PPC Tuesday – PPC Account and Site Architecture

By Matthew


Today, I will be discussing how your PPC account structure can be setup according to your website’s architecture. I’ll also discuss when it makes sense to adjust your PPC and/or website architecture.

A solid PPC account structure should contain individual campaigns targeting a specific theme. Each campaign should have several ad groups within them targeting a subset of the overarching campaign theme. Each ad group should then have variations of the targeted keywords. Therefore, when a particular query triggers an ad, the targeted keyword from that ad group will be present and bolded for relevance.

In the image above we see the site’s main navigation bar which includes categories for “Men’s Shoes,” “Women’s Shoes,” “Kid’s Shoes,” and “Apparel.” These categories become the basis for our individual campaigns within our PPC account. With our new “Men’s Shoes” campaign we need to create themed ad groups. When we view the drop down menu on the site we see the various categories that “Men’s Shoes” are broken into. Thus, “Men’s Baseball Cleats,” “Men’s Basketball Shoes” and so forth become our ad groups. In each ad group we then implement our targeted keywords. The “Men’s Baseball Cleats” ad group contains the keywords:

Men’s baseball cleats
Baseball cleats for men
Men’s baseball cleats for sale

We can then write very specific text ads so a search for “men’s baseball cleats” will yield an ad directly speaking to “men’s baseball cleats” where the landing page goes to the “men’s baseball cleats” page.

Now what happens when you want to break up campaigns and/or ad groups even further based on the data you see? Using our “Men’s Baseball Cleats” example let’s say we are seeing a fair amount of searches for both “blue men’s baseball cleats” and “black men’s baseball cleats.” The landing page we are using contains all cleats, but the different color cleats are spread out throughout the page. In other words, visitors have to scroll to the bottom to see the complete selection rather than see the products matching their desired queries above the fold (or at least mostly above the fold). What do we do to better target our ads and help improve conversion rates?

The answer is two-fold. First off, let’s break the “Men’s Baseball Cleats” ad group into 3 separate ad groups. The “Men’s Baseball Cleats” ad groups remains as is while we implement new ad groups for “Blue Men’s Baseball Cleats” and “Black Men’s Baseball Cleats.” These new ad groups will then contain color specific keywords and ads. For example, a search for “blue men’s baseball cleats” will now show an ad speaking directly to “blue men’s baseball cleats.” If someone searches for just “men’s baseball cleats” we are still covered by the general ad group. Within this general ad group we’ll also want to add “blue” and “black” as negative phrase match types so we insure all queries trigger the right ads.

You might then ask, what about the landing pages? A very good question indeed as we now have three ad groups around three different themes, but only one landing page. Now we can continue to use the general “men’s baseball cleats” landing page as it does have our targeted keywords, but ideally we want very specific pages. Thus, if you do have access to a developer or can easily make updates to your site, it makes sense to create two new landing pages. One page showing only “blue men’s baseball cleats” while the other page showing just “black men’s baseball cleats.” These pages do not have to be a part of the site navigation as you can choose to have them accessible only through PPC ads. Depending on performance they can later be added into the site navigation if desired.

It is important that PPC and site architecture work together to make your account profitable. PPC success isn’t solely determined by the number of optimizations made in an account, but also landing page updates and additions that can be made to improve the conversion process.

*image from blog.preation.com