Organizing campaigns and ads in your account
Now that you've mastered your first ad, you're on your way to creating many more, right? Before you do, it's important to know the three-layer design of AdWords. Understanding the relationship between these layers of your account will help you organize your ads, keywords, and ad groups into effective campaigns that target the right audience.
How AdWords is organized
AdWords is organized into three layers: account, campaigns, and ad groups.
- Your account is associated with a unique email address, password, and billing information.
- Your ad campaign has its own budget and settings that determine where your ads appear.
- Your ad group contains a set of similar ads and the words and phrases, known as keywords, that you want to trigger your ads to show.
Why you should organize your ads into ad groups and campaigns
When people are searching online and they type a word or phrase, they're looking for information that's closely tied to those words. For example, if Eric types digital cameras and he sees an ad for film reels, he probably won't click the ad.
To show ads that are relevant to the searches of people you're trying to reach, bundle related ads together with related keywords into an ad group. That way, all of your related ads can be shown to customers searching for similar things.
A collection of ad groups forms a campaign. Your campaign is the master control for your ad groups where you can choose:
- How much you're willing to spend on clicks or conversions from your ads
- Networks and geographical locations where you want your ads to show
- Other top-level settings that affect clusters of ad groups
Let's say you own an online electronics store and you create an AdWords account so you can begin to advertise the products that you sell. At the account level you can choose who else you'd like to have access to your AdWords account and your preferred payment method. The top-most layer of your account might look as follows:
You decided you want to advertise your inventory of televisions and cameras, so you create separate campaigns for each. Splitting your account into two campaigns ensures that you can devote at least half of your online advertising budget to each product area.
Focusing on your camera campaign, you might create various ad groups for different types of cameras, like digital cameras and compact cameras.
For your television campaign, you might create an ad group for each type of television you sell, such as flat screen or plasma TVs.
Within a particular ad group, you'll want to choose keywords that are closely linked to your ad text. For your digital cameras ad group, you might try keywords for different brands, models, and prices for the digital cameras you sell (make sure you follow our trademark guidelines).
Tying it all together, your overall account structure might look like this:
A common method for organizing an AdWords account is to organize it the way your website is structured, with each ad group representing a different page or category on your site.
Seeing your account organization at a glance
Once you've created your first campaign, you'll see an "All campaigns" panel appear on the left side in the Campaigns tab of your AdWords account. From this panel, you can see at a glance how your campaigns are organized. Click on one of the campaigns and you'll see your ad groups as well. This folder structure also allows you to quickly move around your account.
- Start organizing your campaigns and ad groups as you create them. Reorganizing your account after you've created several campaigns and ad groups wipes out all the valuable data you've accumulated, possibly affecting how your ads perform.
- If you create a "Search Network only - Standard" campaign, you can add multiple ad groups on the "Create ad groups" page.
- Many accounts are best organized by creating one campaign with several ad groups, two or three ads, and 10-35 keywords within each ad group.
These are the limits for an AdWords account (although most advertisers don't reach them):
Campaign and ad group limits
- 10,000 campaigns (includes active and paused campaigns)
- 20,000 ad groups per campaign
- 20,000 ad group targeting items per ad group (such as keywords, placements, and audience lists)
- 300 image/gallery ads
- 50 text and non-image/gallery ads per ad group
- 4 million active or paused ads per account
- 5 million ad group targeting items per account (such as keywords, placements, and audience lists)
- 1 million campaign targeting items per account (such as geo target and campaign-level negative keywords)
- 10,000 location targets (targeted and excluded) per campaign, including up to 500 proximity targets per campaign
- 20 shared negative placement lists per account
- 65,000 placements per negative placement list
- 11,000 shared budgets per account
- 20 shared negative keyword lists per account*
- 5,000 keywords per negative keyword list*
Limits for business data and feeds
- 400K rows or feed items per account for dynamic ads, ad customizers, and extensions
- 100 user-generated feeds or business data sets per account
- 3,000 bytes per attribute (roughly 750 - 3,000 characters depending on the byte size of the character)
Ad extension limits
- 250,000 ad group-level extensions per account**
- 50,000 campaign-level extensions per account**
- 10,000 ad group-level extensions per campaign**
** For example, let's say you have 1 campaign with an extension containing 8 sitelinks. Then you add these same sitelinks to another campaign and also to 10 ad groups in a third campaign. Now, your account has 8 feed items, 2 campaign-level extensions, and 10 ad group-level extensions.