PPC Help: Ad Groups – The Red Headed Stepchild of Paid Search


PPC Help

Everyone needs PPC help, and this series is part of our blog post series to help you improve your paid search campaign in 10 days.

Ad gNiel Robertsonroups are the red headed stepchild of paid search. You don’t care, and it shows. You get all excited by your keyword research and putting together the perfect ad, but most people don’t get jazzed about building a fantastic ad group. Ad groups are for organizing ads: they are small, thematically-focused sets of keywords that share a set of ads.

Ad groups are like keeping a well-organized file cabinet. But if you let your ad groups go to hell, it’s like a messy file cabinet. Google can’t find what their looking for, and your campaign goes to hell too.

So let’s make like Kim Kardashian and get in and get organized. (Did you know Kim Kardashian was a professional closet organizer?)

1. Look at how many keywords are in your ad group!

Like a closet, don’t cram a bunch of items in there. If you’re cramming too many keywords in there, the search networks can’t find your ads. Or something like that. The maximum number of keywords you want in an ad group is 50. On the other side of the coin – don’t have one keyword and one ad per ad group. Don’t over complicate things. You wouldn’t have one closet shelf hold one sweater each, would you?

2. Organize thematically

A great way to organize your ad groups is thematically. Put all advertisements for trucks in one ad group and then sedans in another ad group. Ideally, keep breaking down further to blue Trucks or Ford 150 trucks with different features. It’s like having your closet organized by clothes type and then breaking it down by material and then by color.

3. Organize by ad type – video, image, paid search, etc.

Another way to organize ad groups is by ad type – video, paid search, image, mobile, etc. You don’t want your Ford 150 ad group to have mixed ad types.

4. Sort by match types

Don’t stop now! Another advanced technique is to organize your ad groups by match type – keeping exact type separate from broad match separate from phrase match.

5. Name your ad group by your goal.

If you’re an organizer, you probably love yourself a label gun. Here’s something else you might love – labeling your ad groups by their purpose or goal. Organize it by labels such as low-performing keywords, high CPA keywords, low CPA keywords, experimental keywords, etc.

6. Remember the limitations  of ad groups.

Don’t forget the rules of ad groups. Remember that you can’t have different domains in the same ad group. And that…

7. Ad groups have a big effect on quality score.

Poor ad group organization can adversely affect your quality score. The search networks assign a quality score on a scale from 1 to 10 to ensure you’re not creating ill-fitting keywords and ads for your PPC campaigns. If you’re mixing advertisements and keywords, it’s likely to hurt your score. For example, if your ad group has keywords on trucks and sedans and convertibles and a sedan keyword comes up with a truck ad – well, Google’s going to lower your quality score.

Photo credit to Niel Robertson, CEO of Trada. He IS red headed but he isn’t a step child. And now you know!

4 responses to “PPC Help: Ad Groups – The Red Headed Stepchild of Paid Search”

  1. Clever Zebo Mktg

    Nice roundup. On #1, I’d argue that with enough volume, you can be incredibly successful with 1 keyword per adgroup and lower your CPC dramatically — but surely, if we’re talking about a few dozen clicks a week, maybe it’s best not to over-complicate things.

  2. Google Adwords News Sep 23rd – AdWords Experiments – Some Real World Examples

    [...] user? If so, are you having any success with it? Drop me a note and let me know what you think. PPC Help: Ad Groups – The Red Headed Stepchild of Paid Search Everyone needs PPC help, and this series is part of our blog post series to help you improve [...]

  3. Brett Landon Long

    Does this article refer to the keyword section of web pages?

    1. Brett Landon Long

      email reply test

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