Home / Ecommerce / Single Keyword Ad Groups: Still Relevant in 2019?
Single Keyword Ad Groups: Still Relevant in 2019?

Single Keyword Ad Groups: Still Relevant in 2019?

Single Keyword Ad Groups: Still Relevant in 2019?

blog banner google ads single keyword ad groups

Google Ads works easiest when your advert can precisely fit what an individual is searching for.

That sounds easy, nevertheless it’s now not at all times simple to perform as an advertiser.

There are a ton of various seek question mixtures and lots of searches are utterly new, even to Google.

So to run a hit seek campaigns, you wish to have to hide quite a lot of key phrases and, preferably, have a novel advert for each and every of them.

Doing that successfully calls for balancing the granularity of campaigns with the time it takes to create them.

Single Keyword Ad Groups (also referred to as SKAGs) be offering a solution to this problem.

But Google Ads isn’t the similar as when that technique first got here out. So in this newsletter, we’ll check out what SKAGS are, if they’re nonetheless related and what different choices you’ve got.

What Are Single Keyword Ad Groups?

If we have a look at the entire other ways you’ll be able to prepare a Google Ads marketing campaign, it appears slightly like this:

google ads campaign structure spectrum
The spectrum of attainable Google Ads marketing campaign constructions

The two extremes are:

  • Extreme 1: Mess – one advert team with your whole key phrases
  • Extreme 2: Single key phrase advert teams – one key phrase consistent with advert team

At one finish you’ve got a marketing campaign with a unmarried advert team with masses of key phrases in it.

A easy instance illustrates the issues with this method:

If you promote books and also you upload each and every key phrase that’s similar for your merchandise in just one advert team, you’ve got the similar advertisements appearing for each “erotic novels” and “kids books”.

Your advertisements will fail to compare what searchers are searching for, which is able to display itself in a low CTR and coffee conversion charges.

At the opposite excessive, there are the Single Keyword Ad Groups (or SKAGs) is understated: each and every advert team comprises one key phrase and has its personal custom designed advertisements. That implies that you’re ready to create an commercial that 100% fits what somebody is looking for.

For a very long time, it was once an excellent solution to take on nearly any form of marketing campaign. But in the closing couple of years, the SKAG technique has turn into so much much less efficient.

Before diving into the main points of what has modified and the best way to adapt your method, I need to display you an instance.

🚨 The Danger Of Getting Too Granular (Case Study)

The major threat with the Single Keyword Ad Group method is that you just get too granular and lose regulate on account of it.

To display you what too granular seems like, we’re going to have a look at the Google Ads campaigns of Rent The Runway.

Rent The Runway rents out fashion designer clothes. They are a reasonably large corporate and goal key phrases that get huge seek volumes.

Below is a listing of various seek phrases, the related key phrases and the marketing campaign that serves the advert:

Search question #1: clothes subscription
Keyword: [subscription clothing]Campaign identify: Google – Nonbrand – Subscription-Boxes – Exact

Search question #2: clothes club field
Keyword: +clothes +club
Campaign identify: Google – Nonbrand – Subscription-Boxes – BMM

From those two examples, it seems that that Rent The Runway has devoted campaigns for precise fit and BMM (large fit changed) key phrases. And it’s running beautiful smartly.

Let’s check out every other set of key phrases:

Search question #three: apartment get dressed
Keyword: [rent a dress]Campaign identify : Google – Nonbrand – Rental – Dress – Exact

Search question #four: get dressed apartment
Keyword: [dress rental]Campaign identify: Google – Nonbrand – Rental – Dresses – Exact – tCPA

These closing two examples display the issue that we’re dealing with with Single Keyword Ad Groups.

It seems that Rent The Runway has other campaigns for precise fit key phrases for each “Dress” and “Dresses”.

In the primary instance, this is proper, the quest question is for “rental dress” and it’s matched with the “Dress” marketing campaign (singular).

But the second one instance, additionally for a novel seek question, “dress rental” will get served from the plural marketing campaign.

The downside I’m seeking to illustrate right here is they’ve taken the time to create two other campaigns for singular or plural seek queries, nevertheless it’s now not running as they meant.

Because each campaigns can display up, it turns into exhausting to set other bids or assign a unique finances to those campaigns.

And it is a corporate with an enormous advert finances, so in the event that they’re affected by this, you’ll face the similar downside.

Don’t concern if it isn’t 100% transparent but, we’ve were given a lot of floor to hide 🤓

The Benefits of Single Keyword Ad Groups

In this segment we’ll check out the largest reason Single Keyword Ad teams have turn into so in style those closing couple of years:

  1. Supercharge Your CTR
  2. More Control Over Your Bids
  3. Easy to Learn and Teach

1. Supercharge Your CTR

When adopting SKAGs, your CTR can pass up considerably.

