Google Ads Tips: Why Single Keyword Ad Groups Are No Longer a PPC Best Practice

In this video you will learn why single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) don’t work as well as they used to. Google Ads is constantly evolving and so if you are running Google Ads it’s critical that you keep up to date with all the changes so that you don’t waste your budget.

Now, Single Keyword Ad Groups, or SKAGS, has been one of the main areas to focus on when setting up a Google Ads campaign. 

This is because historically, Google Ads used to look for exact match types for searches and keywords. The search results would only show ads that matched the exact search term.

For marketers, this meant that you had to include every possible combination of keywords, including common spelling or typing mistakes, to maximize the potential of an ad being seen. This process also had its uses, as results could be measured and conversions tracked.

Video Transcript

Are you finding that your Google Ads campaigns are not as effective as they used to be?

Is it taking you longer than expected to optimize your ads?

Has your return on investment gone down?

Hello, my name is Uzair and in this video, I’m going to show you why Single Keyword Ad Groups,  SKAGs for short, are no longer the best way to set up campaigns.

We live in a fast-paced world with changes in our daily lives that are almost constant, and Google Ads is no different. 

Google Ads is constantly evolving and so if you are running Google Ads it’s critical that you keep up to date with all the changes so that you don’t waste your budget.

Now, Single Keyword Ad Groups, or SKAGS, has been one of the main areas to focus on when setting up a Google Ads campaign. 

This is because historically, Google Ads used to look for exact match types for searches and keywords. The search results would only show ads that matched the exact search term.

For marketeers, this meant that you had to include every possible combination of keywords, including common spelling or typing mistakes, to maximise the potential of an ad being seen. This process also had its uses, as results could be measured and conversions tracked

In late 2018, Google further enhanced their algorithm of reaching relevant audiences by using behavioral targeting. This allows an ad campaign to reach a more precise audience who are really looking for your offering. 

This is done by targeting their intent of search, rather than exact keyword matches. In other words, keywords used in a search query are matched to the users interest.

If you are just relying on SKAGS, you are going to be limited in the future success of your campaigns:

First of all, you will have multiple ad groups that are targeting the same search results,which reduces the efficiency of your campaign.

Secondly, you will get clashes amongst your own ad groups, meaning that you will get reduced results at higher costs.

And finally, you will ‘lose’ impressions which of course leads to lost clicks, conversions and ultimately revenue.

In the end, if you continue working only with SKAGs, you will end up spending more time customizing, analyzing, and testing ads to try and achieve your desired results, but those using behavioral targeting will have a bigger competitive edge over your ads. 

Behavioral targeting is set to become the biggest game-changer for Google Ads, and alongside machine learning, anyone setting up Google Ads campaigns really needs to understand how this works if they are going to spend budgets with the least amount of wastage.

So, already you can see how the future is heading towards a ‘keywords free’ strategy with search engines using a ‘matching the intent’ algorithm, but what else should we be aware of?

Probably the most advanced of the next generation of changes is Voice Technology. 

We are all already using voice technology in our everyday lives including Siri, Alexa and other apps, which are basically using spoken words to search the web for whatever you are looking for. With voice technology, it becomes much trickier to use exact match keywords. 

Plus, international advertisers are now integrating built-in translators to their ads, so that spoken words can be translated to the nearest good match. Again this is another example where exact keyword matches do not quite work. 

So, you can see that SKAGS are rapidly becoming a tool of the past and you really do need to build your campaigns differently if you are going to use your budget wisely.

I hope you enjoyed this video. Comment below if you agree or disagree with my opinions. That’s it for now, I’ll see you in the next video soon.

For more tips & tutorials, visit our blog


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About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
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