AdWords 101: Account Structure, Meet Site Structure

Starting a Pay Per Click Campaign? Here’s Why You Don’t Need to Reinvent the Wheel

The introduction and subsequent innovation of Google’s AdWords platform, along with other pay per click advertising programs like Facebook Ads and Bing Ads, has been a game-changer for marketers and businesses alike.

Before digital marketing, radio and TV were the dominant media platforms and advertising was much less targeted and measurable. It was difficult to know if you were getting the right bang for your budget.

With concepts like paying only for clicks your ad receives, which is downright impossible with all other forms of advertising, old school marketers now marvel at the deep ties new marketing campaigns have with consumers.

Yet despite the potential for hyper-focused targeting and high returns at low cost, AdWords is still a system that requires a certain degree of configuration to make the most of your campaign and budget, and a big part of that includes proper AdWords account structure.

The average business team is usually unaware of this structural benefit, or how to set it up to  a working degree within Adwords, but fear not: we’re here to help.

What Do We Mean By AdWords Account Structure?

AdWords is set up and broken down in the following manner:


  • Account: The top level, where your, well, ad accounts are. Your ad accounts would usually be the name of the business or, for bigger companies, divisions for which you’re advertising. This is where you control things like billing.


  • Campaign: Campaigns are often broken down based on product categories, audiences or goals. Using clothing as an example, we’d have campaigns like Sweaters, T-shirts, Pants, Shorts, Socks and Shoes. This is where you control things like budget and targeting.


  • Ad Group: Within each campaign are usually multiple ad groups, further broken down to be even more specific. Using our Sweaters campaign as an example, we’d have ad groups like Hoodies, Pullovers, and Zip-Ups. This is where you control things like keywords and…


  • Ads: Finally, the ads themselves, which reflect the content of the ad group in which they live, and – if they do their job right! – entice users to click through to your site and buy your stuff.

For the visual learners among us, here’s a quick look using hypothetical sweater and t-shirt campaigns as an example.


AccountCampaignAd GroupAds
Reach’s Fictional Clothing Co.SweatersHoodiesAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

PulloversAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

Zip-UpsAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

CardigansAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

T-shirtsCrew NecksAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

V-NecksAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

Polo ShirtsAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3

Button-DownsAd Variant 1

Ad Variant 2

Ad Variant 3


Okay, So What Do We Mean By Site Structure?

Site structure is, in essence, the manner in which your website’s content is organized from the top down. It’s the ease with which users can access its pages and, ultimately, complete a conversion (AKA buy your stuff).

You may have heard the term Site Structure in conjunction with user experience, as the structure of your site makes it either ridiculously simple or painfully difficult for consumers to find the content they are looking for.

Let’s continue with our fictional clothing store example. I imagine it would have a navigation menu on the top or side of the site, which would list the categorized items available for sale:

Sweaters | T-shirts | Pants | Shorts | Socks | Shoes

You hover over the t-shirts button and are met with a drop-down of types of t-shirts:

Crew Necks | V-Necks | Polos | Button-Downs

You’re after a simple crew neck, so you click there and are taken to a landing page with even more options for sizes, colours and designs.

You find yours, love it, click buy, get the lowdown on shipping and bam – a fresh new t-shirt is on its way to you, and our fictional company has made a sale.

Everyone wins!

So, let’s recap how this fictional site is structured based on that thrilling, simulated browsing experience:


  • We’re looking for a simple crew neck t-shirt
  • We land on a website featuring a huge selection of different types of clothing
  • Choosing t-shirts narrows down our choices to different styles via the dropdown menu
  • We click crew necks and are brought to a landing page that further breaks down the product into sizes, colours, designs, etc.
  • We find the product we like and buy it


This is the sales funnel: the path that users take from search to click to browse to convert, and a good site structure reflects and serves that journey.

So What Does AdWords Account Structure Have To Do With Site Structure?


Let’s look at the way AdWords is set up again:

Account -> Campaigns -> Ad Groups -> Ads

And now let’s look at the way a well-organized website that’s ripe for online advertising is set up again:

Main Menu -> Product Categories -> Individual Products -> Individual Product Landing Pages

And now, finally, let’s look at why AdWords account structure and website structure would make such good friends:


AccountWebsite / Website Menu
CampaignsProduct Categories (i.e., T-shirts)
Ad GroupsIndividual Product Types (i.e, Crew Necks)
AdsProduct Landing Pages (i.e., Crew Necks in Different Colours/Sizes/Designs)


AdWords can be a big, big profitable beast for your company.

Businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a month on campaigns managed by teams of multiple people, all towards the goal of improving their sales funnel and generating profitable leads.

For large accounts like this, organization turns to dollars.

Even if scaled back to a small budget campaign, set up can be a bit of a headache.

Without a proper AdWords account structure, you run the risk of digital marketing disasters like sending your leads to the wrong parts of your website: imagine shopping for a sweater and landing on a page that sells only t-shirts.

You’d be likely to bounce away from the site and try your luck with a store that meets the needs of your search, no?

That’s why proper structure is so important for both your website and your pay per click accounts: it helps you break down, organize and individually craft your targeting, messaging and other essential marketing factors that might be different from product to product.

If You Build It…

…properly, and in a well-organized fashion that accurately reflects your categories, product types and individual products, they will come, they will click, and they will convert.

If you start with a well-structured website and use it to build a well-structured ad account, you’ll work your way into the world of AdWords and other pay per click platforms with the right head start.

Want some more insights on how to develop a quality AdWords account that’s built to convert? Give us a shout about our PPC services and let’s talk today!

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