The first explanation why for that’s easy: you point out the quest question in your advert.

This will make your advert appear much more related in comparison to advert teams that experience numerous other key phrases in them.

In the screenshot underneath, you’ll be able to see the quest effects for “sunglasses for men”.

google search ads click through rate increase
Google Search Ads with the highlighted seek question

Of those four advertisements, most effective 2 advertisers (#2 & #four) leverage the key phrase in the Headline. Warby Parker even makes use of the word thrice!

Also, understand how the quest question is bolded in the advert, this will get extra consciousness.

Ad #1 doesn’t point out the rest about males. This will harm their CTR which affects the standard ranking and calls for them to pay dearly for that #1 spot.

The 2d explanation why the CTR can pass up is that you just’re ready to handle the intent in the back of a seek question.

If somebody is searching for “flexon garden hose review”, you realize that they’re nonetheless making up their thoughts about this particular product.

Your advert may cope with this in a few other ways in the replica of your advertisements:

  • High-Quality Garden Hose
  • Specifications and critiques.
  • Large choice of best emblem lawn hoses.

This building up in CTR sends certain indicators to Google and can enhance your high quality ranking through the years.

2. More Control Over Your Bids

Because you’ve damaged out each and every necessary key phrase and fit kind in your marketing campaign, you’re ready to set a selected bid for them.

You may, as an example, see that a large fit changed key phrase is outperforming its precise fit counterpart. This setup means that you can modify your bid accordingly.

In some industries, like dietary supplements, CPCs can pass into the $Five-10 vary. Then you wish to have the entire regulate you’ll be able to to verify your finances is spent successfully.

three. Easy to Learn and Teach

When it involves optimizing your campaigns, what to do subsequent is in most cases beautiful dependent at the precise scenario.

The SKAGs method is so much more straightforward. You can apply a tick list on when to separate out additional key phrases and pass about your day.

That makes it simple to show, particularly in an company atmosphere the place you need maximum of your Google Ads mavens to apply a identical method.

That’s why I feel this performed a major factor contributing to the recognition of the SKAG technique.

The Downsides of Single Keyword Ad Groups

But it’s now not all sunshine and rainbows. The SKAG technique has a few obtrusive downsides:

  1. Creating Single Keyword Ad Groups is Time-Consuming
  2. Hard to stay an summary
  3. Slower advert checking out
  4. Low seek quantity warnings cripple your marketing campaign

1. Creating Single Keyword Ad Groups is Time-Consuming

Setting up your Google Ads marketing campaign with a SKAG method takes a lot of time, particularly when you’ve got masses (and even 1000’s) of key phrases in your Google Ads account.

First, you’ll wish to replica and tweak the entire other advert teams and key phrases.

What is tougher is growing particular advertisements. Ideally, you create 2 advertisements to check in each and every advert team and for extra in style key phrases three.

That could be a gradual procedure, even if there are methods to transport quicker, particularly when beginning out.

2. Hard to Keep An Overview

Similar to the issue in the former segment, if the choice of advert teams will increase, it may be exhausting to stay an summary of your SKAG marketing campaign.

Also, when you’ve got masses of advert teams, each and every has its personal advert and seek phrases report back to stay observe off. (And act on).

This isn’t insurmountable, however those accounts glance horrifying whilst you open them. This could be a large drawback for learners.

three. Ad Testing takes longer

The extra advert teams you’ve got, the extra your visitors quantity might be unfold among them.

That manner it is going to take longer to peer which advert plays higher.

One advert team with ten key phrases that get 1000 clicks a month will display effects so much faster in comparison to a marketing campaign that has the similar 10 key phrases in 10 other advert team.

four. Low seek quantity warnings cripple your marketing campaign

This isn’t such a lot a drawback as it’s an unsuitable utility of the method.

If you’re slightly too enthusiastic with growing new advert teams, you may finally end up with key phrases that display the standing: “Low search volume”.

google ads low search volume keywords SKAGs
Keywords with “Low search volume” standing

This is standing turns out risk free, however here’s what Google says about it:

Keywords marked as “Low search volume” are related to little or no seek visitors on Google (…) For this explanation why, Google briefly makes those key phrases inactive in order that they don’t cause your advertisements.

This successfully implies that you gained’t display advertisements for that particular key phrase, which ends in numerous wasted effort.

The manner round that is not to get too granular. Only cut up off key phrases into their very own advert teams in the event that they get no less than 20-30 searches per thirty days.

