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Mastering Hagakure Google Ads Structure for +115% Conversions

Most ad campaigns are hard to manage and produce poor ROAS. Designing your Google Ads account structure using the Hagakure method can change that.
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Mastering Hagakure Google Ads Structure for +115% Conversions

Most ad campaigns are hard to manage and produce poor ROAS. Designing your Google Ads account structure using the Hagakure method can change that.

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:

  • Hagakure principles that you can apply to your Google Ads account structure
  • The undeniable benefits of the Hagakure method
  • 3-step framework to structure your Google Ads account the samurai way
  • Case studies of marketers smashing performance with this unique structuring model

Why should you adopt the Hagakure method for your Google Ads account structure?

Samurai riding a horse to illustrate the Hagakure Method in Google Ads account structure - Adriel
Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash.

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. 

→ Principles of the Hagakure Method

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:

  1. Use only one URL per ad group to ensure relevance and improve ad performance
  2. Use URLs with at least 3,000 weekly impressions to optimize automation
  3. Create one campaign for each product category for simple management
  4. Use dynamic search ads (DSA) for multiple low-volume keywords
  5. Personalize ads with IF functions

This translates into a campaign structure that looks this way:

Hagakure Google Ads structure example for an e-commerce business - Adriel
Hagakure Google Ads structure example for an e-commerce business (Source:
Campaign • Each campaign corresponds to one specific product category. Identify the different categories of products and services that your business offers, and create a separate campaign for each.

• Assign one specific objective at the campaign level, such as the maximize conversions bidding strategy.
Ad group • Hagakure ad groups are sorted by URLs, not similar keywords. Group all possible keywords that target a specific URL in one ad group.

• Sort all low-volume search terms and keywords in one ad group supported by DSAs. This gives the machine significant data and resources to work with and learn from.
Ads • Create a lot of ad assets (headlines, descriptions, extended texts, etc.) for multiple keywords. This allows Google to test different options and optimize your ads for maximum performance.

• Make your ads ultra-relevant to searchers with IF functions. IF functions let you set specific ad text to show up according to audience differences, making it perform even better due to the power of personalization.

• Ads always include a clear CTA.

How does this translate to tangible benefits for your business’s search engine marketing efforts?

The Undeniable Benefits of the Hagakure Structure 

A well-structured campaign following the Hagakure principles:

  • Significantly cuts down the time, money, and effort required to manage Google Ads PPC campaigns
  • Simplifies Google ads management, making it easier to report, optimize, and collaborate
  • Allows fewer errors due to fewer ad groups and simplified structure
  • Performs better than humans, on average, by leveraging Google Ads’ automation features
  • Balances attention between top-performing landing pages and lower volume long-tail keywords
  • Creates better campaign results: higher return on ad spend (ROAS) and lower customer acquisition costs (CAC)

With that being said, let’s look at how you can set up this Google Ads structure.

The 3-Step Framework to Set Up Hagakure Google Ads Structure

Google Ads app on a smartphone - Adriel

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: 

  1. Note your target keywords, their different match types, and negative keywords
  2. Pick URLs that have at least 3,000 impressions per week
  3. Optimize the meta tags of your landing pages to enable DSAs to work best
Hagakure Google Ads structure - Adriel

Step 1: Assess the pre-existing account structure

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.

Step 2: Align the new Hagakure strategy to business goals

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.

Step 3: Monitor and analyze performance

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.

💡 Optimization Tips for Google Ads Built on the Hagakure Structure

• Structure your campaign with 3 DSAs per DSA ad group and 2 ETAs and 1 RSA in the other standard ad groups.

• Use ad customizers, keyword insertion, and IF statements to keep your ads flexible and relevant to specific audiences as much as possible.

• Don’t shy away from broad match keywords, they can help you capture more target traffic and train the algorithm faster.

• Overlay Google audience lists to target people more interested in your brand’s offerings.

• Leverage data-driven attribution to assign credit to touchpoints that convert customers.

How marketers are using the Hagakure method for conversions and revenue

Marketers are smashing their Google Ads campaign performance with Hagakure method. Here are some real-world examples:

Case Study 1: How Estateguru achieved a +115.86% conversion uplift with the Hagakure structure

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.

Case Study 2: How Menzzo boosted revenue by 37%

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.

Manage Your Google Ads Campaigns on Adriel for Maximum Results

PPC dashboard template - Adriel
PPC dashboard template by Adriel

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:

  • A complete view of ad performance and how it affects your overall campaign budget
  • An instant view of the ROAS of your campaigns to make data-driven decisions quickly
  • Maximum work efficiency by reducing the time in tracking down critical reports and
  • Alerts when something goes off-track, so you fix them before they become expensive mistakes
  • Ad creative insights (analysis of ad copy, images, and videos) for all your ads on Google and other PPC channels

Start reporting today with our PPC dashboard template for free or explore our template library

Want to stay on track with your ad campaigns and other marketing channels? Schedule a personalized demo call with our product specialist today.

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