Who would’ve thought that an 18th-century samurai code of honor could be applied to 21st-century digital marketing?
That’s exactly what the Hagakure method is. Originating from the samurai culture in Japan, it’s now a specific tactic for structuring and optimizing your Google Ads campaigns, taking full advantage of machine learning, automated bidding, and dynamic search ads.
In this article, we delve into everything you need to know about structuring your Google Ads account the samurai way. We’ll cover:
The Hagakure method for Google Ads is a simplified campaign structure that uses automated tools such as smart bidding strategies and dynamic search ads (DSA) to maximize learning and results.
For years, marketers used to build highly complicated and granular structures on Google Ads accounts so they can offer ads that responded precisely to users’ searches.
SKAGs and tight keyword controls were the hot stuff then.
But times have changed, and Google has too.
➡ Google’s machine learning is so much more advanced now.
➡ The way Google thinks of keywords has changed – it now emphasizes the meaning, rather than the spelling, and “broad match” rather than exact phrase.
➡ Google’s smart bidding does everything for you.
The Hagakure method for Google Ads is a call back to simplicity to reflect these changes–it maximizes campaign performance by having simpler account structures built by grouping as much data as possible. Here’s how it works.
In the Hagakure method, you group your campaigns based on a simpler structure with more data in each campaign. This gives Google more information so its algorithm can choose the best option for every search.
The Hagakure Google Ads structure is governed by these principles:
This translates into a campaign structure that looks this way:
How does this translate to tangible benefits for your business’s search engine marketing efforts?
A well-structured campaign following the Hagakure principles:
With that being said, let’s look at how you can set up this Google Ads structure.
Before you begin, please note that you should only use this strategy on accounts with sufficient conversion history, not fresh Google ad accounts with zero historical data.
And before you get started, make sure to:
Examine the landing pages and their quality scores, keywords and their contribution to campaign results, profit margins of products, location targeting, and products. Note the Google ads campaign structure — single keyword ad groups (SKAGs), single theme ad groups (STAGs), etc.
Choose a smart bidding strategy that aligns with the business goals, such as CPA, ROAS, maximizing conversions, or maximizing conversion value. Plan this stage carefully and define the objectives well.
Create ad groups for each product category, such as sweaters and shirts, with at least 2 Extended Text Ads (ETAs) and 1 Responsive Search Ad (RSA). Ensure that every ad group has 3000 impressions weekly.
Create one more ad group with 3 Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) to capture new relevant search queries. Add all the ads that did not meet the 3000 impressions requirement to this group.
Note: Expect an initial period of uncertain performance while Google algorithms are gathering data and learning, roughly about 14 days.
Analyze performance and optimize gradually within a 15% margin per week. Assess whether you achieved your goals. Analyze the results within the business context to see if the initial goals and objectives were realistic.
Marketers are smashing their Google Ads campaign performance with Hagakure method. Here are some real-world examples:
Estateguru, a leading European digital investment platform, was facing challenges in their Google ads campaigns. The company's advertising strategy was not generating the desired results, with low conversion rates and a high cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
To fix these problems and reach target performance metrics, Estateguru partnered with a Google Ads agency that implemented the Hagakure account structure. They switched to the Hagakure method, localized campaigns, introduced a shared budget and portfolio bid strategy, and created landing pages for competitor keywords.
This resulted in a conversion uplift of 115.86%. Also, the number of investments customers made on their platform boomed by 97.06% and CPA decreased by 8.71%.
By simplifying the account structure, using automated bidding strategies, and optimizing ad relevance, Estateguru captured traffic they wouldn't otherwise target, resulting in significant improvements in their conversion rates and investment values.
Menzzo, an e-commerce site selling designer furniture, was struggling with low conversion rates and limited budgets.
To solve this, they tested the Hagakure Google Ads account structure, specifically targeting a return on ad spend (ROAS) optimization strategy. They optimized their campaigns to target buyers who would make larger purchases while keeping the budget relatively constant.
The results were significant. Despite a slight decrease in conversions, Menzzo saw a 37% increase in revenue. This was because Hagakure allowed them to find buyers who were willing to spend more money on their products.
By optimizing their campaigns for target ROAS and using Hagakure to aggregate their data, Menzzo increased their revenue without increasing their advertising spend.
The Hagakure structure allowed Menzzo to simplify their account structure and focus on automated bidding strategies, which made their campaigns more efficient and effective.
In this article, we explored the principles and benefits of the Hagakure structure for Google Ads campaigns. We showed you how to set yours up and maximize your gains with minimal effort.
Although the Hagakure Google Ads structure is simple, you still need to keep your eyes on its performance to ensure you’re on track with target KPIs. You can do this effortlessly with a centralized PPC dashboard, whether you’re a brand or an agency.
With Adriel’s cross-channel PPC dashboard, you can stay truly on top of critical insights from your Google search campaign in real-time while focusing on your other marketing channels. This means you get: