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Setting Up Your Google Ads Campaign Structure Is Actually Pretty Easy

Posted by Zach Chapman

setting up google ads campaign

Setting your Google Ads campaign structure isn't as complicated as it sounds. You start by picking a campaign type that works with your business's goals. Then you outline settings and a budget. From there, you'll determine your ad groups and assign keywords for each one.

With us so far?

If not, don't worry. We're going to break everything down. We'll start with types of Google Ads campaigns and a brief discussion about which one's right for your business.

Types of Google Ads Campaign Structures 

Before you start a Google Ads Campaign, you need to know your marketing goals and brand strategy. Depending on what those are, you'll be able to pick the right campaign type. 

Below is a list of the campaign types Google offers, along with a brief description of each one. 

  • Search Campaigns: Text-based ads on search results 
  • Display Campaigns: Image advertisements on websites
  • Video Campaigns: Advertisements on YouTube videos
  • Shopping Campaigns: Product listings on Google 
  • App Campaigns: For promoting your business's app
  • Local Campaigns: Restricted to a certain geographic area 
  • Smart Campaigns: Automated campaigns with seamless setup

If you own a local plumbing business, for example, you probably want to start a local campaign. However, if you're the happy owner of a bustling e-commerce site, a search campaign or shopping campaign might be the better option.

Critical Components

Once you have the type of campaign chosen, you're well on your way to building an ideal ad campaign structure. But before we get too far into things, let's define a few critical elements. Understanding these key terms and concepts will make building your ad campaign a breeze! 

  • Number of Campaigns: Businesses typically create separate ad campaigns for each marketing goal. Creating separate campaigns for each goal keeps things organized, but keep in mind, every campaign gets its own budget, keywords, and ad groups. 
  • Ad Groups: Each ad group within your campaign contains one or more ads with similar targets. You'll create a keywords list for each ad group.
  • Keywords: Keywords listed in your ad groups trigger your ads to appear on relevant pages. When someone types in a search term that matches your chosen keywords, your ad will appear. 
  • Negative Keywords: Negative keywords prevent your ads from showing up with specific search queries. For example, you may not want your ad for packaged granola bars to appear when searches include the terms "recipe" or "how to make."  
  • Ad Copy: This is the text that appears when your keywords trigger your ad. It needs to be compelling and action-oriented. 
  • Landing Page: When users click on your ads, where do they end up? Ensure your landing page can capture your goal, whether that be new subscribers, general website traffic, or sales. 

Structuring Your Account for Success

Now that you understand the basics, let's dig into the details. No two Google Ads campaign structures are exactly the same. However, there are tried-and-true strategies that work best in most situations. 

Ways to Structure Your Account 

The most popular way to structure your ads campaign is by mimicking your website's structure. However, if you have a chain of retail locations, structuring by geographic position is a better option. 

  • Mimic Your Website: You can match your ad campaign structure to the way your website is structured easily. Simply split up your ad campaigns or ad groups by the headings on your website menu. If your website doesn't map out your products or services in a logical way, taking the time to map things out will not only keep your business customer-friendly but also provides a logical structure to your ad campaign.

structuring google ads campaign like your website


  • By Location: Maybe you own a small chain of local restaurants or have a law firm with two offices; structuring your ad campaign by location might be a good idea if location targeting is vital to your business. 

Bid Strategy and Setting a Budget 

When you set a bid, you tell Google how much you're willing to pay if someone clicks on your ad. Since Google uses an ad auction to decide which ads will appear and when, setting an appropriate bid strategy and budget is vital to an effective ads campaign.

Determining your bid strategy is dependent on your goals. Do you want more clicks? Conversions? Impressions? Google offers Smart Bidding, CPC Bidding, and many other bidding strategies to fit your needs. 

Smart bidding is ideal if you're focusing on conversions (i.e. gaining sales or subscribers). CPC (cost-per-click) bidding is best if you want to generate more website traffic overall. If you don't have time to plan a bidding strategy manually, Google's automated bidding strategies also work well. 

Set a daily budget by looking at your overall marketing dollars. Decide how much you want to spend on your Google Ads campaign. Is it $10 per day? More? Google lets you set a daily budget you can change at any time. 

Determining Ad Groups and Keywords 

It's finally time to organize your campaigns and ad groups with keywords. As mentioned, you can group your campaign by targets, creating ad groups. Under each ad group is a list of keywords that will trigger your ads to run.

That means keyword research is critical. You can use Google's Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords and ad groups. The planner gives search volume for each keyword you type in, so you can ensure you're targeting keywords that have actual traffic behind them.

When choosing keywords, you can also set keyword match types. All that means is that you can determine how exact the search term needs to be to trigger your ad.

A broad match setting means your ad could show on any related keywords. For example, if your keyword is strawberry, your ad may also run for the search term berries. Alternatively, an exact match setting means your ad will only show when the user's search query matches your keyword exactly.

In general, you want to avoid using branded keywords in your ad groups. Those are keywords that include your company name. That's not to say branded keywords aren't valuable. You can use them to find your competition and to learn how your audience perceives your brand, but you probably don't want to run ads on them.

Final Thoughts

Once you have your Google Ads Campaign Structure set, it's a matter of tracking and revising your strategy. You can use Google Analytics to track your ad campaign's success. You can also utilize Google's ad quality score to see how you compare to your competition.

No campaign is perfect from the start; make changes and adjustments until you reach your marketing goals. Remember, your Google Ads campaign structure is changeable, and you don't have to settle on one particular way until you've found what works for your business.

If you want better results with your Google Ads, set up your free ads review today!

Set Up My Free Ads Review

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