Are Single Keyword Ad Groups Still Relevant in 2019?

The downsides I discussed above have at all times been there, however the SKAG technique has taken off nonetheless.

But in the closing couple of years, Google has made many adjustments that experience had a significant affect on unmarried key phrase advert teams.

The extent to which those adjustments have made this technique pointless is a scorching matter in the Per Per Click group.

The core of SKAGS (focal point on expanding the CTR) nonetheless make sense, however the method must be tailored to the present panorama.

So in this segment, we’ll dig into what has modified and the best way to adapt the SKAG technique to make use of this method successfully in Google Ads.

Evolving Keyword Match Types

Keyword fit varieties are the core basis of Google Search Ads.

They may appear easy, however over the previous few years, there were many adjustments to what those fit varieties if truth be told do.

Let me get you on top of things with a small review.

2014: Google introduces shut variants

These shut variants are seek phrases which are identical, however now not similar to your key phrases.

Examples for shut variants come with misspellings, singular or plural paperwork, stemming, abbreviations, and accents.

A seek for “garden hose” would additionally cause advertisements for “garden hoses”. This supposed that growing particular advert teams for singular and plural key phrases was once pointless.

2017: Expanding precise fit

The shut variants replace already broadened the that means of actual fit that means, however Google didn’t prevent there.

Next, they added reordered phrases and the addition or removing of serve as phrases.

That supposed that [light blue jeans for men] and [mens jeans light blue] would cause the similar seek phrases (and necessarily are the similar key phrases).

2018: Synonyms and intent come to precise fit

At the top of 2018, Google expanded the precise fit kind even additional.

From then on, precise fit key phrases may additionally cause advertisements for synonyms and paraphrases AND searches with the similar seek intent.

Two examples of that:

  1. robotic garden mower value = robotic garden mower charge
  2. lawn hoses = water hoses

2019: Synonyms and intent come to word and changed large fit

Unsurprisingly, the entire adjustments on the subject of precise fit had been rolled out to the opposite fit varieties.

These adjustments have greater the choice of impressions and clicks for many advertisers, which has resulted in more cash for Google.

For shops the usage of the platform, it has turn into tougher to regulate for which searches your advertisements will display up.

The Consequences For SKAGs

All of those adjustments have made it tougher to get a unmarried key phrase advert teams proper. Here are the issues I’ve noticed in my very own campaigns.

Messy Campaigns

The promise of unmarried key phrase advert teams was once readability over which advert is matched with which seek question.

The adjustments mentioned above have made issues so much messier.

Having more than one advert teams which are ready to turn for a similar seek queries implies that you’ve simply created extra paintings for your self.

Google will see the key phrases as duplicates and it is going to be exhausting to are expecting which key phrases will fit with the quest time period and likewise what bid to go along with that.

So whilst your key phrases and advert teams don’t compete with one every other (nor do they force up the cost), it simply makes it so much more difficult so that you can arrange the campaigns.

Negative Keywords Can Starve Your Campaigns

With the SKAG method, you cut up off seek queries with respectable volumes to their very own advert teams.

Then you upload that key phrase as a damaging key phrase to the unique advert team to stop the outdated advertisements appearing up.

One downside I’ve run into with extremely granular campaigns is this filtering isn’t running as anticipated, which resulted in the total choice of clicks happening.

If you’re concentrated on top quantity key phrases, you may now not understand the variation.

But for the ones key phrases that get 20-30 searches a month, too many damaging key phrases can in point of fact starve the account.

Problems with Budget Allocation and Optimization

A brand new argument in opposition to SKAGs in gentle of Google’s adjustments is expounded to finances allocation optimization.

The argument is that in case you pass too granular with skagging (having masses and even 1000’s of advert teams in a marketing campaign), your finances will get unfold too skinny.

If you utilize probably the most automatic bidding methods, Google has a more difficult time leveraging its set of rules to come to a decision what adjustments to make.

I haven’t noticed this in my very own experiments, nevertheless it’s one thing that I stay on my radar.

The IBAGS Strategy

After declaring the entire flaws in the SKAGs technique, I’m in spite of everything going to carry some solutions 😎

I’ve been the usage of the SKAGs method once I heard about it. But on account of the entire adjustments discussed ahead of, I’ve tailored my method as smartly.

This is what has ended in the IBAGS or Intent-Based Ad Groups Strategy.

What are Intent-Based Ad Groups (IBAGS)?

The IBAGS method takes what labored with the SKAGS method and adapts to the converting panorama.

The largest distinction is transferring the focal point from key phrases to intent.

google ads campaign structure intent based ad groups ibags
Introducing the IBAGS Strategy

Instead of specializing in key phrases, we create looser advert teams that mix key phrases with the similar intent.

