Campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords – these are the building blocks of paid search, or so I learned on day 2 of PPC Analyst training. Most of our PPC clients are familiar with these terms, and the role that each plays in the structure of a PPC account. But Facebook is a distinct beast, so if you’re looking to move from paid search to social advertising, you need to understand that many settings and adjustments you would find at one level in AdWords often live elsewhere in Facebook. Consider this your guide to account structure on Facebook.


In AdWords, a campaign houses most of your settings. You set a daily budget, determine whether a campaign should have an expiration date, include geo targets, and opt in and out of Search Partners at the campaign level.

On Facebook, campaigns are important for one primary reason: setting an objective. Your objective might be page likes, website conversions, or one of Facebook’s other nine conversion events. This objective will apply to all ad sets in the campaign; choose carefully so you don’t spend your whole budget driving the wrong conversion event.

Ad Groups and Ad Sets

Ad groups in AdWords are used for organizing your keywords – each ad group houses a tightly-knit collection of keywords that all relate to specific ads. We typically don’t make bid decisions at this level, and settings are drawn from the ad group’s campaign.

On Facebook, ad sets are king. This is where we set bids and budgets, determine what audience we’re targeting, make any necessary audience exclusions, and select our Facebook placement. Ad set settings are the core of Facebook optimization.


Ads are the most literal element for both Facebook and search targeting, as they house our creative. On Search, that creative is a text ad where you’re capped at 25 characters in the headline, 35 characters in line one and line two, and a 35 character display URL.

On Facebook, ad creative includes a headline, text, an image, and optional features like a description or call-to-action (CTA) button. Best practices vary greatly between accounts, and even from campaign to campaign, so it’s important to run multi-dimensional A/B tests to figure out what drives the best results.


Keywords in AdWords determine what queries will trigger our ads to show. I could write volumes on the importance of keywords, but suffice to say they’re incredibly important for account strategy.

On Facebook, keywords don’t even exist! Instead, you use Audience targeting, and that is located at the ad-set level. Any sort of “keyword” targeting you might be interested in would be created with interest, behavioral, or demographic info on Facebook.

Learn these differences! When shifting gears from AdWords to Facebook, it’s important to know where everything is located (from settings to data) and how to best use the Facebook account structure for analysis and optimization.