How can I move to Hagakure Structure in Google Ads?

If you’ve read our previous articles on the Hagakure structure in Google Ads, you’ll have gained significant knowledge on what this method involves and its pros and cons. You’ll also understand the importance of structuring your Google Ads account in a way that delivers the best results for your clients or business. The right structure is key to successful ads.

But there are still some questions to be answered regarding the Hagakure method and how to ensure you are running campaigns that will deliver the best results. 

If you’ve decided to structure your campaigns using this method because it will help you meet your goals, or you’re just curious to know more, this article is for you. Read on as we answer the question on every SEM manager’s lips “How can I move to Hagakure Structure in Google Ads?”

Step 1: Decide on Campaigns and URLs

One of the main principles of the Hagakure structure is that you run fewer ad campaigns. Instead of setting up a large number of complex campaigns, and creating single keyword ad groups, you simplify your account structure. But which campaigns are you going to create? This depends on traffic to your site’s URLs.

Rather than taking keywords as a base for ads, Hagakure uses URLs as a base, but you have to use high-volume ad groups when setting up your campaigns. Google recommends a minimum of 3,000 impressions per week for each ad group so the algorithms can work smartly. 

There is a good reason for only using high-volume URLs. The Hagakure structure is much more automated than other Google Ads account structures. It relies heavily on Google’s algorithm and machine learning techniques to optimize performance. For this to work properly, Google needs a lot of data, and the more data the better. 

As time goes on, and more data is fed in, Google’s algorithm gets smarter. It learns from past successes and failures and uses this information to better target customers with more relevant ads. This means you get higher quality traffic and a better return on your ad spend. 

To find out which URLs meet the criteria, check out Google Ads’ predefined landing page report

Step 2: Choose Product Categories

The Hagakure structure doesn’t completely reinvent the wheel; there will be many aspects that you already do, and concepts you’re familiar with. One of these is choosing campaigns based on your product categories. As Google’s algorithm assesses the content of websites to see if the keywords included on these pages are related to the search query, it’s important you match up products with campaigns. 

For example, if you sell furniture, you might set up one campaign for dining room furniture and then segment that into ad groups for kitchen tables and dining chairs. Or, you might create a category for tables and then set up ad groups for kitchen tables, side tables, and end tables. It all depends on the volume of your URLs and the way you sell your products. 

Step 3: Set Up Dynamic Search Ads

You’re probably wondering right now what to do with your lower volume URLs and search terms. That’s where Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) come in. While it’s best to use adaptive search ads for higher volume URLs, DSAs plug the gaps when you still want to drive traffic to other parts of your site.  

DSAs work by grouping together lower volume search terms. Google’s algorithm is then able to obtain enough data and impressions to be able to automatically target ads to the right people. 

Step 4: Use Google Ads’ IF Functions

If you’re worried that using the Hagakure structure will mean that you can’t create highly targeted campaigns, you can use Google Ads’ IF functions. This means that you can insert text into your ads that only shows up if the person viewing the ads meets certain conditions. They could have abandoned their cart or live in a certain location or be using a mobile device.

Using IF functions help you create more personalized ads and ensures you attract the right traffic to your website. To use this feature, you need to create different target audiences in Google Ads.  

However, there are some pitfalls to using the IF functions. You can’t A/B test the ads, which means you can’t get access to the data that lets you work out which ad is performing better. This makes it almost impossible to fully optimize your ads and make changes to boost performance

It’s also not wise to use Expanded Text Ads here. With the Hagakure structure, ads are triggered by a wide variety of keywords. This means that the content that the user is served might not match the keyword that they searched for. 

Step 5: Remember to Adjust and Update

While the Hagakure structure means that Google does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to your ad campaigns, that doesn’t mean you can set up ads and forget about them. You need to continue reporting on performance and optimizing and improving your campaigns as much as you can.

You might also realize that the Hagakare structure isn’t right for your clients or business. Maybe you need more control over your campaigns or you want to target keywords (and choose their match type) rather than URLs. Remember, there are other Google Ad account structures out there that might deliver better results, and you can even run classic campaigns alongside your Hagakure ones to compare performance.

If you want to evaluate whether the Hagakure structure is right for your business, we’ve got you covered. Read our full series of articles where we explain all aspects of this Google Ads account structure. 

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