Building Email Lists with PPC: Campaign Structure

3 minute read

In our last post on building lists with PPC, we talked about research. If you have already done some keyword research, and have some lists ready then great, read on. If you haven’t looked at keyword research yet, it is a good idea to go check out our post on research.

Now, for the purposes of this post, we will be looking at building a campaign for Google AdWords.  The main reason for this is that AdWords is the most prominent PPC platform out there. Google currently owns over 80% of the search traffic on the planet, so that is probably where most of your potential list members are hiding. If you don’t have an account yet, get over to and start one.

So, how should you structure your campaigns?

By now you should have a nice list of keywords, or possibly a number of lists. One of the best ways to organise your campaigns when starting out is to group your keywords by theme. Themes can look like this for example:

Of course you will probably have a whole lot more keywords for each theme/campaign. You can also group them by any criteria really that makes sense to you. This could be by brand, keyword stage in the buying cycle and so forth.

Whichever way you decide to theme your campaigns, you should start to think of them as structured in the following way:

So, what you will have is a keyword themed campaign with one ad group for every keyword in your list.

You can then choose to display one or more ads per ad group. I would recommend writing at least two ads so you can compare how they do, and improve your campaigns as they progress.  I generally use four ads, and cut the least well performing two when optimizing the campaign.

NB: There are lots of different ways to structure your PPC campaigns. This is one I use a lot that works well in most instances. Having one keyword per ad group means you have a lot of control of your campaigns later on, and you really have good visibility on which keywords are performing.

Next post we will go into bidding and keyword match types, and I’ll show you how I usually structure my bids with this campaign setup.

Mike Theodoulou is a Director at Site Optimizer

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