September 2020 Monthly Update

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Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) are just as they sound: having one keyword for every ad group with its own set of ads. The keywords and ads should match exactly or very closely, so that the ad can be more relevant.

Marketers use single keyword ad groups to keep their ad groups highly focused and more efficient. They also give you more control over your ads and improve your ad results. Are single keyword ad groups the best option for your campaigns? Here’s a quick overview of their pros and cons.

Top Benefits of Using Single Keyword Ad Groups 

1.   Increases your Average Ad Position

Few people read an entire ad before clicking on it. Lowering the discrepancy ratio of search terms to keywords and that of keywords to ads, increases the likelihood of viewers clicking on your ad.

If your click-through rate is higher than that of your competitors, you will get higher average positions, even when your keyword bid is low. Google cares a lot about user experience, and more click through rates show that visitors like your site more.

All this results in increased traffic to your site and, hopefully, more business.

2.   Reduces your Cost per Click

The use of single keyword ad groups is one of the most effective ways of reducing your average cost per click without lowering your bids.

Single keyword ad groups improve your quality score, especially due to the increased click-through rates. Also, quality cores are an important factor in the calculation of the first page bids, and a good quality score translates to a reduced first-page bid.

Google will discount your cost per click if they see your quality scores are higher and more relevant than your competitors’. Lowering your cost per click will also reduce your cost per conversion, reducing your ultimate customer acquisition costs.

3.   You Can Better Understand Your Traffic

Knowing the traffic that goes through your site can be a lifesaver. Who exactly are your web visitors? Where are they coming from? Which device are they using? Having this information enables you to model your landing page experience for your web visitors in a way that they find appealing.

Engaging the potential clients this way, not only gives you a better chance for acquisition, but also increases your retention rate.

To understand your visitors better, you can add a landing page test. The higher volume of website traffic will increase your control levels and enable you to get comprehensive user feedback.

The level of granularity in the use of single keyword ad groups means that you are taking ad control for yourself by giving less control to Google. Google recommends that you use 10-20 keywords per ad group, so by having one, you are able to make sure that all your keywords have less search term variance.

4.   Helps You Identify Opportunities

The search terms report is a good way to identify other single keywords ad groups. This helps you avoid the struggle of creating new campaigns, ad groups, or ad variants. It also helps ensure that there are no crossovers by using ad group level negative words, which reduce internal competition of keywords, allowing them to scale up easily.

This also makes it easier to identify the keywords that are generating high click-through rates and high conversions and those that aren’t performing as well. Most importantly, you are able to identify the keywords with lower conversions, and this knowledge gives you more confidence to target the visitors that clicked through your site as they have already shown interest in your brand.

Cons of Using Single Keyword Ad Groups 

1.   They Take Time to Create and Manage

A SKAG campaign involves the creation of the maximum number of Ad Groups. This means that a single campaign could have hundreds of keywords. Putting each of these keywords in their own ad groups and ad sets can take lots of time, and effort to set up and manage. Yes, setting up the SKAGs may save you money, but sometimes the monetary benefits are superseded by the mismanagement of the time used on the task.

Having too many SKAGs also means that you have to closely monitor them while making any recommended changes. This can make your account a little messy and hard to manage.

2.   Increases Your Chance of Duplicating Keywords

Google has loosened the reins on close variant keywords. By doing this, they have extended the same-meaning, close variants to phrase matches, changing the keyword selection preferences that prevent keywords from competing against each other.

With these changes, using SKAGs will take away control from Google, increasing your chances of inefficiency through using almost-similar words that could have been matched.

3.   Makes Ad Testing Difficult

Single Keyword Ad Groups make ad testing a bit harder because of the data dilution that results from having many ad groups. The thinner sets of data make it more difficult to test as they give fewer data at a time. This results in the tests taking more time.

4.   Lack of Volume

Including many keywords in the targeting options of a campaign with low search volumes, results in a large number of ad groups that may generate very little or no impressions and clicks.

Ad groups with small amounts of data are very difficult to optimize, as it’s difficult to identify the performing ads and those that are tanking. This then makes it hard to identify the optimal bid to use.

Are Single Keyword Ad Groups the Best Option for Your Business?

There are hundreds of ways to construct search campaigns, and it is important to build an account that feels most comfortable; one that not only makes it easy to monitor and interpret campaign data, but also to constantly test ads to find out what drives the best results.

Would you like our experts to take a look at your account to see if there are ways to scale profitably or improve performance? Get in touch with us today!

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