Are You Using Enough Single Keyword Ad Groups?


One of the most important techniques AdWords advertisers use to maintain the cost of their accounts and improve performance in single keyword ad groups (SKAGs). You may have heard of these before but since Google ditched the right column ads they’ve become all the more important.

So today we want to ask if you’re using enough SKAGs in your AdWords account. And don’t worry if you’re new to these because we’ll be taking things very easy.


What are single keyword ad groups?

Single keyword ad groups are exactly what they sound like: ad groups that are only triggered by a single keyword of your choice. This goes against what Google recommends (10-20 keywords per ad group) but you have to take a pinch of the proverbial salt with what Google tells you.

Google’s looking after its own profit but we’re more interested in yours and SKAGs can help make your campaign more profitable in a number of ways.


Why should I be using SKAGs?

There are various reasons to be using SKAGs in your account. Here is a run down of the key benefits:

-Stronger search to ad message match

-More relevant campaigns

-Higher click-through rates

-Higher-intent traffic

-Lower bounce rate

-More conversions

-Higher Quality Score

-Lower cost per click and cost per conversion

More relevant campaigns, higher-intent users

The beauty of single keyword ad groups is you’re working with highly specific, relevant messages. You’re not casting out a wide net to catch every visitor you can, you’re crafting a single message around one keyword knowing that people who search that term are interested in precisely what you have to offer.

That relevance and high-intent traffic is what it’s all about. These are users extremely close to the point of conversion and you can be the brand that pushes them over the edge with a concise message. With SKAGs your landing pages that follow will have an equally tight message that encourages users to take that final step.

All this adds up to higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates, better conversion rates and higher Quality Scores – all thanks to that extra relevance.


Improve performance, drive down CPCs

Better conversion rates and all those performance perks get SKAGs off to a good start, but what if we told you they could also make your account cheaper to run? Yes, that’s right, and this is why SKAGs have never been so important since Google pushed up CPCs by removing right column ads from search results.

Google wants your ads to generate clicks first of all, but also encourage users to click on other ads in the future. So it has to reward advertisers who create relevant, quality ads – otherwise users would get sick of them and ditch the platform altogether. So the more relevant your campaigns, the lower your CPCs become overall. The higher click-through rates, higher Quality Score and lower bounce back rates also help boost those relevance signals that drive down CPCs. Then you also have the fact higher conversion rates mean a better ROI and when those conversions are costing less than before you’re on to a winner.


Are there any downsides to using SKAGs?

Of course there are downsides to SKAGs as well, like anything else in this world. Essentially, it comes down to extra workload though. You have to create more campaigns and ad groups, which all need managing. Then you have to create separate landing pages for all of them to keep that all-important relevance – so there could be extra initial costs on the development side of things as well.

These are things you’ll need to factor in before you get started with SKAGs, but the pros generally outweigh the cons for most business types.


How many SKAGs should I use?

This is the really tricky question to answer and it largely depends on your business and the goals you’re trying to achieve with AdWords. SKAGs are best suited to campaign goals that call for high conversion rates. This could be specific products, services or sales promotions but you probably want to be even more specific. Think specific searches, selling points, uses or locations users might associate with products. Instead of neckties, think men’s neckties for weddings – searches made buy people who are looking to buy now.

The quantity of SKAGs you go for depends on the number of products/services you have, which of those are best sellers or most profitable and many other variables. If you need some clues on what this means for your business specifically, get in touch with us and we can point you in the right direction.

So, in answer to the question of whether you’re using enough single keyword ad groups, you definitely want to start by experimenting with them. From there you can build up until you find the sweet spot between profitable campaigns and time spent managing your account. SKAGs can be time-consuming, for sure, but the high relevance and conversion rates they can generate are more than worth it.


If you would like to talk more about it , please contact me whenever you would like at and I will do my very best to help.
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About the Author

Google Adwords Partner and Facebook Ads specialist with a difference! 15 years experience in business, a qualified accountant and an MBA amongst other digital marketing qualifications. A wide range of experience across industries such as Manufacturing, Telecoms, Financial, Hospitality & Health & Beauty.

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