It doesn’t take rocket science or expert knowledge to see why adding more granularity to your Google Ads account is a much more effect way to improve your paid search performance.

In fact, segmentation allows for overall easier management and data visibility within your google ads account.

Embracing more granularity and segmentation helps drive better click-though-rate, impression-share, lowers overall CPC, and increases your quality score.

We’ve been building SKAGS for over 5 years and have tested 10-20 different variations to prove out what the ideal SKAG should look like.

If you are interested in getting your hands on this before we launch them, then get your free growth strategy from us today.

What are SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Groups)?

Single keyword ad groups is a pay per click account structure tactic where you structure your ad groups and keywords 1-1.

This means that for every ad group you will only have one keyword. This enables your ability to personalize and align both the ad copy and landing page url more accurately to a user’s search intent.

Today we are going to cover the benefits and examples of how to build a single keyword ad group. First off, let us talk about when this strategy should and should not be used.

Why you should care about SKAGs

SKAGs are a great way to get pinpoint accuracy with both your measurement and paid search performance. Since this account structure virtually allows you to fully personalize the funnel from click to landing experience.

When you have 1-1 ad groups and keywords your ability to leverage ad copy that mirrors your user’s search intent is that much greater.

Greater personalization = greater performance

Most marketers that are against this account structure tend to argue budget related concerns for why they may not use this tactic.

Here we’ll explain it.

When it should be used

SKAGs are most beneficial when you have a sufficient budget and preferably longer tail keywords. My general rule of thumb is having at least $5K/month in total budget.

The core reason for is because having a smaller budget makes SKAGs a difficult strategy to maximize budget against your keyword mix.

However, most of the time we’ve found that even on a small budget SKAGs will out perform most accounts.

Core Match Types For Single Keyword Ad Groups

The best practice for many accounts that leverage SKAGs generally use broad match modified keywords. However, it is in your benefit to leverage exact and phrase match keywords as well.

If you are a mortgage business and looking to capture mortgage intent, the keyword mortgage calculator would include:

+mortgage +calculator

“mortgage calculator”

[mortgage calculator]

Building a Fortune 500 SKAG Naming Convention

Now that we have covered the basics, it is time to flex on the more expert level insights to help you build a really, really, really, really (you get the point) robust SKAG account structure.

First off, you will want to define your categories at the campaign level. Within the campaign naming convention we will define the following:

  1. Campaign Service Line
  2. Keyword Intent
  3. Device Type Segmentation <- We’ll explain why this is important
  4. Match Type
  5. Geographic Targeting

Once we’ve confirmed that we have an idea of this information we can start to build our naming convention.

How To Create A Single Keyword Ad Group

We will be using Google Ads Editor to build and implement into our Google Ads account. If you do not have google ads editor, download it here.

Creating The Naming Convention

Example Use Case: A mortgage company that is looking to acquire traffic and leads to their business

Campaign-level naming convention example:

p: G|^N|#M|c: mortgages|i: leads|m: BMM|g: NYC

Notice the above example includes some jargon that you may not understand. However, we will define it for you:

P = provider (Google v Bing v Facebook etc)

^N = Non brand keywords vs Brand

#M = Mobile vs Desktop

C = Campaign (This is thematic of your keyword selection)

I = Intent

M = Match type (BMM, Exact, or Phrase)

G = Geography (This is helpful to define if you are segmenting campaign by DMA or zip codes)

We also used a delimiter ( | ) to ensure we can export this data and leverage excel’s text-to-column features for our pivot table analysis.

Now that we’ve defined the campaign naming convention we can begin to build this for our ad groups. The only difference for our ad group naming convention will be to include our root keyword.

The root keywords we will use are the following:

mortgage rates

mortgage calculator

loan officer near me

p: G|^N|#M|c: mortgages|i: leads|m: BMM|g: NYC|mortgage rates

p: G|^N|#M|c: mortgages|i: leads|m: BMM|g: NYC|mortgage calculator

p: G|^N|#M|c: mortgages|i: leads|m: BMM|g: NYC|loan officer near me

Importing and Cloning In Ads Editor

Once you have the base campaign and ad group naming conventions it will be easy to create and clone your naming conventions for the many iterations of keywords you may have within your strategy.

First Copy In Your Campaign Naming Convention.

Adding single keyword ad groups to google ads editor
Create a campaign in Google Ads Editor

Create Your first ad group and then copy it within the same campaign.

Copy the ad group within the same campaign

Once you have both your ad groups and keywords cloned. You can begin to create your ad copy.

Create Keyword Specific Ad Copy

The benefit to having multiple ad groups is the ability to personalize the ad copy for each keyword.

Example ad copy for the keyword +mortgage +calculator

Once you have this customized for all keywords you can begin to strategize and identify the best possible landing page url.

Remember quality score is ranked based on your ad’s relevance to the user’s search query and intent.

In order to ensure you have the most relevant experience, we recommend having written copy on the landing page to reflect your keyword strategy.

10 Benefits of Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)

1) A Structure Account For Measurement

When you set up and align your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords at a higher granularity, this ensures you control exactly where your traffic goes.

This in turn will allow you to more easily measure and optimize for underperforming keywords, ad copy, and landing experiences.

2) Improved Relevancy

You now have the ability to maximize your ad copy creation to mirror your user’s search intent.

When you analyze your search terms report and find keywords that may lack in performance it becomes easy to trim those keywords from your account.

trimming those negative search terms

3) Improved Click Through Rates

When you have ads and landing experiences that are more aligned with your keywords you are likely to get higher CTR. This is because your user’s intent is met with ad copy that has higher relevancy and expected quality score.

google ads keyword insertion
keyword insertion improves CTR

You should also test keyword insertion within your ad copy to further enable personalization.

4) Better Quality Scores

As your CTR and quality scores increase so does your ad rank within Google’s auction. This will lead to strong positions in auction and lower overall cost.

Ad Rank = Quality Score x Max CPC

The better your Google Ads Quality Score and ad relevancy the stronger your ad rank and the easier it is to win higher position in auction.

5) Increased Average Position

As your overall CTR and Quality Score increase you will start to see increased position in auction.

The best part is about winning higher positions is that you will likely be able to get more conversions and while outranking your competition!

6) Increased Overall Impression Share

It is probably pretty obvious that when your quality score and position increase this will lead to increased impression share as well.

Better position and ad relevancy will lead to your ads rotating more often which drive better impression share.

Since Google Ads replaced average position with additional impression share metrics, it is important to keep a close eye on your impression share metrics.

7) Lower Cost Per Click

Yes! You heard that right. When you increase your quality score across your keyword mix. The first page bid (FPB) will decline, allowing you to get higher position at a lower cost.

This in turn will help drive more relevant traffic and higher ad rank. Higher ad rank means higher position in auction.

8) Lower Cost Per Acquisition

When you CTR increases, CPCs decrease, and you start to win higher positions in auction your overall cost per acquisition may decline as well.

Only caveat is to measure this based on the the click conversion rate or CVR.

We recommend to ensure you have clear Call To Actions and content that relates to your keyword and ad copy.

9) Higher Conversion Rates

As we discussed, if you have the best personalization from ad-to-click this will naturally make for a more relevant experiences which will lead to better conversion rates.

10) Increased Conversions

If you have higher conversion rates and click through rate at a lower cost per acquisition, you are able to capture more conversions.

Its as simple as that! The power of Single Keyword Ad Groups is that is helps you get more conversions.

Closing Thoughts

Single Keyword Ad Groups makes amateur paid search teams miss out on a TON of opportunity to scale.

We help our clients and partners scale more granularly leveraging our SKAG approach and hope you take this technique and scale too!

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