How to Build a Thematic Campaign (Two Lists)

Note: If you’re new to building campaigns in SpeedPPC, you may want to check out our help articles on How to Build a Single Keyword Ad Group Campaign (Single List) and How to Build a Single Keyword Ad Group Campaign (Multiple Lists), as this article will skip some of the more basic steps covered there.


Quick start video

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Detailed instructions

Thematic Campaigns in SpeedPPC allow you to create campaigns according to traditional search engine marketing best practices, where each ad group is built around a set of tightly-themed keywords. This enables you to create ads that are relevant to those keywords. It also gives you some valuable organization that allows you to quickly see differences in performance among different keyword themes, and to more easily adjust bids based on that performance.

This is in contrast to the more finely-tuned Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) strategy. While we at SpeedPPC are fans of this approach since it allows you to create highly relevant ads and can lead to higher quality scores and lower CPCs, SKAGs are not the best solution for every account and may not outperform Thematic Campaigns for every advertiser. (The mantra “always be testing” applies here: we encourage you to try different things in order to figure out what campaign structure is best for you.) Single Keyword Ad Groups also create very large campaigns and can push against the limit both Google and Microsoft have of 20,000 ad groups per campaign. In some cases, Thematic Campaigns are much more manageable and practical. They can be a very useful tool in your PPC toolbox.

We're going to start by going over how to create a Thematic Campaign with two lists (which is the minimum number of lists required for this campaign type). The next help article will cover Thematic campaigns with three or four lists.

Getting started is easy enough. On the first campaign set-up screen, choose “Thematic Campaign” and “Combine Two Keyword Lists” from the menus in the Campaign Type section.

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On the Keyword Setup screen, you'll see boxes for your seed keywords and expansion 1 list. Your seed keywords designate your keyword themes, and these will become your ad groups. Inside each ad group, the seed keyword will be paired with every keyword in the expansion 1 list. Note that if you’re using more than one keyword match type (for example, exact match and broad match), SpeedPPC will put all the match type variations in the same ad group.

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So in the example above, you'll have ad groups for Heels, Sneakers, and Clogs. Inside each ad group, the seed keyword will be paired with each color keyword in the expansion 1 list:

Heels Ad Group: heels blue, heels green, heels red, etc…

Sneakers Ad Group: sneakers blue, sneakers green, sneakers red, etc…

Clogs Ad Group: clogs blue, clogs green, clogs red, etc…

(Do keywords like heels blue sound clunky to you? Note that in this example if you wanted the expansion keyword to come first so that the keyword was more natural, like blue heels, you can add the additional variation via the Advanced Options section at the bottom of the Keyword Setup screen. Change "Mix Type" from "Same as Column Order" to "Every Variation." This would be important if you're using the exact or phrase keyword match type, where word order matters. If you didn't want the original unnatural version of the keyword, you can eliminate those later after you export your campaign from SpeedPPC.)

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The Keyword URL's and Advanced Options sections are covered in more detail in the Single Keyword Ad Group Help articles. The Bid Setup and Ad Setup screens are also the same as other campaign types in SpeedPPC.

For writing your ads, you may want to refer to our explainer article for Dynamic Keyword Insertion so you understand how to correctly get your keywords to appear in your ads.

That's it for creating a Thematic Campaign with two lists! You’re now able to quickly create campaigns well-organized for performance.

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