolutely! – Andy Groller
      • One caveat. Some larger advertisers will be on high-volume head terms. You can have 1 word ad groups with high volume. – Jeremy J Brown
        • More campaigns as well that can better utilize ad extensions (precursor to Q3). – Matt Umbro
        • I’ve been doing this more lately from launch. – James Svoboda
    • But with smaller budget would you not want to maximize cpc/ctr/QS within that smaller budget w/ optimization? – John Lee
      • Of course, but there are resource considerations if you have ad groups with 10 impressions per month. – Jeremy J Brown
        • Agreed. Guess I’m coming from pov that keywords targeted are of reasonable volume. – John Lee
      • Absolutely, but with more budget you can do more, kind of like haves vs. have nots in baseball. – Matt Umbro
  • Only when product/service segment has unique budget does budget influence campaign structure. – John Lee
    • Good point. – James Svoboda
    • Fundamentals will always still apply, but greater budget allows more testing. – Matt Umbro
      • Does mo money mo problems apply here? Just kidding… – John Lee
  • If you have a huge KW list and small budget, you can’t get enough data to make good decisions. – Luke Alley
    • Which goes back to the question of search intent and which KW’s you really need. – Matt Umbro
  • One consideration we’re not mentioning is TIME. At an agency you may not have endless hours to optimize every account. Its limited. You may want to split out every keyword into its own adgroup, but when you’re getting more accts. piled on, hard to do that. – Luke Alley
    • Definitely a variable to consider. – Matt Umbro
    • But if you build granular from the start, it isn’t that big of a deal. If you inherit an account – rebuild.. – John Lee
      • Great point. I could do that better for sure. You just base that off expected KW volume? – Luke Alley
        • Or historical data if you have it! – John Lee
  • I try to keep my budgets open of best kws, then restricted budgets or dayparts on iffy’s or test kws. Takes time to architect. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
    • Yes. Dayparting is a big consideration for sm budgets. – James Svoboda

Q2 Summary: It seems that budget has a large role to play in how many ad groups will/can be built for a campaign and in what sort of time frame may be needed to build a campaign out to a preferred granular level.

Q3: Especially in ecommerce campaigns, how do ad extensions play into account structure?

  • I’ll actually create 1 – 2 ad group campaigns in order to utilize sitelinks. – Matt Umbro
    • Sitelinks are very important. Bigger impact on brand campaigns (higher % of total clicks). – Jeremy J Brown
      • I also use in general campaigns, ie: visitor types in “men’s clothing,” can show sitelinks for sweatshirts, pants, etc – Matt Umbro
  • Product listings and product extensions absolutely drive granularity. Also your control over feed variables play into it too. – John Lee
  • As mentioned earlier separate campaign for location / mobile to exploit phone / location extns having big success with them. – Andrew Baker
  • I think Google will eventually allow sitelinks at the ad group level – or even the ad level. – David Szetela (@Szetela)
    • I hope so, been pining for this enhancement for a couple of years – Matt Umbro
    • I hope so it’s a real pain / time consuming creating separate campaigns for extns – it makes sense for ad groups – Andrew Baker
  • Also use separate campaigns to target specific Goog Places (location extensions) to push specific promos / locations. – Andrew Baker
  • Extensions play much larger role in ecommerce accts; sitelinks depend on size of client site too (30 page site vs 5 page site) – Andy Groller
  • Sitelinks are important for my ecommerce campaigns for sending visitors to deeper sub-categories. Less clicks! – James Svoboda
  • General website structure sitelinks seem to work better then product specific links. – Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)
  • I wish they showed data for each link in Sitelinks, not just as a whole. – James Svoboda
    • Amen. And conversion data. – Luke Alley
  • Hard to target user intent with sitelinks at the campaign only level. – Dennis Petretti

Q3 Summary: PPC Ad Extensions are playing a large part all types of campaigns including general/standard, ecommerce, mobile and local.

Q4: What differences & tactics do u employ when creating mobile specific campaigns (aside from creating a device specific campaign)?

  • Several different kinds of mobile campaigns. Call metrics: say “call” as call to action. Ditto click to call – say “click to call”. Geotargeting often improves CTR and CVR – especially when location is specified in ad. – David Szetela
    • If client doesn’t have a mobile website I use “call” as the call to action in the ad with no clickable headline link. ie: “Call us for a quote” with the phone number below that the user can tap to call – Matt Umbro
  • Depends if client has mobile website, if not go with click-to-call, target short KW phrases, target evening TV mobile searching. – Andrew Baker
    • Agree that long tail kws not as effective on mobile. – John Lee
  • I scrutinize geo-targeting more for mobile as well as landing pages for non iPad/tablet devices. – James Svoboda
    • Agreed – tablet users act more like PC browser users – we always exclude from mobile campaigns. – David Szetela
  • Apparently I’m uninformed here… But what qualifies as a “mobile website”? – Luke Alley
    • I define “mobile website” as a website that is that’s optimized for a mobile device. – Matt Umbro
    • Easy to navigate and importantly convert on your mobile device. – Andrew Baker
  • Mobile only shows a few ads (limited screen space) so adjust bids accordingly. – Jeremy J Brown
    • Good point re: few ads. Good reason to pump QS. – David Szetela
  • Call metrics are good with Furniture, Commercial Storage, Custom Party Supplies, & B2B Tech Services. – Chris Kostecki
    • Had 1 client stop since it was 1 digit off from a major national brand and got all of their calls. – Chris Kostecki
      • Ouch! – James Svoboda

