Group Keywords Into Small Groups or Large?

Posted April 25th, 2013 by keywordgrouper with 1 Comment

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!

Keyword Grouping Strategy

Posted February 1st, 2012 by keywordgrouper with 2 Comments
Keyword Grouping Strategies

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.

Keyword Grouping Strategy #1

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.

Keyword Grouping Strategy #2

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

Keyword Grouping Strategy #3

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!

Keyword Grouping and Stop Words

Posted December 18th, 2011 by keywordgrouper with 1 Comment

Stop words are words that lack significance in general.  Think about how often words like “to“, “of“, “for“, “as“, “is“, “a“, “and” and “the” appear in the English language.  These words appear very frequently but provide very little information by themselves.

Good examples of stop words are prepositions and articles.  Prepositions are words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence.  English articles are words like “a“, “an” or “the” are known as .

For the purposes of keyword grouping, the goal is to filter out stop words so we can get at the heart of the most important words within keyphrases.

Keyword Grouper software lets you define and filter out whole words or strings that either begin with, end with or contain certain values.  This powerful feature allows you to create meaningful and descriptive group names.

Here’s a potential list of stop words you can use within Keyword Grouper:


Paste them into Keyword Grouper and analyze the keyword density of your keyword list.  Your keyword groups will be cleaner and much more logically organized.  You can find a more definitive list of stop words here.

What’s the Best Way to Group Keywords

Posted December 9th, 2011 by keywordgrouper with Comments Off

Many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialists and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Professionals often find themselves grouping or categorizing keywords into common themes.  This type of work usually takes a lot of time and requires a lot of manual sorting and sifting keywords around until they come up with the right groups.

What makes keyword grouping hard is that many times you will find keywords that can be grouped into several buckets which causes a mental conflict.  When this happens, you have to make a judgement call as to what part of the keyword is MOST important and put it into the most relevant group.

Take for example a keyword like “Allstate car insurance Minnesota“.  It has three conflicting components such as [BRAND] [NOUN] [GEO-LOCATION].  Let’s say you have a Branded group/Adgroup called Brand-Allstate, another called Car Insurance and another called Minnesota.  How do you determine the best group for this keyword?

It really comes down to a judgement call because the keyphrase could fit into all three groups.  From experience though, I’ve found that brand takes precedence over all other types.  This could be your brand or a competitor’s brand.  In my opinion, it’s best to separate the branded keywords from the more generic (non-brand) keywords.

The next most important part of this keyword is the Geo-location part because the searcher isn’t looking for just any car insurance; they are looking for car insurance in a specific area.  Anytime you evaluate keywords, just ask yourself “what is the most specific part of that keyword?”  In my opinion, it’s best to group keywords from most-specific to least-specific.

The least specific keyword in this keyphrase would be ‘insurance’.  Since CAR insurance is a specific type of insurance, we have another level of specificity we can use to group keywords by.  We could group all keywords that are non-brand and non-geo-targeted into a “Car Insurance” group.

What I’ve just described is a common scenario that any SEO or SEM goes through when grouping keywords.

Now, imagine if you could AUTOMATE this process with a keyword grouping tool.  That’s exactly what Keyword Grouper software aims to do.  Keyword Grouper is a Keyword Grouper tool that you download and install on your computer.  It is used to group keywords into common themes.

The Best Way to Group Keywords in 3 *Easy* Steps

  1. Build your keyword list – get keywords from Google Analytics search query data, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Site Search Suggestion data, off the top of your head, keyword generation tools, etc.  Once you have this list, it’s best to clean the list from non-alphanumeric characters and remove duplicates.
  2. Segment your keyword list – find common themes among your keyword list.  One way to do this would be to analyze the keyword density of your keyword list.  In other words, look for words that appear most frequently while ignoring stop words like “for, as, of, is, to, and, the, etc.”
  3. Group your keywords – a monotonous, laborious task depending on the type of tools you have at your disposal.  You can achieve this in Excel using filters and searching for words that “Contain”.  This would take a lot of time and requires a lot of copy/pasting to different tabs.  Another option in Excel would be to use an Excel Macro to help automate analyzing the keyword density.  I created such an Excel keyword grouping tool that can be downloaded at PPC Campaign Generator.  It doesn’t help you actually perform the grouping but it does help you identify high-frequency keywords within your keyword list.

If you want a free program that allows you to group keywords manually, I would suggest using Adwords Editor.  What you do is take your keyword list and stick them into one single adgroup.  I usually call this group something like *SORT so I know I am sorting it.  Then all do is type in the search box to filter your keyword list to what you are searching for.  The nice thing is, you can select all keywords, hit CTRL + X to cut, go to the adgroups tab, create a new adgroup, go to that adgroup, hit CTRL + V to paste your keywords within that adgroup.  When you’re finished, yo u can simply export to .CSV and save your keyword grouping structure.

In conclusion, that’s the best way in my opinion to group keywords.  If you have any other methods, tips, tricks or ideas, comment below to get the discussion flowing.

Keyword Grouper Tool

Posted December 8th, 2011 by keywordgrouper with Comments Off
PPC Campaign Generator

PPC Campaign Generator has a keyword grouper built-in.  It’s the exact same keyword grouper tool as the one on this site (  PPC Campaign Generator is a downloadable search engine marketing software that you can use to generate paid search campaigns fast and efficiently.  Customers that buy PPC Campaign Generator get the stand-alone version of Keyword Grouper free.


Wordstream has a keyword grouper.  The standard edition membership costs $329 per year and you are limited to grouping just 2,000 keywords at a time.  If you want to group 10,000 keywords at a time, you have to pay $599 per year.  It does a decent job of grouping keywords.

Adwords Editor

Adwords Editor has a keyword grouper.  If my primary job was SEO, I would still download Adwords Editor because it allows you to group keywords manually (which beats manually moving cells and groups of cells around in Excel).  The Adwords Editor keyword grouper tool has practically no options or settings.  You can generate potential keyword groups by clicking the “Generate Common Terms” button but all it does is spit out your keyword list while removing words from your “Ignore these Words” list.  The problem is you will end up with far too granular terribly-named adgroups which will make managing your account a nightmare.  The better alternative is to manually decide what your adgroups will be called and paste them into the “Generate Common Terms” box.  The obvious downside is that it requires you to research and come up with the names of the adgroups manually… which defeats the purpose of letting a tool help you group your keywords.

Keyword Grouper

Then there’s  If you don’t know what Keyword Grouper does, watch the demo.  Keyword Grouper is only $29, there are no limits or restrictions on how many keywords you can group, there are tons of settings and options, no annual fees, simple-to-use interface, export-friendly formats, and much more.

Do a search for keyword grouper on Google.  You won’t find much else in terms of keyword grouping tools.  Other sites are either no longer in service, or are selling out-dated software.  For example, I went to to download the software.  After you download it, you have to register.  To register, you go to this page to create an account.  After trying to create an account, you receive a message ‘Something went wrong, contact’.

That about wraps it up for keyword grouping tools.  The other ones I found weren’t even worth mentioning.  If you know of any GOOD tools that I didn’t mention, please let me know so I can give you credit!

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