Matching a searcher’s intent implies that our advertisements cope with what a searcher is attempting to perform.

Someone looking for “garden hoses price” or “garden hoses cost” is price-conscious. And our advertisements wish to have a solution to that.

That manner we will’t focal point blindly at the choice of clicks in the quest phrases document, we’ll wish to if truth be told perceive 😱 what an individual is searching for and whether or not or now not that intent is already addressed in our construction.


Before I display you the best way to enforce this technique in your campaigns let’s see how intent-based advert teams stack up in opposition to unmarried key phrase advert teams.

Ad checking out Hard Easy
Adapted to 2019 key phrase fit varieties No Yes
CTR High Medium
Difficulty to be informed Easy Medium
Negative key phrases Tons Moderate
Granularity Extreme Medium
Future evidence No Yes

How to Create Intent-Based Ad Groups

With all this concept in the back of us, it’s time to get cracking.

In what follows, I’m ranging from scratch. If you have already got campaigns operating, the method underneath nonetheless works high quality however it is very important adapt it right here and there.

1. Seed Keywords: Foundation

No topic which marketing campaign construction you’re the usage of, you continue to wish to get started out with key phrase analysis. (Not going to hide it right here in element, so pass take a look at that article!)

These seed key phrases will populate your preliminary advert teams.

I in most cases pass beautiful deep with my key phrase analysis, however then gained’t use all the key phrases that I’ve discovered.

I at all times attempt to create advert teams for the types, manufacturers, and product stage, if the quest quantity at the key phrases lets in for that.

Here is a snappy and grimy take a look at I did for “garden hoses”:

creating intent based ad groups ibags
Creating intent founded advert teams from key phrase analysis

Just from this record, there may be already a coarse construction rising. I might team the key phrases in the similar coloured field into the similar advert team.

So advert team #2 comprises: lawn hose reel and water hose reel.

Ad team #Five comprises flexzilla lawn hose.

Further key phrase analysis would display in all probability extra detailed searches for the more than a few flexzilla lawn hoses, the ones can be additional cut up off (ibagged).

One factor to seem out for isn’t losing effort by way of beginning out with advert teams that experience key phrases that most effective get looked for 10-20 instances per thirty days.

If the ones key phrases do get attention-grabbing seek volumes, they’ll display up in the quest document. (I’ll display this underneath).

I upload those key phrases with the 3 fit forms of those key phrases.

So as an example:

  • Modified large fit: +lawn +hose +reel
  • Phrase fit: “garden hose reel”
  • Exact fit: [garden hose reel]

I didn’t come with the large fit key phrase in the instance. That’s as a result of it’s the least restrictive key phrase fit kind, because of this it is going to display for an overly vast number of seek queries, one thing we’re taking a look to steer clear of with our new construction.

Pro-tip: use the Google Ads Editor to create advert teams and advert key phrases. It’s a lot quicker and makes replica/pasting, textual content changing and notice exams so much more straightforward.

2. The IBAGS And Bidding Strategy

Intent-Based Ad Groups aren’t very other from different forms of campaigns in the case of the bidding technique.

If you’re beginning out, pass with Manual CPC and set a Max. CPC at the advert team stage.

google ads ad group max cpc bids

After your campaigns had been operating for some time, you’ll get extra insights into the efficiency of key phrases and their particular key phrases fit varieties in your campaigns.

Then you’ll be able to get started tweaking the ones bids accordingly.

google ads keyword level max cpc bids

three. Write Ads to your IBAGs

Writing advertisements with unmarried key phrase advert teams was once beautiful easy. You take the key phrase and repeat it a couple of instances in your advert.

Right now we’ve were given fewer advert teams, however they’re all grouped by way of intent. This implies that even if the precise wording could be a little other, other folks looking for those key phrases necessarily manner the similar factor.

That manner we need to get as particular as we will in the advert.

Here is the method that I apply:

Headline 1

Repeat the principle key phrase.

This makes your advert extra related for your searchers, will increase your click-through price, and high quality ranking.

Since the wording of the key phrases inside the advert team adjustments fairly: lawn hose vs water hose, as an example, some other folks may now not understand it manner the similar factor.

This will have an affect at the CTR. To steer clear of this you need to experiment with Dynamic Keyword Insertion:

google ads dynamic keyword insertion dki
Dynamic key phrase insertion in Google Search Ads

Headline 2/three

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or differentiator. Can be one thing like “Free Shipping And Returns”.

Description textual content

The description textual content is the phase the place you’ll be able to in point of fact play into the intent.

