Welcome to Module 3 of The Google Ads Masterclass, where you will learn everything you need to know on how to set up your Google Ads account. What type of ad account is right for you, how to structure it, and how to make the most out of your Google Ads account are the main themes that will be covered in this module.
Signing up with Google Ads and creating an account isn’t just enough. You have to structure your account appropriately to make it user-friendly, efficient, and easy-to-use. Campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords all must be arranged and not messed up.
How to do it?
Let’s dig deep.
Why is a Good Google Ads Structure Important?
Structuring a Google Ads account is the least important task for advertisers. This is because advertisers are excited (and busy) in running and managing ads that they don’t even think of their account structure for a moment.
And by the time they realize its importance, it gets too complicated to fix it.
Here is how a structured vs. unstructured Google Ads account looks like:
It even gets more complicated when you have multiple campaigns, ad groups, and ads. Obviously, your account will grow over time and you'll run several campaigns even if you own a single business. You can’t stick with a single campaign (our masterclass will cover why, a bit later on).
Instead of merging ad groups and using ads and keywords interchangeable among campaigns and ad groups, you need to maintain a structure for your account where each campaign is separate from others and it deals with one and only one objective.
Creating multiple campaigns and ad groups doesn’t cost you money. In fact, doing so saves a lot of your money and time.
Here are the key reasons why it is essential to maintain a well-structured Google Ads account:
- Cost management
- Better quality score
- Tracking and analysis.
Structuring your account makes management easier. It will keep your account organized. You'll be able to access campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords easily with a few clicks.
Imagine you are running five different campaigns and each campaign has 3-5 ad sets and each ad set has several ads. You'll create multiple ads, pause several of them, and keep on testing ad variations. You'll eventually end up having hundreds of ads and keywords in your account.
That’s how a good Google Ads account should look like. If you don’t have hundreds of keywords and ads in your account, you won’t see a decent return.
Because the more ads you create, the better you understand what works and what doesn’t.
A clear and well-structured account will help you find, replace, and tweak ads and keywords easily. Else, you might end up spending a good hour or more in finding the ads that you have to pause and another hour in checking if you paused the right ad.
Account structure saves you from mismanagement that can turn out to be lethal as well as expensive.
2. Cost Management
Large Google Ads accounts with multiple campaigns and ad groups that spend thousands of dollars every day are hard to manage. Structuring your Google Ads account doesn’t just help with management and organization but it helps you manage cost.
You can quickly find underperforming keywords and ads and pause them without spending money on them. You don’t have to wait for the weekly report or day-end report to figure out keywords with zero conversions instead you can identify them right away before wasting money on them.
Similarly, you can identify top-performing keywords and ads with a few clicks and increase their bids accordingly.
3. Better Quality Score
Quality score is one of the most important variables that you need to take care of if you want to improve ad ranking, conversions, and ROI. The quality score depends on CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience, according to Google.
When your account is structured, you can improve the quality score of your ads easily by ensuring keyword-ad-landing page relevance. You'll be in a position to link ads to relevant keywords and negative keywords to ensure a high-quality score.
Dealing with hundreds of keywords and ads gets easier.
You don’t have to wait for weekly reports if you have a structured Google Ads account. Everything is instantly visible, trackable, and monitoring becomes a whole lot easier. And when you have all the data at your fingertips in real-time, it gives you full control over your campaigns.
You can take decisions in real-time, identify issues and bugs before they ruin your weekly ad budget, and tweak bids to capitalize on high-performing keywords.
Standard vs MCC Accounts: What You Should Know
You can create two types of Google Ads accounts: Standard account and My Client Centre (MCC) account. Before you go ahead and structure your Google Ads account, you'll first need to identify the right account for yourself.
What Is a Standard Account?
This is the account for individuals who want to manage one or more personal businesses that they own. It doesn’t matter how many websites you have, you can manage them all with a standard account. This is the default Google Ads account type.
What Is an MCC Account?
