PPC Tips Written by 0

Written by Wesley Parker

Do you have 10 or even 20 keyword per ad group, but are still wondering why your not getting the results that you want from paid search?

The problem with having 10 or even 20 keywords per ad group is that your keyword to advert match is going to suffer, even though Google suggest that you should have that many.

You get an even bigger problem when your top 5% of keywords don’t match well with your adverts, as they account for 80% of your clicks and conversions.

The solution to maximizing your advert to keyword match, so you are displaying highly relevant adverts, is to use single keyword ad groups.

So what are single keyword ad groups?

Single keyword ad groups are, as the name suggests, ad groups with just one keyword and two adverts. The reason for using them is they give you absolute control over when your adverts will be displayed.

This allows you to perfect the match between your adverts and the users search query, so you can display highly relevant adverts.

Because you can ensure that your keywords will appear in your adverts, you will stand out from your competitors, because your adverts will appear more relevant, and the keywords that are included in your advert will appear bolded.

Which I turn results in a significant increase in your click through rate, Quality Score and conversion rates.

Do single keyword ad groups work?

In short the answer is yes, they do work, but here is the data that you need to prove it conclusively.

When we, here at Clicteq, placed the top 5% of our client’s keywords within single keyword ad groups we got the following results.

  • Increase in CTR of 31.74%
  • Cut cost per conversion by 10.9%
  • Generated 117.5% more leads

When PPH Hero implemented single keyword ad groups for Audi they got to following results:

  • 22% increase in CTR
  • 50% decrease in cost per conversion
  • 106% increase in the number of leads generated

It is worth noting here that they only created single keyword ad groups for search queries with two or more conversions. Which roughly equated to the top 4.5.% of keywords.

How to create your first single keyword ad groups

Creating your first single keyword ad group is fairly simple, and I’m going to walk you through the process, step by step.

The first thing that you need to do is mine your search query data to find search terms that have at least two conversions. From our data we have found that this generally represents your top 5% of keywords.

To find search terms that have at least two conversions, first go to your keyword tab and then select search terms in the sub tabs.

search terms

Once you have done this, the next step is to order your search query report by the number of conversions in descending order, so you can see the search queries with the most number of conversions at the top.

search queries

The next step is now to add these search queries into their own single keyword ad groups. To keep track of them all, I would suggest adding them to a new campaign called “Top performers”.

top performers

It is worth noting that you should add them in all of the three match types (exact match, phrase match and broad match modifier) as shown in the example below.

match types

One thing that many advertisers forget to do at this stage is to add these new keywords as negative keywords in the campaign that they were taken from. This is a very important step to stop avoid them competing with each other.

The final step is to create highly specific adverts that contain the keyword within the ad group, so the keyword to advert match is good.

Here is a template you can use to do this.

Headline: Keyword

Description line 1: Talk about benefits of your product / service

Description line 2: Talk about benefits + Call to action

Display URL: www.yourdomain.com/Keyword

Here is an example of how this would work for the keyword lean to conservatories.

You will be able to see that the headline includes the keyword “lean to conservatories”. The body of the advert talks about features and benefits, and includes a strong call to action. Finally you can see that I have aimed to include as much of the keyword at the end of the display URL as possible, even though I have not been able to include all of it due to the 35-character limit.

character limit


As you will have learned from the case studies, single keyword ad groups are one of the most effective strategies for improving the performance of your account and generating more conversions.

Creating your first single keyword ad group is fairly straightforward, however can be time consuming, so ensure that you only build them for your top 5% of keywords (search queries with 2 or more conversions).

Another key takeaway from this article is that for every single keyword ad group that you create, you need to ensure that you create highly relevant adverts to get the full effect. If you’re a little unsure on how to do this I would recommend using the template within this guide for creating your ads.

Author Bio:

Wesley is a an expert paid search marketer with over 5 years experience. You should check out his blog on Clicteq and hire him to manage your paid search campaigns. You can follow Clicteq on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

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