3 Keys to Optimizing Your PPC Campaign Structure

Campaign structure remains woefully undervalued. When you have the right campaign structure, Google will reward you with a better quality score. You’ll also be rewarded through improved downstream results.

Campaign structure optimization is critical. Let’s look at the three main areas you should focus on when creating the structure of your account.

Improve Your Relevancy

Search engines want to see tightly themed ad groups. This means that your keywords are all related, and they match your ad copy and landing page messages.

For example, if you’re selling motor oil, you would want to keep all your auto branded keywords in unique ad groups so you can write copy that aligns to that auto brand. The example below shows how the existing structure of an account might be re-mapped into tighter campaign structure.


What is the right number of keywords per ad group? Well, the number of keywords isn’t the correct metric to monitor.

Below is some performance data from retail clients that shows there isn’t a correlation between the number of keywords in an ad group to CTR, or quality score.


Focus on the downstream metrics, and how your structure can be improved from a customer experience standpoint versus the size of the ad group.

With SEO, if you write for the user, the rest will take care of itself. Here, if you build your campaign structure to be the most relevant to the user, the results will come.

Better Budget Control

One of the biggest reasons to create a new campaign is budget control. Since this is a campaign level control, you should leverage a new campaign when there is a specific budget control item to be addressed.

You need to be aware of a keyword’s percent of total spend per campaign. If any one keyword is eating up too much budget, and not allowing better performing keywords to get visibility, then that keyword should get its own group.

In some cases, consider giving a campaign to just one specific keyword if you want to be able to control the budget allocated to that keyword.

Alter Your Advanced Targeting Options

The last main theme that drives new campaigns is the ability to set advanced targeting options. These include mobile, geo, and day-parting targeting options.

All campaigns should be separated to uniquely target mobile and tablet campaigns differently than desktop. Another example might be targeting keywords to specific region. Maybe you only want to target your “swimsuit” keywords to Florida during the winter versus Minnesota.

When considering what campaigns to be set up, or when to break them out, try to think about what levers you’ll be able to use to optimize your campaigns, and how you can better take advantage of the data you get.

For example, impression share is a metric that allows you to better understand the opportunity for a given keyword set. If you want to better measure the opportunity of a unique keyword set, you might create a new ad group, or campaign so Google will provide the data back for just that keyword set.


Campaign structure should be living and breathing during the course of a campaign. You’ll never have it exactly right, and there is always room for improvement. Just consider how your business goals – and users – will be impacted with any campaign structure changes you make, and you’ll find yourself in a positive situation.

Related reading

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