What is the best recommendation to structure a Google Ads campaign?

Organizing your account allows you to better serve the right ads to the right customers, and it allows you to better track the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.When people are searching online and they type a word or phrase, they're looking for information that's closely tied to those words. For example, if Eric types digital cameras and he sees an ad for film reels, he probably won't click the ad.

To show ads that are relevant to the searches of people you're trying to reach, bundle related ads together with related keywords into an ad group. That way, all of your related ads can be shown to customers searching for similar things.

Although there isn’t one correct way to organize your account, this article goes over some best practices you can follow.

Best practices

  • Organize your campaigns and ad groups as you create them. Reorganizing your account after you've created several campaigns and ad groups wipes out all the valuable data you've accumulated, possibly affecting how your ads perform.
  • When you need to use a different set of campaigns settings (ex: budget or location targeting), create a separate campaign. For instance, if you sell clothing, you may want to set a budget for shirts and a different budget for pants. In this case, you should create a campaign for shirts, and another campaign for pants.
  • If you want all your ads to share a budget and you want to target the same set of locations, then you can just use one campaign.
  • For each ad group, pick a narrow theme and create ad groups around that theme. For each ad group, use keywords related to that theme. Consider also having your ads mention at least one of your keywords in its headline. This is because when someone searches for a term that matches your keyword, and they see one ad that mentions the keyword and another ad that doesn't mention the keyword, they are more likely to think that the first ad is more relevant to what they're searching for.
  • You never know what message might resonate best with potential customers. Because of this, we recommend having at least 3 ads in each ad group and using optimized ad rotation. The optimize setting will optimize your ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location, and more. Learn about Ad rotation settings.


Let's say you own an online electronics store and you create a Google Ads account so you can begin to advertise the products that you sell. At the account level you can choose who else you'd like to have access to your Google Ads account and your preferred payment method. The top-most layer of your account might look as follows:


Online electronics store

Organize your campaigns

A campaign consists of a collection of ad groups. For your campaign, consider the following:

  • How much you're willing to spend on clicks or conversions from your ads
  • Networks and geographical locations where you want your ads to show.
  • Other top-level settings that affect clusters of ad groups

For example, let’s say you want to create ads for your inventory of televisions and cameras, so you create separate campaigns for each.





Organize your ad groups

A common method for organizing a Google Ads account is to organize with a category or business goal in mind. For many businesses, the way your website is structured is a good place to start, where each ad group representing a different page or category on your site.

Ad groups can help ensure that your ads are relevant to your keywords. For example, for your camera campaign, you may want to create separate ads for digital cameras and compact cameras. You can create ad groups for each type of camera, each with its own set of focused, relevant keywords. For your television campaign, you can also create an ad group for each type of television you sell, such as flat screen and plasma TVs.


Ad Group

Ad Group

Ad Group

Ad Group

Flat Screen TVs

Plasma TVs

Digital Cameras

Compact Cameras

Within a particular ad group, you'll want to choose keywords that are closely linked to your ad text. For your digital cameras ad group, you might try keywords for different brands, models, and prices for the digital cameras you sell.

Campaign structure is eminently important to your Google ads account for many reasons. The structure of your account includes campaigns, ad groups, keywords, negative keywords, ads, and other targeting methods which will allow you to easily manage your ads account, run tests, and simplify reporting. There is not one magical way to structure your account, as each company and industry can vary, but following these guidelines can lead to higher quality scores and help you stay organized to better optimize your account.

To start, you’ll need to identify the best way to create campaigns for your business. At GFD we recommend you keep your campaign structure as simple as possible to maximize daily budget within one campaign, better utilize smart bidding and make it easy to manage. If you need to segment campaigns, below are the factors to consider:

1. Budget Allocation

If you have a specific amount of funds allocated to marketing in a particular area, then you will likely want to create separate campaigns based on this. Spend is only controlled at the campaign level.

2.  Keyword Groupings and Keyword Traffic

Ensure the searches triggered by your keywords are relevant to your business by organizing your keywords based on product and service categories, as well as website structure. If you are targeting a variety of keywords and some have a high volume of traffic while others are lower in volume, you may want to keep these in separate campaigns. Otherwise, your campaign budget will be spent mostly by the high volume keywords and the little guys will never get their share. 