If the key phrases comprise charge or value, speak about your pricing. If they’re class searches, point out the dimensions of your catalog. If individuals are looking for critiques, point out how other folks price your product (or your retailer). If you’re writing product-specific replica, speak about the advantages and the options of the product.

Finish with a transparent name to motion (CTA) on the finish.

Display trail

The show trail is every other position to turn attainable guests that you’ve what they want.

I in most cases attempt to reuse the key phrases.

In this advert for “spacex posters”, I attempt to display that I’ve were given an entire class devoted to SpaceX poster:

example display path url

In every other instance a store presentations that he has the product somebody is searching for:

google ads display path url

As a cherry on best of the cake, you should definitely equip your advert teams with advert extensions.

Pro-tip: Create no less than two tremendously other advertisements for each and every advert team, that makes it more straightforward to enhance your click-through price through the years. Switch the advert rotation to Optimize.

Pro-tip 2: Ignore the Responsive Search Ads for now. In all my exams they’re underperforming the Expanded textual content Ads.

How to Optimize IBAGs Campaigns

As with all Google Ads campaigns, the actual paintings starts when you’ve introduced your campaigns.

Here is how I optimize my campaigns.

Digging Into The Search Terms Report

For maximum of your preliminary optimization paintings, you’ll use the quest phrases document.

google search ads search terms report
Search phrases document in Google Ads

It’s in there that you just’ll uncover new key phrases that you just neglected or didn’t arise throughout your analysis.

If there may be some quantity ( > 20 clicks in the closing 30 days), upload it for your current advert team.

If there may be some quantity however the intent of the key phrase is other, you’ll be able to cut up it off into a brand new advert team.

You can then upload that key phrase as a damaging to the unique advert team.


Here is the Search Terms document (of the closing 30 days) for an advert team that comprises our seed key phrase “robot lawn mower”:

  • robotic Lawn mower – 123 clicks
  • robotic garden mower charge – 42 clicks
  • husqvarna robot garden mower – 35 clicks
  • honda robotic garden mower – 28 clicks
  • robot garden mower critiques – 25 clicks
  • easiest robot garden mower – 21 clicks
  • robotic garden mower value – 18 clicks
  • electrical robotic garden mower – 15 clicks
  • robotic garden mower comparability – 6 clicks
  • husqvarna robot garden mower charge – Five clicks
  • robotic mowers for enormous lawns – three clicks

Based at the following document, I’d make the next choices:

  1. New advert team: “cost and price” searches
  2. New advert team: “husqvarna robot lawn mower” searches
  3. New advert team: “honda robot lawn mower” searches
  4. New advert team: “robotic lawn mower reviews”
  5. Add “best robotic lawn mower” as a word fit key phrase to the unique advert team

The different seek phrases have attainable, however that’s now not appearing but.

You’ll additionally to find many damaging key phrases that you may need to exclude out of your marketing campaign. You can do that as smartly from the Search phrases Report.


While you’re running on refining your marketing campaign construction, you’ll be able to tweak your bids.

At first, your adjustments might be interested in visibility. Raising max CPCs in case you’re now not getting any visitors, or decreasing them when it will get too pricey.

But as the times, weeks and months roll by way of, the real gross sales efficiency will get started using your choices.

You may get extra granular and begin to set other max CPCs at the key phrase stage.

Once you get a constant efficiency out of your marketing campaign, it’s value it to start out taking a look into automatic bidding methods like goal ROAS.

IBAGS Ad Testing

Another benefit of the IBAGS method over SKAGS is that advert checking out is going so much quicker.

If you’ve created two advertisements in each and every advert team, you will have to see a transparent winner emerge after 100-200 clicks.

Pause the person who’s underperforming and create a brand new variation of the successful advert.

If the efficiency of each advertisements (CTR and conversion price) could be very identical, it’s most certainly as a result of the ones advertisements are too identical.

Consider pausing certainly one of them and rewriting them slightly extra tremendously.

Future-Proofing Your Search Campaigns With IBAGS

Intent-Based Ad Groups are a forged choice to Single Keyword Ad Groups. They shift the point of interest from key phrases to intent.

This guarantees your CTRs, high quality ratings, and CPCs are aggressive and gives a solution to Google’s evolving key phrase fit varieties.

If used proper, this method will building up the efficiency of your Google Ads campaigns.

Questions? Counter arguments? Can’t wait to listen to them in the feedback 🙂

Check Also

Authorize.net vs. Stripe? : ecommerce

Authorize.net vs. Stripe? : ecommerce

Authorize.internet vs. Stripe? : ecommerce Hi all. I’m the use of Stripe, amongst PayPal, for …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Posts