April 30, 2019

An Introduction to Single Keyword Ad Groups

by Collin Slattery

Making money on pay-per-click advertising is tough. It requires knowledge of incredibly complex platforms like Google Ads, and it requires constant optimization. In many cases, small advertisers are unable to run profitable Ads campaigns. But I’m here to let you in on a little secret that PPC management agencies like ours use often to help clients succeed: SKAGs. That is, Single Keyword Ad Groups, and they are just what they sound like: ad groups with one and only one keyword in them. While it may not make sense why you should be using SKAGs now, I’m going to explain the benefits of them.

Why You Should Use Single Keyword Ad Groups

A quick question: Would you rather get 50 clicks with 0 conversions or 3 clicks with 1 conversion? Obviously, you want the conversion! One of the arguments that we have heard from people when proposing using SKAGs is they don’t want to lose out on traffic. But if the traffic isn’t making you money, why do you want that traffic? You don’t!

Pay-per-click advertising is all about optimization and the more optimized you are, the more profitable the ad groups and campaigns are likely to be. Having one ad group with one, exact match keyword is as narrow a level of keyword targeting as you can get.

And because there is one keyword, you are able to match your ad copy perfectly with what the visitor searched. This is great for click-through-rate, conversion rate, and it improves quality score.

Did I mention Quality Score? Because of the perfect match between ad copy and keyword, you’re likely to have a very good quality score. (Your landing pages will be targeted too, right? Right!?) 10/10 QS are completely doable when you’re doing SKAGs. And with that 10/10 QS, you spend less money per click.

How You Find Good SKAG Keyword Candidates

So you’re sold on starting to use SKAGs in your adwords account, but you’re not sure where to start? You’re in luck. Finding good SKAG candidates is very easy.

  • High Impressions
  • Good conversions

Depending on how much you are spending and how many clicks you are getting, you’re going to want to set a fairly large time history to get strong data. 3 months should be fine. Once you’ve set your dates to cover the last three months, you need to go to your search terms report.

Once you’re in your search terms report, you should filter based on the number of impressions to see the keywords that got the most impressions. Sometimes these won’t be the ones that got the most clicks, which is even more reason to turn them into SKAGs. (you’ll get higher relevance, which will raise your CTR, which is good stuff)

I would start with the search term that received the highest number of impressions and work your way down the list. It is also important to look at keyword phrases that are converting well. If a keyword has tons of impressions but no conversions, it may not be a great one to target.

So now that you’ve compiled a list of keyword phrases that you want to move into Single Keyword Ad Groups, you need to start that process. I’ll walk you through the process in the next post of how to create a SKAG in Adwords.

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