Structure of Google AdWords Campaign
What is the structure of a Google AdWords Campaign?

When you are starting out with Google AdWords Campaign, it might seem daunting to see all those tabs and features in Google AdWords. I am sure you will agree that it is easy to get overwhelmed when you open your Google AdWords account.

If you want to understand the Google AdWords (a.k.a PPC) Campaign structure in-depth, this article is for you!

When you have finished reading the article, you will be able to: –

  1. Understand the Google AdWords (PPC) campaign structure.
  2. Know the difference between AdGroups, Keywords, Ads and Campaigns
  3. Understand how to navigate the PPC Campaigns in the console
  4. Learn where each component belongs
  5. Understand which keywords trigger which ads
  6. Get a FREE copy offline PPC Campaign Creator Excel file

If you are here to just have a look at the structure of the campaign, here is an image which outlines the basic structure of a Google AdWords campaign.

Google AdWords Campaign Structure


However, if you wish to understand the structure in-depth, let’s dive right into understanding the different components first.


Google AdWords Campaign

Google AdWords Campaign


A Campaign is the highest-level structure/ bundle that encapsulates all the child elements along with details, settings and relevant information in itself. In simple words, a campaign is a container that contains AdGroup(s) and all settings of the marketing campaign in it.

Since a campaign is a top-level structure, all the settings applied to it will be applicable to all the child elements such as AdGroups, Keywords and Ads. For example, assume a campaign is set to be active only in Turkey, Canada and Australia. The Ads for that particular campaign would be shown ONLY in those countries.

An AdWords account can have as many campaigns as required by your marketing needs. There is no limit to the no. of campaigns that you create.

Each campaign and their settings are independent of each other. No campaign affects the performance and factors of other campaigns.


Google PPC AdGroups

Google AdWords AdGroups


An AdGroup is a child structure of the campaign which contains Ads and Keywords along with settings specific to that AdGroup. In simple words, an AdGroup is a container that contains Keyword(s), Ad(s) and settings.

Each AdGroup contains Ads and Keywords which are RELEVANT to each other in that AdGroup. The main aim of having AdGroups is separation of different Ideas/Themes/Items for targeting specific audiences. Hence, by creating AdGroups wisely, you can save a LOT of money.

Since an AdGroup contains Ads and Keywords, you need to know that ANY Ad from the AdGroup can be triggered by ANY keyword within the AdGroup. So, make sure to have only related Keywords and Ads in an AdGroup. If you have different products/services/items be sure to create different AdGroups for each of them.

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PPC Keywords

Google AdWords Keywords


Keywords are the most basic element in the Google AdWords Campaign and hence it is one of the most important factors in your PPC marketing campaign. Keywords are basically the words/search terms/query by the user for which you want your Ads to be displayed. Having good keywords which are related to your product(s)/service(s)/requirement(s) will help you get the right traffic and the right audience.

You add your keywords to the AdGroup with different modifiers. Once you have added your keywords and Ads, you can ENABLE your campaign.

When a user inputs a query in Google search and those keywords MATCH the keywords that you have specified, one of your Ads will be served to the user. The Ad that is shown to the user will belong to the same ad group as the keyword.

For narrowing your keywords precisely, Google AdWords provides 5 types of keyword modifiers. They are – Broad match, Broad match modifier, Phrase match, Exact Match and Negative keywords.


Google AdWords Ads

Google AdWords Ads


An Ad is also the basic unit in the structure of your Google AdWords Campaign. An Ad is a small collection of 5 text elements which is displayed in the search console when triggered by a keyword from an AdGroup.

In short, an Ad is the container that is shown to the user, when a match for the search query is triggered.

An Ad is comprised of 5 elements, viz. –

  1. Title – The Main heading of your Ad (25 characters)
  2. Description 1 – First line of Description (35 characters)
  3. Description 2 – Second Line of Description (35 characters)
  4. Display URL – URL displayed to the user (35 characters)
  5. Final URL – The URL to which the user will navigate (No limit)

Note: – The display URL and the final URL of your Ad should have the same DOMAIN NAME or your Ads will be rejected.