Q4 Summary: Different tactics, targeting and considerations for mobile campaigns are whether the client has a mobile website and/or phone number to call, utilizing fewer long-tail keywords, and giving strong consideration to location targeting.

Quick poll, how many #PPCers here have call metrics in any of their accounts?

  • James Svoboda, Andy Groller, John Lee, David Szetela, Jeremy J Brown, Luke Alley, and Chris Kostecki all have Call Metrics.
  • I have 1 client with call metrics, no surprise that many of the average CPC’s in this account are over $20. – Matt Umbro
  • Just looking at setting up call metrics, but it’s not in place yet. – Dennis Petretti
    • Potential to be great feature, just have to get technical items straightened out and clients need to be attentive to calls – Matt Umbro

Q5: Do you actively monitor the Dimensions tab and if so how does it help you make decisions?

  • Absolutely! Impression share stats by hour of day is 1 of favorite dimensions. – Andy Groller
  • Not as much since we have an outside reporting tool, but good for certain stats and historical analysis. – Jeremy J Brown
  • Dimensions tab is a great resource for reports. Segmenting by day, week,etc is helpful. – John Lee
  • Dimensions tab includes at least a monthly or bi weekly stop for most competitive accounts. – Chris Kostecki
    • Agreed. It merits checking in for any account! – John Lee
  • Definitely for impression share also handy for conversion tracking. – Andrew Baker
  • Dimensions tab is a good replacement for certain reports that were taken away when reporting tab was retired. – Matt Umbro
    • But you can still pull the old reports through an MCC! – John Lee
      • This new reporting saves us clicks, don’t we tell clients the less clicks the better. – Matt Umbro
      • Ugh. I still use MCC report center too. Scheduled reports. Two clicks. – Lisa Sanner
  • Too be honest I kind of like the new reporting structure in AdWords. – Matt Umbro

Q5 Summary: PPCChatters love their reports and find the Dimensions tab can be very useful.

Q6: Have you made use of the new AdWords advanced location options? If so, how have the results been?

  • Discussed it with clients, but have not launched any camps yet. – Chris Kostecki
  • Love new location options since we have a fair amount of localized clients; removes query parsing and improves conversions. – Andy Groller
  • I specialize in Local Search I’m delighted with new options, saves setting up separate campaigns geo & loc-mod KW thumbs up. – Andrew Baker
  • Running a couple for the new “Targeting method” option to control keywords in/out of query. Too early to tell yet. – James Svoboda
  • I must admit I didn’t trust advanced options until I did testing myself but it all works as it should great feature. – Andrew Baker
    • One of those items where you wonder why it took so long to implement. – Matt Umbro
      • Completely agree such a simple addition makes life so much easier. – Andrew Baker
  • The “Exclusion method” for excluding by physical location is tricky. Will only adopt for select campaigns. – James Svoboda

Q6 Summary: AdWords advanced location options are relatively new, but sentiment is that they are a great feature that was long overdue.

Pay Per Click Tip(s) of the Week

This week’s Clever and Insightful PPC tips come to us from Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh) of SEO Edinburgh & Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) our host. Both of whom had advice on how to use Click to Call and targeting Mobile users depending on whether or not the client has a mobile site to send the traffic to.

Depends if client has mobile website, if not go with click-to-call… – Andrew Baker

If client doesn’t have a mobile website I use “call” as the call to action in the ad with no clickable headline link. ie: “Call us for a quote” with the phone number below that the user can tap to call – Matt Umbro

In essence, both are saying that you do not need to have a website to run a mobile PPC campaign, as long as you have a phone number that the mobile searcher can call. For more information on this and other Google Mobile PPC topics, visit the Official Google Inside AdWords blog and read their “Go Mobile Series” of posts.

PPCChat #3 (Account Structure) Participants

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Twitter.

About the Author

This is a guest post by James Svoboda, pay per click proponent, managing partner at Portland based WebRanking, Sphinn Editor, SEM content hound, Tweeter @Realicity, and Co-Founder of MnSEM – the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association.

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One Response to PPC Chat Streamcap – Pay Per Click Account Structure

  1. Lisa Sanner says:

    Thanks for posting this recap. Loved the conversation and subject. I was on/offline throughout. Life interrupted. Wish I could have stuck through the whole chat.

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