3. Your Location Targeting 

Your location is set at the campaign level, so if you are looking to target different locations for different products and services, you’ll need to separate those into different campaigns.

After setting your target locations by city, state, radius, or zip it is important to review your location settings.

Google Ads Location Settings

Of the 3 options for target locations, we recommend at GFD selecting People in your targeted locations. Although it is not the recommended option by Google it is better targeted to people in your specific location. Although in some cases such as travel related campaigns the setting people in, regularly in, or who have shown interest in your target locations may be a better fit. It is important to think about your target user and select the setting that makes the most sense for your campaign objectives.

4. Language Targeting 

If you are targeting users in different languages, you’ll need a campaign for each language in order to designate keywords, ads, and landing pages to the user in each specific language. Select the language(s) that your customers speak and ensure your ad copy and landing pages match that language. If you are targeting multiple countries and your customers may speak multiple languages it may be best to select all languages to ensure you are showing to your users regardless of the language setting on the computer that they are using.

Google Ads Language Settings

5. Your Brand

We recommend separating your brand keywords into their own campaign if possible. This can give you full control on how much of your marketing dollars are spent making sure you show up when users are searching for your brand. Always remember: If you are not at the top of the page, someone else will be. 

6. Bid Strategy

If you think a certain bid strategy will work well for a specific campaign then you may want to consider having it in a separate campaign. 

Smart bidding allows you to automatically bid on your keyword without a lot of manual guessing, and it can leverage adjusting your bids based on your goals while using data as the basis of the decisions. There are a few automated bid strategies available, but it’s important to understand how each one can impact results. 

We tend to recommend launching a campaign with enhanced CPC to allow a more manual effort for adjusting bids as needed and then moving to an automated strategy when conversion data starts to accumulate.

Google Ads Bid Strategy Options

Additionally, we recommend using enhanced CPC for optimal results. Google will show a warning that setting bids manually may lower performance but rest assured this is a great place to start.

Once conversion data has accumulated and you have at least 50 conversions in a 30 day window, we recommend switching your bid strategy to Target CPA, Target ROAS  or Maximize conversions depending on your business objectives.

7. Campaign Settings

When creating Google ads campaigns, there are some settings that you’ll want to be aware of.

Search Partners & Display Networks

This is automatically something that you are opted in to when creating a campaign. This allows your ads to appear on properties owned by Google, such as YouTube and Google Maps, other companies they have partnered with, and other websites that sell ad placements. While increased placements sounds ideal, there are drawbacks to consider, like lack of control and use of parked domains. In short, we recommend opting out of search partners and display networks as a best practice.

Excluded Content

Opt out on showing your ads on placements that don’t represent your brand. For example, opting out of placements that include profanity or are sexually suggestive may not be a good idea for your brand identity.

Google Ads Excluded Content

Excluded Types and Labels

Exclude digital content labels that may not represent your brand well, such as mature audiences. Also, you should consider opting out of parked domains, as this could allow you to spend your marketing dollars without a real person seeing your ads.

8. Quality Score

Quality score gives you an idea of how your ad stacks up against other advertisers. Higher quality scores can lead to lower CPCs and higher ad positions.

First, make sure you optimize for ad relevance. Be sure you have quality ad copy that matches the intent behind a user’s search and that your keywords are utilized within the ad copy. Utilize extensions, Google looks at ads and extensions when calculating the quality score. Be sure to take advantage of as many extensions as possible to secure more real estate on the SERP.

Secondly, optimize for landing page experience. Be sure your keywords and ads are relevant to your landing page to ensure great user experience. Ensuring that your keywords appear both in your ad copy and on your landing pages will help increase quality score leading to higher ad rank positions and lower CPC’s.


There are multiple ways to set up a great Google Ads search campaign and many considerations along the way. Be sure to consider what is best for you and what will help you hit your business objectives and drive results. Not sure where to start? Reach out to the GFD Paid Media team and we can help!

About Go Fish Digital

Go Fish Digital is an award-winning, full-service Google Premier Partner that’s ready to take your digital marketing to the next level. Our team of creative, technical marketers and industry-leading experts perform services in Search Engine Optimization, Digital PR, Online Reputation Management, Content Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Website Design & Development, Paid Media, Influencer Marketing, and Copywriting for a wide array of different B2B and B2C clients.

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