A Manager Account or MCC account is used to manage multiple standard accounts from a single dashboard. You can manage other MCC accounts from a single MCC account. This is ideal for marketing agencies that work with several clients simultaneously. Instead of logging in to individual client accounts, you can manage them all from a single MCC account.
You can manage campaigns, monitor account performances, consolidate billing, and control access to other accounts from your MCC account. It gives you full control over everything.
Standard vs. MCC Accounts: Which One's for You?
So, what’s the right Google Ads account type for you?
A Standard account is ideal for individuals and businesses who want to control everything from a single account.
Unless you own or run a PPC agency, you'll need a Standard Ads account. If you have created different standard accounts for multiple businesses or websites that you own, you can create an MCC account to manage all of them from a single account.
MCC account is ideal for agencies and people who have created different Google Ads accounts and now want to manage them from a single account. You don’t have to be necessarily an agency to create an MCC account, if you have three different businesses and one Google Ads account for each, you can use an MCC account.
MCC is for anyone who wants to manage more than one already existing Google Ads account from a single dashboard. This helps you save time and makes it easy to manage everything.
The key question you must ask yourself before deciding what’s the right account type for you is: How many Google Ads accounts do I want to manage and control?
If your answer is one account, go for a Standard Account.
If your answer is two or more, go for the MCC Account.
How to Set Up a Standard Account Structure?
Setting up your Google Ads account starts with creating an account. If you already have an account, that’s awesome.
If you don’t have an account yet, click here to create your account, and then click on Start now:
Make sure you are signed into a relevant Google account as your Ads account will be linked to the Google account you are using.
You'll be asked to create a new campaign in the express mode which is best for beginners. You can switch to Expert Mode for a more detailed campaign setup process. Click Switch to Expert Mode:
This is how Expert campaign mode looks like:
If you are setting up your account for the first time, click Create an account without a campaign:
Confirm business information and click Submit:
You have successfully created your Google Ads account and you are ready to explore it:
This is how the dashboard looks like:
Feel free to explore your account.
Structuring your Google Account starts as soon as you create your account. This means you need to have a structuring model before you create your first campaign. This is a reason we're covering account structure before campaign setup (which is covered in Module 4).
There are two levels of account structure that you'll use:
- Ad groups
The campaign is at the highest level in the Google Ads account. You can create unlimited campaigns. Each campaign is a separate, standalone unit and you need to treat it as such.
The first rule of a well-structured account is to maintain a campaign level structure that looks something like this:
As you can see, your Google Ads account should follow this structure: Campaign > Ad groups > Keywords > Ads
Create campaigns based on broader themes that your business covers. Create one campaign for each theme. Let’s take an example.
You are an ecommerce store owner that sells men’s shoes. You have categorized shoes based on brands so the best way to structure your account is to mimic your store. This works best as that’s the way your business runs.
If you'll create a new or a different structure that doesn’t mimic your business, it will get messy after a few months.
So, let’s assume you are dealing in following brands:
- Hush Puppies
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Air Jordan.
What you need to do is create a campaign for each brand. If you want to create multiple campaign types, simply add campaign type towards the end of the brand name in the following format:
You get the idea, right?
An ad group is the low-level right under the campaign in your Google Ads account. An ad group is used to create structure and group ads within a campaign. An ad group consists of multiple ads and a single campaign could have any number of ad groups.
An ad group consists of:
Refer back to the ecommerce store example to understand how to structure ad groups:
For your Nike campaign, you can create ad groups that are more specific and represent a unique theme. You can structure ad groups based on the shoe types such as running, sports, formal, casual, sandals, etc.
If you use any other theme or categories on your store, better stick with it.
When creating ad groups, it is recommended to:
- Have no more than 10 ad groups per campaign
- Have no more than 20 keywords per ad group
- Have 2-3 ads per ad group.
Add keywords for each ad group. Each ad group has its own set of keywords that it targets so make sure your ad groups are unique and target a unique persona and audience with similar needs.
