Pros and Cons of moving to Hagakure Structure in Google Ads
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Pros and Cons of moving to Hagakure Structure in Google Ads

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to Google Ads account setup! You need a solid foundation if you want to build successful campaigns, and continue to optimize and improve performance. That foundation relies on you choosing the right account structure for your ads. 

There are different ways to structure your ad campaigns, with each method having its advantages and disadvantages. You might also change from one structure to another if your campaign objectives change or if you inherit a campaign that needs some work.

One of these structures is called the Hagakure method. In previous installments of our series dedicated to the Hagakure method, we explored how the Hagakure structure works. But if you’re a PPC or SEM manager, you still might be wondering if this is the right method for your company. In this article, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of moving to the Hagakure structure in Google Ads to help you decide. 

Pros of the Hagakure Structure in Google Ads

Quick and Easy Setup

Setting up a Google Ads account and defining a structure is time consuming, and almost all businesses are time poor. Even with keyword management optimization tools and other SEM systems, creating a list of keywords (and negative keywords) slows down your campaign setup. 

This is when the old saying “perfect is the enemy of good” applies. Sometimes, you just need to get your campaigns off the ground without creating an exhaustive list of keywords or worrying about bidding and targeting. 

Lower Maintenance

While you will almost always have to carry out some form of optimization to ensure your Google Ads meet your objectives and perform well, the Hagakure structure removes a lot of the heavy lifting.

As Google’s machine learning algorithms get smarter as they ingest more data, they automatically perform optimizations, such as improving bidding, without you having to check in and work out corrective actions. 

Simplified Reporting

If you have fewer campaigns and centralize your data, then it’s much quicker and easier to create reports. You can also see results more clearly when they are grouped together. This helps you decide where to allocate future budget. 

Time saving

When you’ve been running Google Ads for a long time, you can often end up managing more campaigns than you can cope with given your time and resource level. By streamlining your campaigns and ad groups, you have more time to focus on other areas of your PPC or marketing campaigns.  

Cons of the Hagakure Structure in Google Ads

Less Control

If you have no time to manage your Google Ads account, automating as much as possible might seem like the silver bullet you’ve been looking for. But what if it isn’t producing the results you want? 

If you’re using smart bidding and dynamic search ads, there are fewer aspects you can change. You can’t tweak your bids or change where your ads are appearing, and you don’t always have the necessary data to know what is working and how you can make improvements. 

Normally, you have to test different keyword matching types and bidding strategies to find what works for your business, but this isn’t always possible with the Hagakure method. 

Increased Spend

If you want the Hagakure account structure to work, you’ll have to invest big in your campaigns to generate enough data to power Google’s algorithm. You also have to account for ad spend on the wrong keywords and on low-quality traffic that doesn’t result in conversions. 

Not laser-targeted campaigns

Nobody knows your business and your customers better than you do. That’s why you are best placed to create campaigns that hit your customers’ pain points and speak to their needs. 

Google doesn’t have this data. With the Hagakure structure, your campaigns will be less precise and less targeted. You could waste a fortune on negative keywords and attract the wrong traffic, meaning you aren’t putting your budget to good use. 

Impossibility to choose Keyword Match Type

Choosing the right keyword match is an essential part of running successful Google Ads campaigns. If you want to make sure you get high-quality traffic and that your ads appear in the right Google searches, you need to choose carefully between exact match, phrase match, and broad match keywords.

The Hagakure structure doesn’t let you choose types of keywords, which means you can’t test different matches to see how it affects the positioning and performance of your ads. You also can’t tailor these keyword matches to your objectives (website visits, calls, sales, etc) or your campaigns. 

Not Suitable for Niche Businesses

Google needs a significant amount of data to work its magic. According to the company, this is 3,000 impressions per week per ad group. 

If your business has a small target market, Google’s algorithms won’t be able to automatically adjust factors such as bids and placements at an optimal level. 

Results Take Time

With the Hagakure structure, you need to wait at least a few weeks for Google to gather the data and feed it into its algorithms. This means you won’t be able to accurately report on any metrics for some time or see if your campaigns are working. 

Each time you set up a new campaign or ad group or make changes to existing ones, you need to wait for Google’s algorithm to catch up. 

Stay in Control of Your Google Ads Campaigns

When you first hear about the Hagakure structure, it can seem like all your dreams have come true. Google does the hard work for you, and you can take advantage of the power of its machine learning algorithm to better target your audience and make the best use of your budget. But, the Hagakure method takes away control of your campaigns, meaning you can’t target your audience properly, choose your keywords and match types, and ensure you attract the right traffic. If your Google Ads campaigns are a key part of your incoming traffic, and acquisition channel, you’d better keep control over them, and use other technology to help you optimize things as your keyword management within your campaigns. 


Subscribe to our blog if you want to receive more tips on optimizing your Google Ads campaigns! And keep an eye on our series specially dedicated to Hagakure method in Google Ads! 

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