If you’ve been in the paid search game for a while now, you may have experimented with different keyword grouping strategies. I am constantly building out campaign structures as part of a daily task and I often run into the same dilemma - do you only put 5 – 12 keywords into an adgroup and write hundreds of ads for each granular group? Or, do you keep your adgroup structure around 10 – 20 adgroups per campaign at most and put a large number of keywords in each adgroup?
The question is… what method drives the best results?
The argument is always “Well, if you group your keywords into tightly grouped themes, you can write more targeted ad copy for each adgroup which in-turn increases CTR and reduces average CPC.” I agree with this logic but for large corporations that have big budgets and strict legal departments, it might not make sense to go granular because the keywords you’re bidding on might be relevant, but you might not want to include those keywords in your ads. For example, some medical nutrition clients might not want their products referred to as “supplements” (even though that’s exactly what they are!) Even though you can’t say “supplements” in your ads, you still probably want to bid on supplement-related keywords. With big brands with big budgets, bidding on a lot of keywords and writing relevant ads for each keyword grouping is difficult to do. Over time, I’ve learned that going granular isn’t necessarily the right approach for every client. I’ve also found that it doesn’t necessarily help your quality scores.
A method of keyword grouping I have grown to use more and more is to group keywords by priority. What I like to do is grab historical conversion data for all keywords. If I need to pivot the data to remove duplicates, I do that. I then sort the keywords/search queries from highest to lowest based on the number of Conversions (1-per-click).
You now have your highest converting keywords at the top sorted descending. Next what I like to do is filter all keywords by what has converted 2 or more times. Deleted everything else that hasn’t converted at least twice. Now I’ll stick each keyword into its own adgroup and number each adgroup based on its priority. For example, my top converting keyword would look like: (1) [Keyword Here] (2) [Keyword Here Also] … and so on.
I like to put all three match types in each group with low bids for broad, medium bids for phrase, higher bids for exact. Now whenever you look at your campaign, you will know which keywords you should be focusing on. Since Adwords sorts your adgroups ascending based on alphanumeric characters, your campaign structure will have adgroups sorted from highest priority to lowest. Sure, this is a granular approach but it lets you focus on your proven performing keywords while ignoring the things that haven’t worked for you in the past.
Use one-word adgroup names for each adgroup. There are benefits of naming each adgroup using one descriptive word to describe the entire group. For example, today I was grouping keywords around a tube feeding product. I came across things like: bags, connectors, tubes, guides, etc. So, I named my groups after these nouns. A big benefit of grouping keywords this way is that you can copy the ad group shell in Adwords Editor, throw it into Excel, then copy the names of each adgroup.
From now on, when you have new keywords to add… say, from search query reports, you can simply throw all the keywords into one group (I like to call this one group *SORT) then use the built-in keyword grouper within Adwords Editor. Paste your list and the software will pluck out all the keywords from your sort group and place them into the appropriate adgroups.
Here’s a video showing you how
Keep it simple. Only create 10 – 20 ad groups max. It makes management of the account much easier. What I’ve found is when you have an extremely granular account, and you go to mine the search query report, you find it hard to determine the right adgroup to place your new keywords simply because it’s so granular and defined.
With broader keyword groupings, it’s easier to manage and easier to add new keywords to the groups. Plus, your ads cover a large group of keywords meaning you have to write fewer ads. Of course, this comes at the expense of the ‘possibility’ that not having highly-targeted ads for each keyword. Those are a few of my keyword grouping strategies currently. If you have any, please share them below!