Looking at the rise of machine learning and the effective match towards large-scale automation, every digital marketer is now finding themselves in between a perfect storm where they’ve got less control over their lousy results, higher costs, and campaigns.


This states the obvious, which is that the goals of Google aren’t your goals.

In the past couple of years, Google launched and promoted PPC automation while also getting rid of several controls that marketers normally use in preventing waste spending.

This change has a pace that has left several PPC marketers wondering how they can adapt to this new world, while some approaches become more pervasive:

  1. Get into the automation: Offer these machines the things they want, which are volume and control! Consolidate everything into a smaller number of campaigns, enable Broad Match, and that’s it.
  2. Old School: Your focus should be on keeping granular control with an EM-based and rigid structure and negatives in all parts.
  3. Shanty Town: Weirdly fusing the two – where you have some full broad, some EM campaigns, maybe a sprinkle of some DSAs or audiences… and some level of confusion.

It’s quite unfortunate that you’ll lose money with the automation approach, the old-school approach will have you going crazy while you try to maintain control in the face of match-type changes, bidding strategy, and RSAs, and you’ll get the worst of the two words in the Shanty Town.

There’s only one thing that has remained the same and that’s the desire to get the perfect account structure that balances spending and results, scale and control, and predictability and discovery. Is that too much to ask for? Definitely not!

Things you need to know when setting up PPC Campaigns

  1. Automation isn’t leaving. The role of automation is increasing, and it’ll impact the structures of PPC accounts, and this is neither good nor bad. As marketers, our job is to set these machines up for success and defend our campaigns against their flaws.
  2. Campaign structure is about users. The structure is the way you connect the marketing of your brand to the people you’d like to target. Put your audience in mind while structuring your PPC campaign, and you should also put yourself in your audience’s minds.
  3. Better Data equals a higher probability of excellent outcomes. Your focus shouldn’t only be on conversion data. Ensure that all the platforms you use have the financial and business data it requires to increase your chances of an excellent outcome. In short, when you efficiently leverage your data, it’ll help the machines become smarter.
  4. Inclusions are less important than exclusions. You should be liberal while choosing your campaign exclusions to make sure machines focus on the things you want. Ensure you don’t make bad interferences so your budget won’t disappear.
  5. You need to be machine-learning friendly. Try your best not to hyper-segment everything. Develop a structure that’s ML-friendly while still remaining sufficiently refined. Although you’ll likely end up having fewer ad groups and that is okay!
  6. Be smart at the basics. Make sure you do every little thing very well. Your ads need to be aligned to the intent of potential customers, deliver a relevant message and provide an engaging on-page experience.

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