Summary: In this article, learn how to build the right PPC campaign structure. Topics include: structuring campaigns and Ad Groups, types of Ad Extensions and targeting keywords.
Table of contents
- AdWords and Your PPC Campaign Structure
- PPC Campaign Structure and Why It Matters
- Structuring Ad Groups
- Ads and Ad Extensions Explained
- Types of Keywords and Why They’re Important
- Negative Keywords and Why It Matters in PPC Structure
- What to Include on Landing Pages
- Unique Call Tracking Numbers
The most important job you have when running an effective pay-per-click or PPC campaign, is to create the strongest possible correlation. What I mean by that is, creating a correlation between your ads, which ads show up for your targeted keywords and where you send that traffic, ideally to a landing page.
PPC advertising can be a very frustrating marketing strategy for pest control owners. I just spoke to a pest control owner, 2 days ago, who wasn’t interested in spending time learning or investing in pay-per-click, but rather wanted strictly pay-per-call leads. I can appreciate his frustration, however, pay-per-click is one strategy you can control, throttle when needed, and confidently put more money in to grow.
The end goal of creating this correlation is to answer the two most important questions prospective customers have: 1) Can you service my home today or tomorrow?, and 2) Are you local? So as we talk about PPC campaign structure, we also have to make sure we’re answering these two questions throughout the entire process.
AdWords and Your PPC Campaign Structure
PPC campaign structure in Google AdWords is everything. It’s this simple… the more defined the structure, the easier it is to draw a correlation. This is the shell of what this structure should look like.
- Ad Groups
- Ads & Extensions
- Landing Pages
- Unique Call Tracking Numbers
Now let’s walk through how I’d recommend structuring AdWords.
PPC Campaign Structure and Why It Matters
In the beginning, the most time-intensive part of creating effective PPC ads is the setup or creation of an account. Campaigns control who and where you target your ads. Or who and where you want new business.
Since prospective customers prefer to work with local businesses, I prefer to set my campaigns up as geo-targeted areas or cities. So, if you’re a pest control company in Salt Lake City, then you would want to create one campaign per city or close suburb.
Since Google allows you to target specific locations, you can create this structure without any overlap across your other campaigns.
When I audit AdWord accounts, I often find that most companies have their campaigns setup as services instead of geo-targeted locations. Instead of creating a campaign as a suburb of Salt Lake City, they create a campaign called Pest Control or Bed Bugs and target the entire city of Salt Lake. I have seen this type of PPC campaign structure work, and I’m not saying it won’t, I just prefer this method and have found success in it. This will make more sense as we discuss Ad Groups, Keywords and Landing Pages.
Remember, if the goal is to create the strongest possible correlation and to answer the two most important questions a buyer has – same/next day service and are you local? – then this PPC campaign structure becomes even more important.
The reason most companies choose not to setup their campaigns this way is how much time it requires.
Structuring Ad Groups
I prefer to setup my Ad Groups as services. Now that we have a a geo-targeted campaign, and we’re telling Google a specific area we’d like to advertise, it’s our job to tell Google what services we’d like to advertise for. A typical list of Ad Groups would look a lot like this:
- Bed Bugs
- Pest Control
Obviously, this list of Ad Groups or services should be unique to the services you offer or would like to offer.
Ads and Ad Extensions Explained
Now that we have our services listed, next we need to create ads for Google to show that will help promote our business or services. All while still answering the two most important questions potential buyers have – are you local?, and can you service my home today/tomorrow.
Ads Types: Call Only, Text Ads and Responsive Search Ads
There are several types of ads that you can create in google. Three of the most commonly used ad types are: 1) Call Only ads, 2) Text ads (ideally, create three), and 3) Responsive Search ads (just need to create one).
I have thoroughly tested all three ad types and until you have enough data in your account that helps you know which direction to definitively go, use all three. I personally prefer Text Ads and Responsive Search ads and I’ll explain why below.
The goal is to create ads that help a prospective customer feel comfortable engaging with you. Since you’ve created geo-targeted campaigns, you can now create ads that speak specifically to your audience that lives in your targeted area. Use verbiage like, “Farmington’s #1 Pest Control Company or Farmington’s Preferred Bed Bug Exterminators”.
By using the specific city in the ad text, you increase the likelihood of someone clicking on your ad. This is because you’ve created the strongest correlation or relevance that the prospective customer is searching for. You are providing an answer or solution to a question or problem.
Types of Ad Extensions
There are a myriad of ad extensions available, which include the following: Sitelink Extensions, Callout Extensions, Structured Snippet Extensions, Call Extensions, Message Extensions, Location Extensions, Affiliate Location Extensions, Price Extensions, App Extensions, Review Extensions & Promotion Extensions.
Next, we’ll talk about all the available Ad Extensions you can use in your PPC campaign structure, and I’ll share my favorite or preferred Ad Extensions.