Keywords trigger ads and play a very crucial role in ad quality and when your ads trigger from a specific ad group. Keywords represent the lowest structure in your ad account and aren’t directly associated with structure rather they're more related to ad group settings.
Create all campaigns and ad groups in a similar way to maintain your account structure.
How to Set Up an MCC Account Structure?
If you run an ad agency and want to manage multiple client accounts, you'll need to create a My Client Centre (MCC) account which is now known as Google Ads Manager Accounts:
Structuring a single account is quite easy because you are dealing with your personal websites. Things get messy when you have to manage several accounts from a single dashboard. This is where structuring plays a BIG role.
An unstructured manager account can ruin your reputation if things get messy. However, the good news is that Google Ads keeps things pretty straightforward when you are managing your personal Google Ads accounts from a single account or client accounts.
All accounts are kept separate and don’t link to each other in any way. You can navigate between accounts by selecting a relevant account from the top menu in your Google Ads:
When you have accessed a relevant Google Ads account, you can structure it at the campaign and ad group level. Here is how to do it:
If you are managing personal Google Ads accounts, it is recommended to use the same structuring process as discussed above for standard accounts. Use it to structure all the accounts you have.
If you are managing client accounts, structure campaigns based on the most relevant category or theme. This could be related to:
For example, a client asked you to spend $500 per month on search ads to generate sales. You can create 5 campaigns for $100 per month and structure the client’s account based on the monthly budget.
You need to make sure you stick with a standard account structuring process. Don’t mix it up. If you are using one structuring technique for one client, and another for a different client, you will be creating problems for yourself.
Stick with the same structuring rule for all the clients.
This will make it super-easy for you and your team to understand accounts without referring to any document. A standard structure for all client accounts is a MUST.
Ad Group Level
Create ad groups for each campaign that represent a specific theme for the campaign. You can use buyer persona-related ad groups or a specific theme-related to client business or any other.
Your structuring variable must be standard for ad groups too for all the clients you deal with. This means all the accounts in your manager account must follow the same structure for standardization, understanding, and management.
Finally, add relevant keywords for each ad group. The keywords are the driving force that triggers ads, so make sure keywords are targeted. There must be a link between keywords and the ad group.
Once you have set up your Google Ads account, structuring it is the most important thing that you have to do. Whether it is a standard account or a manager account, having a solid structuring technique is the first step that you shouldn’t ignore.
You never know how many campaigns you'll be running after a few months or how many accounts you'll be managing a few years down the road. As your business will grow, your Google Ads budget will increase too and that’s when a solid structure will help you a lot.
To help you get started, we have created checklists on how to set up a Google Standards Ads account, as well as one on how to set up a Google MCC account. Even more, we have prepared a downloadable Google Ads structure template for you to grab and use as you please. 🎉 Get it using the form on the right!
Checklist for Setting up a Google Standard Ads Account
Follow the following checklist to set up and structure a standard Google Ads account:
- Create a Google Ads account
- Add your business details and complete the account setup process by adding payment details and updating your profile
- Identify an account structuring model by identifying a structure or hierarchy that resembles your business. Refer to the Module for example.
- Use the Excel structure template to create a layout of the account structure that you'll be using.
- Select a category or theme for campaign-level structuring.
- Select a sub-theme for ad groups within each campaign.
- Prepare a list of keywords (maximum 20) for each ad group.
- Create a rough sketch of at least 5 campaigns, ad groups, and keywords in the Excel template that you'll use while creating campaigns. Simply copy-paste the structure and fill it in accordingly.
Checklist for Setting up a Google MCC or Managers Account
Follow the following checklist to set up and structure a Google Manager ads account:
- Create a Google Ads manager account here.
- Add client or personal accounts by sending invitations to clients from the account settings.
- Identify a standard account structuring process for all the accounts you'll be managing. Possible options are: Budget, category, theme, project/task, buyer persona, or custom-based.
- Use the Excel structure template to create a layout of the account structure that you'll be using.
- Share the structure format with your team to ensure everyone is on a single page and knows how all future accounts will be structured and interpreted.