Why Simplicity Wins in Paid Search

I was looking at blurb for a PPC course recently, and among the shiny benefits listed in the description was this:

• Learn how to build complex PPC accounts

… I shook my head.

In PPC, simplicity trumps complexity.

Some practitioners – and some clients – are resistant to this principle…

We’re often drawn to the idea that a complex structure must stem from a deep and clever strategy, designed to squeeze maximum value out of the system.

In reality, once an account goes down the complex path, its performance usually suffers, and your ability to diagnose and reverse any issues suffers with it.

That was true five years ago. It’s truer now.

We’d be forgiven for keeping Google’s recommendations well seasoned 🧂…

But the push towards aggregated structures in conjunction with smart bidding has good sense behind it.

Whatever their imperfections, the algorithms will have an easier job working from a flatter starting point than a more variegated one, when it comes to categorising and ranking your account contents in action.

Again, this favours a simpler structure.

I’m not an advocate of extreme aggregation (e.g. the ‘Hagakure’ method, with as few structural splits as possible)… 

But rather than aiming for complexity, layer in new elements as needed – carefully and intentionally – to avoid having your account evolve into a monster that no-one, man or machine, can get a good handle on!

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