What’s Important To Your Client?
Every client has different needs/wants when it comes to how they define success. This remains true when we talk about what a client wants to get out of their Paid Search Efforts. The goals can vary significantly when you talk about a car dealer vs. an eCommerce website. Finding out your client’s goals will give you direction on everything from how to structure an account to distributing budget across campaigns.

Define Goals
Talk to your clients! Nobody understands their business better than them. If you can understand their end goals, you can back into what a segment of marketing should strive to achieve. A good practice is to create a client questionnaire. Lead your client with questions that will help you find the answers you need to create a successful campaign.

Some examples are:

  • What are the goals of the campaign?
  • What geographic radius do you want to target with your PPC campaign?
  • What is the primary action you want a visitor to take when they arrive on your site
  • Who are your competitors? What makes you different?

Having the answers to these high-level questions can help you define account structure, create ads, distribute budget, set bids, and much more. Don’t be afraid to follow up with more specific questions if it will help you drive more business. They may not always have the answers, but the quicker you both get to them, the quicker you will both find success.

Dig Into Their Website
Take your client’s website into consideration. Chances are you’ll want to segment your campaign in a similar manner to their website.

Consider these two examples:
(1) Local Auto Dealer ABC

Along the top navigation you find these to be the main sections…

A. New Cars
B. Used Cars
C. Service
D. Parts

Along with Geographic and branded campaigns, you’ll want to make sure you have these “product/service” categories broken out into different campaigns. While the goals of driving views to vehicle pages & generating leads are the same with new and used cars, your ads, keywords, and bids may be quite different.

(2) National Men’s Fashion Retailer XYZ

A. Suits

Since this is a national campaign, you don’t need to worry about a geo campaign. You’ll still want to include a branded campaign, and you may want to break certain categories up by geo if you find trends. Use the web of product categories as a guide to setting up your campaigns.

Go Further
Don’t just stop at the first level of segmentation. Remember, relevancy is key to achieving a great quality score.
Break product categories down to 2nd and 3rd tiers of specification. In our auto dealer example, break used cars down by make and model. With the fashion retailer, take shirts to dress shirts, sport shirts, French cuff, cotton, etc…When dealing with an eCommerce site, you can also consider segmenting by price level. Another good practice is to segment out sale and clearance items. If an item is at a reduced price, chances are there is a reason your client wants to unload that inventory. There is also a good chance that a consumer will recognize the discount and make a purchase due to the perceived value. Creating unique ads with pricing, or calling out the discount can produce great results.

Be Structured, Not Rigid
You’re never done optimizing a PPC account. Use the dozens of reporting tools inside AdWords or Bing to discover opportunities for increased segmentation and/or reorganization. A perfect example is looking at search terms and geo reports to discover where your customers are truly coming from. You can then add/move keywords into new ad groups under your Geo campaign. Writing ads specific to those locations can help improve click thru rate (CTR) and Quality Score, not to mention lead to more conversions.

The better your structure in the beginning, the easier it will be to optimize. Don’t hastily setup an account just to get a client live. This is the opportunity to set yourself and your client up for long-term success.