Group Keywords Into Small Groups or Large?

Posted:  April 25th, 2013 by:  keywordgrouper comments:  1

When you’re sitting there thinking about how to group your keywords next time, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Should you group keywords on a super granular level?

Using Keyword Grouper (or my new keyword grouping algorithm) Adwords Editor, or my Excel keyword density tool … you can group keywords into groups as small as you want.  So the problem shifts your focus away from the technical grunt-work and allows you to focus your energy on whether or not you should.  You will hear a lot of gurus say “Make sure you group your keywords into common themes!”  They are right about that but then they say “Make sure each group has about 5 – 25 keywords per group.”  Uhhh… so let me get this straight.  I have 50,000 keywords and you want me to create groups of 5 – 25?  This would range from 2,000 – 10,000 ad groups.

WHY do the gurus say this?  For starters, they are just repeat what other people have said.  More importantly though, they are saying this without providing you the most important reason WHY this strategy would be beneficial.  Allow me to explain their logic so it makes more sense.

IF (you can, are allowed or are permitted to write relevant ads for each ad group — AND — you don’t have hundreds of thousands of keywords)

Consider grouping keywords into small groups of 5 – 25 keywords per group (but only if it’s manageable and makes sense)


Group your keywords into larger groups (so it’s more manageable).

Consider this: what is the point of putting in a ton of time and effort grouping keywords meticulously into small groups if you are not going to write super-relevant ads for each group?

The whole concept here is that if you have small, micro-targeted ad groups, you will be able to write very specific ads.  This will result in a much higher CTR than if the keywords were segmented into larger groups with more general ads.  That is their reasoning and logic behind it and guess what – they’re right!

The big question becomes:

Are you going to take the time to create ads for each ad group?

If Yes…

Do you have the skills to manage hundreds or thousands of ad groups?  Keep in mind that if you create thousands of ad groups, you have to create tens of thousands of ads AT LEAST!

I do a lot of client work.  Large company’s have ‘legal’ departments.  Legal authorities review and revise ad copy and tell you what you can and cannot say in paid search ads.  My dilemma is that I have the skills and tools to create super-segmented ad groups.  I also have the skills to manage those ad groups.  I even have the skills to generate super-relevant ad copy for each group.  What I can’t do is say most of the things that need to be said in the ads because these ‘legal’ departments completely thwart my efforts to write ads that are relevant to the keywords.  Legal departments markup the submitted ads with notations of things you cannot say as well as their non-legal opinions.  In the end, you end up with whatever they felt like approving that day.  Their feedback is never consistent.  In fact, the only thing consistent about legal PPC ad feedback is that legal teams are consistently inconsistent.

Another factor to consider is that once you create super-segmented ad groups, you need to assign destination URLs to the ads for each ad group.  If you have many potential landing pages, assigning destination URLs to blocks of ad groups can be very tedious.  There also might not be clear distinction as to what page a particular group should drive traffic to.

One solution to all this is to assign keywords to landing pages first.  When you know where you will be sending the traffic, you know your strategy!  There are many benefits to this strategy:

  1. You know the content on the page
  2. You will have to write much less ads
  3. You still have the option to group keywords into small groups but you’ll be in a better position knowing where you will be sending a group of keywords before-hand
  4. You can re-use ads for each micro-group you create sending to the same landing page (for example, write 1 ad for one landing page, group all keywords, use that 1 ad for all groups sending to that landing page)

That’s my logic and a concept worth considering.  Check out my PPC campaign builder if you want to create paid search campaigns much faster!

1 Comment

Posted By: Mark On: July 02, 2013 At: 2:49 pm

Hi Jarad,

Firstly; thank you for creating the Keyword Grouper and making it available at such a low price – if you haven’t bought it yet WHY NOT? ;-)

Seriously though, your software saved me a ton of time and thank god I don’t have to use Adwords Keyword Grouper any more!!

Now, back to the topic of the post.

I 100% agree that grouping keywords should be done so you can write more targeted ads, if you don’t intend to write a targeted ad for each group why bother creating so many adgroups??

Let me explain…

I’ve tested all kinds of campaign structures including dumping all keywords in to one adgroup – shock I know! Now from the outset this might seem like a bad idea because the ads aren’t targeted, but with the use of DKI an un-targeted ad can be changed to extremely targeted in an instant. So you may now be thinking why the hell do I need a keyword grouper tool if this can be done?

Well, by running the test above (all keywords in one adgroup) I was getting clicks and conversions from a range of keywords. From the surface I had 50 keywords all with one click and no sales, no biggie as 1 click on a keyword with no sale is nothing new. But when you put these keywords through a keyword grouper I realised they all had one word in common. In reality I had 50 clicks on the same keyword although with different permutations!! Had they all have been put into the same adgroup I would have spotted this and paused the group.

The goes for converting keywords too; you may have 50 keywords all with 1 conversion each, but 1 conversion per keyword isn’t much so why bother increasing your bid? Group the keywords together, you then realise you have 50 conversions for an adgroup that is converting extremely well!!

So, what should you do – Group your keywords (with Jarad’s Keyword Grouper) and write targeted ads (if you can be bothered).


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