PPC Campaigns Navigation

Now that you have understood (hopefully) what the different components are, here is how you can USE THIS INFORMATION RIGHT NOW!

When you are in the Account, all the campaigns in the Google AdWords account would be listed below. If you have not created any campaigns yet, you would see something like this.

For this article, I am assuming that you have created your first demo Google AdWords campaign. So, let’s begin!


PPC Account

On the left pane, you can click on “All Campaigns” to see all your campaigns. You can also click on the “Campaigns” tab in the central pane to see the list of all your campaigns.

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Google AdWords Account


Since you are on the top-level structure – “Account”, if you click on the Campaigns, AdGroups or Ads or Keywords tab, you will be able to see ALL the components for this account.

A new screen will be presented after you select a campaign. You can work on that particular Google AdWords campaign after selecting it.


PPC Campaigns

Once you click on any campaign from the left pane or the central pane, you will see something like this.

Google AdWords Campaigns


You are now in a child structure called “Campaign”. Here, the number of tabs in the central pane are reduced. In this structure, you can see all the AdGroups from the Campaign that you chose.

These AdGroups are available in just this Ad Campaign. Other campaigns with have their respective AdGroups and Ads and Keywords.

You will see that the number of Ads and Keywords are reduced after clicking on the Ads or Keywords tab. This is because, these are the Ads and Keywords just for this campaign.

If you click on the Settings tab, you can set certain properties which will apply to all the child elements of this campaign by default. So, after you change the default settings and create a new AdGroup, all the default settings of this group would be set as per the campaign settings.


PPC AdGroups

Now, when you click on an AdGroup, either from the left pane or in the center, you will be inside that AdGroup. This is where the magic happens! Inside an AdGroup is where you place your Ads and Keywords which make up the marketing ads.

Google AdWords AdGroups


As you might have noticed, the number of tabs has reduced to just – Settings, Ads, Ad Extensions, Keywords and Dimensions. When you click on the Keywords tab, you can see the keywords which will trigger the Ads in the Ads tab.

We will discuss advanced features such as Ad Extensions and Dimensions in another article. But for now, understanding that these are the main elements of your PPC Campaign would suffice.


Adding elements

Now that you know how to navigate within the console, let us understand how to add the different components.

You can always add Campaigns, AdGroups, Ads and Keywords from Account level. However, it might give rise to a lot of mistakes. Remember, Google AdWords costs money when someone clicks on your Ads. So, you need to be EXTRA CAREFUL not to make mistakes as you might lose a lot of money.

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When you have just a few campaigns to manage, you can add them from anywhere. But, when you have a larger number of Campaigns, you are more likely to make errors. It is best to navigate to the particular AdGroup and then add your Ads and Keywords. This would reduce chances of error and is a good practice to incorporate from the start.

Similarly, if you wish to add new AdGroups, you should navigate to the required Ad Campaign and then add the AdGroup. In short, navigate to the parent element before adding a new component.


Free Download

As promised, I will provide you with a free copy of the PPC Campaign creator. You will be able to use shortcuts to help with the creation of campaigns offline. You can understand what pieces of information you would need before creating an actual campaign online.

It is always better to create a rough sketch of your Google AdWords Campaign OFFLINE before you actually upload it online. This will make it easier to have a look at your entire campaign quickly without having to navigate through all those clicks and extra information.

PPC Campaign Creator

Offline PPC Campaign Creator

Please provide an email address where we should send the download link.



Note: – Be sure to Enable macros after you download the file Excel file. The shortcuts and functions require the use of Excel Macros. Once you enable macros, you will be able to use all the features of the download file.


Final words

I hope this might have been a useful tutorial for you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below. So, if you would like to share your experience, I would be happy to learn more.


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