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Don't Make People Think - Make People Buy, Pt. 1

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”…


As marketers, I think we could all take a cue from the wisdom of Steven Covey. This adage he’s referring to stems from a common communication flaw, in which people listen with the intent to reply – not to understand.


I think the same problem often occurs in paid search “communication”. Whereby, a user types a query with the hope of being understood, and all too often, advertisers push their own agenda without fully understanding their audience.


Consumers don’t like to feel sold. No – the best advertising sweeps consumers away into a uniquely tailored experience, in which one chooses to buy.  And, it feels good.


Lest we forget, paid search is part art and part science. It’s easy to just get caught up in the X’s and O’s in day-to-day management. Remember, there is a human being on the other end asking to be heard.


This post (and the subsequent Google “Hangout-on-Air”) will share some of my tried-and-true tactics aimed at providing a positive user experience for your target audience through AdWords.  Here are the three main topics we’ll be discussing:


  • Account structure
  • Delivering the goods
  • Device context

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get started… 




Account structure is the way you go about architecting your AdWords account to develop and launch strategic marketing initiatives.  This includes (from the top-level down) campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ads.


See below:




All too often, I work with companies who approach account structure with an overly simplistic vision.  By which, the structure and campaigns conceptually makes sense, but practically don’t afford much control.


When I begin engaging with these clients, I usually flip the hierarchy upside-down.  I encourage our employees and clients to think about the end result and work backwards.  This starts with keywords and ads – visualizing all the different ways in which people could search for what you have to offer. 


Once you have all these root terms and modifiers on the table, it’s quite shocking to see all the different layers that exist.  You’ll notice keywords that indicate very different consumer “mind-sets”, and potential stages in the buying funnel.


For example, consider these common modifiers:




If all the above “mind sets” were eligible to trigger in one product ad group with generic copy, do you think the ad would stand out? Not a chance.  


As you tailor your vision for campaigns and ad groups, I strongly urge you to consider the modifiers that could trigger with your root/product keywords, and adjust your structure accordingly.


General Rules for Account Structure:


  1. If you can write better copy or send to a better landing page (and its garnered enough traffic), create a new grouping.
  2. Consider layering on mindset or stage in the funnel to speak more specifically to your target audience. Don’t limit your groupings to product or service root terms. 


Like what you see so far? Come back tomorrow for part 2 of my post. I’ll reveal the remaining tactics on “delivering the goods” and “device context” that have helped my clients improve click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate by 20-30%.



Be sure to join Dana Rouleau, Google Business Development Manager, and myself on Thursday, April 17 at 11am PDT to learn more about:


  1. Why account structure is critical in developing successful ad copy
  2. What constitutes a good user experience
  3. What best practices exist for creative advertising on mobile

Sign Up To Watch Now.


This is a pre-recorded hangout but there will be a live Q&A after the video presentation in the Google Partners North America community. Use the hashtag #AskAnAgency to get your questions answered live.


Bryan Q
April 2014

Great article!

Robert C
April 2014

#mission critical!