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Hierarchy Is Key To Creating An Effective PPC Strategy

Ppchiearchy When you kickoff or start a new client, it’s important to have at least a 6-12 month plan in the back of your mind. In order for that plan to be successful, the key to that success is a clear understanding of the client’s website structure. What I mean by structure, is it’s categorical levels of products or services that are being offered (aka Hierarchy) thanks Spell check!.

The Hierarchy (or pyramid effect) is the client’s navigational structure of Main categories, Subcategories and even specific product offerings on the website. It’s just one of those things that must be “mirrored” in PPC because the last thing you want is a confused visitor who typed in a specific keyword, and clicked on a specific ad promoting a specific product or service and not giving them the ability to easily browse other similar products or services.

The PROs of "Hierarchical Mirroring"

  • Quality Score (no brainer, right)
  • Easier to manage inventory levels & discontinued products
  • Easier management of seasonality
  • Improved budget allocation for top selling products/services
  • Improved "User experience" with higher relevant landing page options
  • More efficiently create additional campaigns and adgroups for new products/services
  • Web Analytics is more "tightly" defined and easier to report on

The NEGs of "Hierarchical Mirroring"

  • Obviously takes more time to develop the structure, instead of the "production line" style that I have seen (aka Google’s Optimization Proposals)
  • Dependent on the quality of the client’s website
    • Navigation
    • Product selection
  • Budgetary Issues preventing tight categorical breakdowns

Here’s an basic example of a targeted Adgroup Structure


Going Beyond Mirroring:
In some cases, depending on the demand for specific products/services that are historically good performers, you will sometime need to break away from the traditional campaign structure of the site hierarchy and create individual campaigns and Adgroups. Perhaps your client’s total sales came from 10 products/services, and as part of your PPC strategy you switch it up a little and dedicate a higher level of attention to the details. This would include Ad Testing development, deeper keyword expansion on "Longtails" and traditional A/B Testing of landing pages. These top 10 products would also deserve specific budgetary setting to ensure they are "active" 24 hours a day and you don’t run out of spend.

In Conclusion:
There are many ways to make money using paid search and many PPC experts will tell you it’s all about the (1) keywords, or (2) Ad/Creatives, or (3) Landing Pages, etc… However, unless you have an intelligent PPC structure in place which supports not only those (3) tactics above as well as a user friendly website and shopping cart supported by "working" web analytics tracking visitors, conversions, etc… your performance will be skewed.

Filed under: Paid Search in General

2 Responses to "Hierarchy Is Key To Creating An Effective PPC Strategy"

  1. Rathna says:

    This is a very useful Post and it clearly explains, how the PPC structure shoule be set up. As far as my concern, taking more time to develop the structure will help us to improve “User experience” with higher relevant landing page. If we are thinking in a long term it will help us to get more qualified traffic only

  2. Pay Per Click is a search engine that determines ranking according to the dollar amount you pay for each click from that search engine to your site. Examples of PPC search engines are The highest ranking goes to the highest bidder.

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