Google lets you use up to four hyperlinks in your ad to send someone to. Again, the purpose of these hyperlinks is to create the strongest correlation to the buyers inquiry. For example:
- Bed Bugs
- Free Bed Bug Inspection
- Bed Bug Financing
- Premier Bed Bug Treatment
- Bed Bug Heat Treatment
Call Out Extensions
Call Out Extensions are information you would like prospective customers to know. I.e. Satisfaction Guaranteed, 2,000+ Happy Customers, BBB A+ Rating, Family Owned, etc. Basically, anything about your business you want people to know.
You also have the option to include a hyperlink to a phone number directly from the search results page. This can be especially effective for searchers using mobile devices.
An example of a Promotion Extension would be, “$100 Off Termite Treatment”.
This type of extension connects to your Google Places account. Basically, showing the prospective customer where you’re located and that you’re local.
This is a list of all your ad groups or services offered. AdWords let’s you add up to 10 services under Structure Snippet.
Types of Keywords and Why They’re Important
These are the keywords that you want Google to show your ads for. Imagine all of these keyword types as your nets. When you use a broad keyword, you’re casting a large net to anyone searching for Pest Control. Whereas a Broad Match Modifier, Phrase Match and Exact Match cast smaller, more specific nets, showing your ads to someone local and in need of a service you offer.
There are four keyword types, which I’ll outline below:
Broad Keyword (I recommend you never use this type)
The Broad keyword “Pest Control” will yield keywords like Orkin, pest control services near me, why is pest control good?, Home Depot pest spray, etc. This basically tells Google that you want to show up for any search with the keywords “Pest Control.”
Again, when building our PPC campaign structure, we want to draw the strongest correlation or relevance for what the searcher is looking for. It does us no good to show an ad to someone who is looking for a pest control spray to use at home. We want to make sure we’re targeting people who are actually in need of a service you offer.
Broad Match Modifier
This type of keyword is more specific than a Broad keyword, but with a greater reach than phrase match or exact match. The words with a + sign (i.e. +pest +control) must exactly match the searchers keyword phrase or a close variation. Here, we are trying to target anything in a phrase, in this order.
A Phrase Match keyword only shows your ad to someone searching for an exact phrase, or close variation, but not in a particular order, (i.e. “Pest control”)
Exact Match is a type of keyword that shows your ads to searchers typing an exact word or phrase. It includes a plural version and also can be in reverse. I.e., [pest control] or [Salt Lake City pest control]. Google may show your ad for [pest control Salt Lake City].
Remember, in order to control what your ads show up for, it’s up to you to complete the right PPC campaign structure by adding in effective negative keywords.
Negative Keywords and Why It Matters in PPC Structure
Negative keywords often go overlooked by pay-per-click account managers. Negative keywords can be added at the account, campaign or ad group level. This tells Google Ads not to show your ad for searches containing specific words or phrases. I’ll explain why adding Negative keywords at different levels in AdWords is so important to your PPC campaign structure.
At the account level, I add five Negative keyword lists:
Within each of these five lists, I’ve added several negative keywords that I don’t want my ad to show up for, because there’s no correlation to my business or service. For example, if someone searches for “pest control jobs” or “Home Depot pest control spray”, we are asking google not to show our ad. Again, we are trying to create the strongest correlation to the prospective customers search inquiry.
Ad Group Level
Adding Negative keywords at the Ad Group level is important to keep from competing with one another. For example, assuming our Ad Groups are set up as specific services like, Bed Bugs, Mice, Exterminator, etc., we want to add Negative keywords like “bed bug exterminator” and “mice exterminator” under the Exterminator Ad Group so as to not compete with our own ads.
What to Include on Landing Pages
My first rule of landing pages is NOT to send someone to your homepage. To reiterate, prospective customers are searching for two things: 1) Can you service my home today or tomorrow?, and 2) Are you local? If someone doesn’t find a solution to their inquiry right away, they’ll move onto someone else’s page.
Common characteristics of a landing page:
- No menu
- Tracking number
- One offer
- Three items that highlight your business
Unique Call Tracking Numbers
I always use unique call tracking numbers for each specific pest services offered. Buy one phone number per service or Ad Group, per city. Each unique phone number can be tracked in AdWords and provides meaningful data for which services are making your business money and which aren’t. Also, using a unique phone number with a local area code, shows customers that your business is local, further strengthening the correlation to their search inquiry.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of creating the right PPC campaign structure for your pest control account. As this PPC structure may be more complex and time-consuming than many others, I’ve found the return to be well worth it. Again, the most important job you have when running an effective PPC campaign, is to create the strongest possible correlation by answering, 1) Can you service my home today or tomorrow?, and 2) Are you local?
Interested in an article on Search Engine Optimization? Check out my recent article, “How to Write SEO Articles“.