How To Tidy Up Your PPC Accounts

Spring cleaning has come early this year with the popularity of the Netflix hit “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant who has come up with her own method of cleaning out and tidying up.  In the show, Marie helps people apply her method to their homes and the results are simply amazing.

All over social media, I’ve seen post after post of my friends cleaning out their clothes, pantries, books and linen closets to part with all sorts of unnecessary items and “tidy up” their homes in response to watching the show and reading the book. I’ve been contemplating the method myself for my own home and that got me thinking about how the KonMari Method might apply to PPC campaigns.

The KonMari Method – PPC Style

There are basic rules to the KonMari Method of tidying up. Let’s take a look at some of them and how you might apply them to your campaigns.

Application: To help you think through the application of each rule in the method, I’m going to outline steps using the example of wanting to restructure a search account for a new client that was managed previously by another agency. In looking at the account, you know this is not at all how you’d want it organized for your ongoing management.

Time for an overhaul. You might find yourself leaning towards one of these ways to do this:

  1. Scrap all the old campaigns and start all over with all new ones.
  2. Restructure as needed within the existing campaigns.
  3. A mix of the first two.

Instead of doing the restructure as you have in the past, let’s see what it might look like using the KonMari Method.

RULE – Commit yourself to tidying up.


There are two parts to this. First, you must commit to a complete cleanout and not doing a little bit every day. The idea here is that once the cleanout is complete, it won’t get messy again.

Second, you must commit a chunk of time to the cleanout, knowing that the tidying up will cause stress and a little more chaos before it gets better.


It’s much easier to reorganize the entire account all at once than to do a little bit at a time. That way, it’s completed and can’t be undone. You must set aside a specific amount of time to do the restructure, knowing you might need to bring in other members of the team to make that happen. You should designate this time on your calendar as a special event so that you commit to it.

RULE – Imagine your ideal account.


Close your eyes and think through your goals. Don’t be broad, but try to be very specific.

Next, write them down to help you get clarity.

Then, ask yourself “why” to make sure you have clear direction on the purpose of each goal which would lead towards your ideal account. This exercise brings clarity to what you need to do and will open the floodgates of ideas on how to achieve your goals.


Try to imagine what the new structure would look like. Visualize the interface you’re working in, then breakdown your campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ads based on your preferences. Decide what needs to be split apart (brand, campaign type, geography, etc).

Roughly map this out and ask yourself “why” – if you’re happy with your answers, then you’re ready to move on. If not, keep revising and reasking yourself this question until you’re satisfied.

RULE  – Finish discarding first.


You can’t reorganize until you get rid of everything you don’t need. In your home, it means not putting anything away until you’ve completely removed everything you no longer want.

To help you decide what you need or don’t need, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?”. If the answer is “no,” then thank the object for the purpose that it served and let it go.

That might sound weird, but it helps to complete the cycle of tidying up.

In the garage idea, let’s say that you have 2 hammers. You realize you don’t like to use one of them because then handle is uncomfortable or you dislike the person who gave it to you or it brings back a bad memory. Then, that’s the hammer to discard.

Thank the hammer for doing the work that it did and put it in the donate box. Verbalizing this helps you to let go of objects easier, realizing they have done their purpose and it’s ok to part with them.


After looking at the existing campaigns, decide which still have a purpose in your ideal account. If the campaign doesn’t fit into your structure, then it’s ok to pause and rename it however makes sense to you (ie – adding “old”, the previous agency’s name, date, etc).

If you’re unsure, instead of asking yourself if the campaign “sparks joy,” try asking if the campaign “sparks value.” If not, then thank it for the work that the campaign did for the client.

Being a little snarky is ok, as in “Thank you unwanted campaign for your lousy structure, bad targeting and poor performance which helped me land this account.” I’m telling you, doing that will help make the work that’s coming all worth it.

RULE – Tidy by category, not by location.


This is the biggest difference in how we go about reorganizing. Most people clean out their homes by picking one room and going crazy in that one location

For example, I think of many people taking a Saturday to clean out the garage. In contrast, your task is to shift your focus to the category of objects instead of where they are located. So, instead of cleaning out the garage, commit to gathering up in one place all the tools in the entire house, wherever they are located (workshop, shed, basement, random drawer). Then, you can see ALL the tools you actually have to determine what you ACTUALLY need.


PPC-ers probably tend to decide on a particular campaign and build out the entire campaign. Then, move onto the next campaign and the next.

Instead, you’ll create all your campaign shells first. This helps you see what you have in the account and what is still needed or missing. You get to see the bigger picture of the account to make sure it’s shaping up exactly the way you imagined.

RULE – Follow the right order.


Develop and follow an order to your categories. For inside the home, the order is clothes, books, papers, and then Komono (miscellaneous).


For your campaigns, start with your campaigns. Follow with ad groups, keywords, ads, extensions and miscellaneous.

PPC Implications of Tidying Up

Know that you follow the basic methods, you could apply these steps to tidy up any of your existing accounts. It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of time, thought and effort. You know which accounts are more unruly than others and it’s time for change.

If you still need convincing, here are a few other benefits:

  • You’ll impress your client with the thought you put into their account.
  • A coworker can easily pick up the account if you’re out on vacation or unexpectedly ill.
  • The work is done and you won’t have to do this again.
  • You’ll actually enjoy jumping into your account for ongoing performance tasks.

The key is not to take any short-cuts so that you are completely satisfied with your new ideal account structure. For more inspiration, take a look at our PPC Spring Cleaning: 5 Things You Should Take A Hard Look At In Your Accounts post.

How do you like to clean out your campaigns? Have you applied to any of the KonMari methods to your PPC accounts? Comment below to share!