PPC Structure Options – PPC Tuesday

By Kevin


As specialists in PPC, often when we take on new clients we come across 3 prototypical campaign structures – obviously with varying degrees there within. We define the first as the bundle: this is typically when we are taking over the account from an owner, somebody who is new to PPC – or if they were using an account management team that themselves were new to PPC or do not specialize in e-commerce Pay-Per-Click. The bundle’s defining characteristic is having no more than one campaign in the entire PPC account. Essentially, every product, category, brand and marketing idea are bundles into just one campaign. Although this approach does give you a window into overall performance of your PPC program, it does not identify individual successes or pain-points. In short, it gives you the ending of the story without the story itself.

Marketing campaign structures are a bit more advanced in nature. Here, campaigns represent a sense of foresight as to why it is important to create multiple campaigns for clarity into data. The problem is that the creation of these campaigns lack a product-centric structure and are often created on a whim or are just tied to marketing initiatives. This information is incredibly important; what marketing ideas and creative lead to what kind of results. But this not the only way to get that information and by miles, it is not the optimal approach for e-commerce.

The optimal approach is focused on the meat of your marketing: revenue and real-time demand. PPC is not a push marketing initiative, so to tie everything to promotional campaigns is working in the wrong direction. Pay-Per-Click’s key intension is to tie real-time supply and valuable offerings with real-time demand. The site structure approach does indeed allow you to see the results of your marketing initiatives, but it aggregates them at their nexus with your product offerings and gives you the data needed to determine profitability of individual sections of your website. Let’s take a closer look at this optimal e-commerce approach.

Setting up your PPC campaigns in the “site wide” approach does take time. But as you see in this slide, it reaches quickly towards the goal of clarity. How do you set it up? Well, it’s simple: your campaigns, which are your top level points in your PPC accounts, should reflect the top-level navigation of your site. If you are a Yahoo store, consider any “category” pages to be a strong candidate for campaign-level mapping. In our example, 3 brands and 3 categories are all mapped to campaigns, as they are both essentially qualified as top level categories. If you have sub-categories, you may also want to consider using campaigns for your sub-categories.

Since each product that you sell is incredibly unique in its appeal, popularity, demand, cost and price points – it’s important to give due diligence and importance to each product. Well – not each products. In creating your ad groups, you should stay focused on the product level, but not every product is equal. In tackling this situation at Exclusive Concepts, we work closely with our clients as an extension of their team to determine and hone in on the key products for a particular website and monitor activity to determine profitability over time. The “bundle” and “marketing campaign” approaches would not allow us to do this type of bottom-line-based analysis, management and decision-making. It would not allow us to generate the level of revenue growth and progress that we do for our clients.

There are of course pros and cons to any strategy. The pros are quite clear. Accountability is key in any investment and with the “site structure” approach we are able to tabulate and appreciate the profitability of different products, brands and categories of your website. It allows us to data mine granular information that is tied to revenue figures. Essentially, this is the type of reporting clarity that leads to decision-making based on real data rather than guesswork. Though there is a major time investment needed for this type of build, it actually becomes more efficient in terms of dollars and time over time. You can grow your program as your site grows, without getting bogged down by the need to mirror your past campaigns every time you create a new marketing promotion, as you would through the “marketing campaign” approach.

But yes, it takes time to setup and keep up with maintenance. As a business owner, your time is golden – but this is one area in which the investment is absolutely worth it. It should be noted that there are landmines to step over when doing an overhaul of your PPC structure. You cannot simply destroy old campaigns and create new ones without losing historical strengths and relevancy scores. Doing this the wrong way can be a very costly mistake that could take months or years to make up. There are ways around it, but you’ll need the assistance of professional PPC managers to tackle this major concern. If you would like, we’d be happy to give you an idea of how we can work together.

For website owners who are interested in taking their PPC approach to the next level of clarity, you can contact us at 800-504-4324 and speak with an expert consultant who will coordinate between yourself and our PPC team to take a look into your current PPC approach. We call this our PPC audit and we’re so confident it will change your approach to PPC that we offer it for free.

Thank you for watching today’s PPC Tuesday and have a wonderful week!