What Are Google Ad Groups?

It’s a frequent question – exactly what are Google Ad Groups?

What Are the Basics of Google Ad Groups?

Architecture of Google Ad GroupsAd groups are for organizing ads: they are small, thematically-focused sets of keywords that share a set of ads.

Search marketing works like an auction, and the market is governed by more than just bid prices. Ad position and click price are also determined by Quality Score, a multi-faceted algorithm whose purpose is to reward advertisers who offer a relevant and unobtrusive ad experience. Thoughtful ad group architecture is essential for achieving a high Quality Score, but your work will pay off! A high Quality Score means higher ad position, cheaper clicks and better campaign results.

If you don’t follow best practices, you can look forward to expensive clicks, low ad position and losing business to your competitors.

How Do You Organize Google Ad Groups?
Because ads should be thematically focused and driven to a relevant landing page, there are several possible ways to organize ad groups.

We always suggest that you refrain from mixing keyword match types, and that you only include one product or offer in each ad group. Beyond that, you may choose to separate ad groups by theme, concept, terminology, “tail size” (actual word length of a keyword term), and point in the buying cycle.

What Are Match Types and How Do You Mix Them?

What Are Google Ad Groups Match Types?
Don’t use all match types in one Google ad group – the ad network will likely default to serving ads for your broad-match keywords (at a high cost and low conversion rate for you). We suggest using broad match keywords only for exploratory phases: learn what gets you clicks and conversions, then augment your ad groups to include phrase match versions of the keywords that worked. Exact match keyword ad groups should be used for keywords that have been proven to work: they will drive targeted traffic. Don’t be afraid to bid high on these tested keywords. They’re worth fighting for!

For more information, check out our post on exact match vs phrase match vs broad match.

How Do You Test Google Ad Groups?

Search marketing has message testing – built right in. By writing multiple ads for each ad group, you can test which messages are bringing you the right customers – and get immediate results.

  1. Write four ads for each ad group
  2. Vary the subject lines in two ads
  3. Vary the offer or call-to-action in two ads
  4. Let the ads run for a few weeks
  5. Replace the two poorly-performing ads with new version
  6. Repeat!

You can use what you learn from your search tests across channels: in your print and collateral advertising, on Facebook and display/banner advertising, and beyond. Search marketing gives you the ability to qualify a message: if it converts, it must resonate. Continue testing throughout the lifetime of your campaign: the market is always changing.

We hope we’ve answered your question – what are Google ad groups! Let us know if you have any other questions we can answer for you.

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