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How to manage many company subsidiaries?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey All,


I work for a company that owns about 60 small local shops, all located in the same state and each shop has their own name and domain name. They all offer the same products (lets say sports/shoes/jewelry for example). I know a little about adwords so my boss wants me to look over our current campaigns and see if anything could be made better.


Currently we have it like below


- Miami Location Campaign

---Miami Location Shoes AdGroup

---Miami Location Jewelry AdGroup

---Miami Location Sports AdGroup

- Orlando Location Campaign

---Orlando Location Shoes AdGroup

---Orlando Location Jewelry AdGroup

---Orlando Location Sports AdGroup


And we have 60+ campaigns like that, each campaign is a different location that is geolocated to that area, and each one has it's own domain. It's a huge pain to sort through. The keywords within each adgroup is relevant to that adgroup's products, and there are negative keywords in each to make sure they're not bidding against eachother. I know we can be doing so much more on the keyword aspect of this but I want to get the orgnaization of the campaign/adgroups down first before moving on.


So is this the most optimal way to set it up? My boss says I can completely scrap the current way and start from scratch if I can think of a more organized way. I was thinking maybe campaigns for the products instead of the locations, so campaigns would be Jewelry/Shoes/Pants/etc. But I think I can't do that because ad groups can't be geolocated? And I'm not sure if ad groups within one campaign can have so many different domains.


Also, each of these shop managers are very picky and all want to be advertised correctly with their proper name. Otherwise I thought about creating landing pages under the parent company domain that is geolocated and specialized for that product and it would be under one main brand. This is a no go, each manager wants their branding on their page under their shops domain, and is aggravating but I can't do much about it.


Lert me know if I'm not being clear on anything. Really appreciate any help I can get on this. Any ideas or what you guys would do in this situation would be great!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How to manage many company subsidiaries?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Having location-based campaigns is ok because it enables you to target them correctly and also assign different budgets to them if you want.


However, if you want to use negative keyword lists, you cannot do that unless you have separate campaigns for shoes, sports, etc.


If you triplicate all your current campaigns you will be able to use shared shoes negatives list, shared sports negative lists and so on (see this link:


You will also be able to use shared location negatives list, but then you can do that even in the current setup.


You are right, you cannot target ad groups separately within a campaign.


I think it's all a question of what kind of work is most tedious. If it's adding the same negatives across all shoes ad groups in all campaigns, then my approach to have Location + Category campaign for each location and category could work. All you'd have to do is some AdWords editor work to triplicate the current campaigns, exclude two ad groups from each copy and then rename the campaign. You will unsettle the quality score briefly when moving two ad groups from each campaign into a new one, but they will bounce back.


My 2 cents, hopefully others will chime in and provide some more ideas.

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: How to manage many company subsidiaries?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi Kevin, further to Calin's advice, I think you're heading in the right direction but perhaps haven't yet grasped how large the structure of such an Account could, perhaps should, become.  I think it's entirely possible that you could end up with a Campaign for one particular product - I have this all the time with my clients - so you do have to do some "napkin" math to work out the potential size of the Account if you carried that through to all products, all stores...  I'm sure you'll end up with a terrifying number.


If this were a new Account I'd be looking at that sort of structure, but I wouldn't try to hit everything at once, it would be an impossible task and would be quite wasteful.  When I have a new Account to build I tend to start by picking the top 10 best selling products and then building around them to begin with,  Initially I'd probably do this on a "single Campaign, single product type" basis, with Ad Groups for the individual products (or those that are very closely related).  Single Campaigns per product will appear over time as high volume sellers become apparent and it becomes worthwhile splitting out their budget and other settings.


Once the 10 are ticking over nicely, I'd add another 10, and so on.  You'll probably find that by the time you're down to product #50 or so in the top selling list you're getting few results from AdWords for these products, and that's OK.  AdWords won't be an efficient tool for every single product your company sells, perhaps not even 10% of it and it's important to remember that.


How are you going to track sales in the physical store that are triggered from an AdWords click?


I have to finish with my usual cautionary note because others expect it of me...  You say you know "a little about AdWords" and from the sound of things this isn't your primary job.  Do you feel capable of managing an Account this size?  Who was managing it before?



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Re: How to manage many company subsidiaries?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks so much Calin and Jon!


I see you both seem to agree on having single campaigns per product, let me make sure I'm getting the structure correctly


-Miami Shoes

--Miami Nike Ad Group

--Miami Adidas Ad Group

--Miami Reebok Ad Group

-Orlando Shoes

--Orlando Nike Ad Group

--Orlando Adidas Ad Group

--Orlando Reebok Ad Group


So each campaign is based on location AND category. And ad groups will be more specific products under that campaign? And that is why Jon is suggesting I stick to a couple of products to start with so I don't go jump the gun and make 500 campaigns? But even if I start with 2 products, creating 2 for each location and I'm looking at 120 campaigns, that in itself isn't a problem if that is the most effective way to manage all of this.


Also, what if there aren't any seperate individual products for a campaign? Lets say our most popular selling product is the iPhone, we don't sell any other tech items or phones so we won't have the same structure as above with different individual products being ad groups? 


-Orlando iPhone

--Orlando iPhone Ad Group

-Miami iPhone

--Miami iPhone Ad Group


Correct? Or way off? We have a couple items like this where it's just one product by itself that all our shops sell, but they're not really related to any other product.



About Jon's last question, I feel confident managing all of this, I just need to learn more obviously. I know the very very basics. So not much admittedly. The problem is that no one at work is managing the adwords anymore, it was set up and everything was put on autopilot essentially, and over half the links are redirecting to 404 and are disabled. So either I try to tackle it or it just continues not doing much. Sales are being tracked through a google analytics funnel/goal conversion that one of the web developers set up.


Other than the Google Help pages about adwords, any good books/sites you reccomend I can read outside of work?


Again, thanks for everyone's help.