There’s lot to think about when setting up an AdWords account. In my opinion, most important of all is a good and clearly laid out basic structure on which you can build all other measures to optimise your campaigns. Anyone who starts in a rather haphazard fashion will never get a good performance out of his account. I would like to explain in this article how to set up an AdWords account and what the basics are that you need to consider.

Why is the structure so important?

The campaign structure of the AdWords account forms the foundation for your everyday work. This is the basis on which you move around the account and manage, analyse and optimise your campaigns. The more standardised and simple you keep it, the easier it will be to complete the tasks.

A clearly arranged structure lets you monitor and control your budgets and costs significantly better.
You can also determine more easily which campaigns, ad groups and ads are performing well or where there are aberrations. This lets you maximise your potential earlier or switch off money-wasting campaigns more quickly.
Moreover, in a well organised account, the relevance of keyword to ad to landing page is clearer. And we already know: the higher the relevance, the better the quality factor, the lower the CPC and so on… J

You will save money with a good structure – both for your customer with fewer CPCs and improved budget overview, as well as for yourself, as you will be able to work more quickly and efficiently.

Here are a few ideas about what you should consider at a campaign and ad group level.

Campaign level

There are different approaches for structuring campaigns in the account. You can split them according to themes, regions, brands, interests, target groups, budget … You need to decide which approach makes sense in each individual case. A good starting point is to align the structure of the campaign to the structure of your own website.
For example, the structure of your campaigns could be as follows if you are operating an online furniture shop:

There are also a number of points that need to be considered in terms of clarity when creating your ad campaign:

The first thing to be defined in every campaign is the Name. It might appear obvious, but I seriously recommend setting out a consistent scheme when naming campaigns. This will enable you to find your way around more easily, especially with large accounts containing lots of campaigns. The campaign should naturally also include what the name promises. I have so often seen accounts in which the keywords in a campaign do not even remotely have anything to do with the campaign name. Usually I begin the name with the type of campaign, which could be as follows with the furniture store:

DISPLAY | Discount campaign
DSA | Kitchens
Remarketing | All visitors
Remarketing | Shopping basket cancellation
SEARCH | Brand
SEARCH | Chairs
SEARCH | Tables
Shopping | All products
Video | Patio furniture

You get the idea don’t you? JAs you can see, the search campaigns here are organised according to themes, while the remarketing campaigns are organised according to target groups. When structuring the campaigns you do not necessarily need to limit yourself to one approach.

Next you need to select the Type, which is also used to define the Network, in which the advertisements are to be found. This means the search and display network. We recommend creating a separate campaign per network, as this makes it much simpler to evaluate the respective performance.

The most sensible approach when targeting Locations depends on the products or services offered. If they are locally delimited, the campaigns should also be split and targeted to the different locations to make the most of the budget.

Finally define the Daily budget. At this point it is important to consider that the budget is spread across all ad groups within the campaign. It can only be controlled to a limited extent by means of the CPC of the ad groups. It can make sense to divide the campaigns again with greatly varying search volumes.

Ad group level

Once a campaign has been created, it still has to be sub-divided into ad groups. Make sure that you definitely (!) pay attention to thematically clustering the ad groups in a granular way.
Let’s assume that we are offering both bus and air travel to Rome, then we would create two different ad groups in the campaign for Rome. One for air travel to Rome and one for bus travel to Rome.
The reason for this is that the ads are created for each ad group. The corresponding advertisements are displayed in the ad group with the keyword “air travel to Rome”. Were we to combine “air travel to Rome” and “bus travel to Rome” in a single group, it would be difficult to write the ads in a way that would make them relevant for both key words.

Therefore always try to organise the keywords so that you can always write the most relevant advertisements for them. When it comes to deciding whether to create one or two ad groups, it is often useful to ask yourself what kind of advertisement would I expect as a user. If you conclude that different advertising wording could better describe the product or service, then you should create two ad groups.


Investing a little more time at the start ensures that you can work much better in the account in the long run. It is therefore worth considering establishing a sensible and well organised structure before starting. Naturally the requirements can also change over time. It then becomes much simpler to react and restructure the account if it has a good basic order.

We’ve put together a download of the overview of the campaign structure and the most important settings to assist you.

Lina Fagefors

About Lina Fagefors

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