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Single Keyword Ad Groups

Single Keyword Ad Groups are, as the name suggests, ad groups with only one keyword.. They allow you to gain more control of your adwords account, making it easier improve performance.

Pairing your keywords into their own unique ad groups means you can ensure that the keywords you’re bidding on match the search terms you’re paying for.

Single Keyword Ad Groups are for one keyword per ad group. However, you should include multiple match types for the keyword in the specific SKAG.

For example, if you are selling custom tshirts, your keywords in your Single Keyword Ad Groups would be:

+custom +made +tshirts
“custom made tshirts”
[custom made tshirts]


Now, the SKAGs will be called “custom made tshirts” and will be the root keyword ad group for those search terms.

If you would like a longer, more specific keyword, you can create a new SKAG. Eg ‘custom made sequin tshirts‘. This is called keyword refinement.

To ensure that the refined keyword does not take impressions away from your more specific keyword, you will need to make it an ad group level negative keyword to your original keyword.

You can use keyword refinement to make your ad group very specific and increase CTR.


How To Create Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)

You’ll need root keywords and AdWords Editor to create your SKAGs.

Root Keywords: Root keywords are the shortest tail of keywords that you’re willing to bid on.

If you want to advertise your custom tshirts, you could use SKAGs to attract potential customers. And so, your root keywords might look like this:

  • Custom tshirts
  • Bespoke tshirts
  • Personalized tshirt


The keywords above are root keywords because you would not want to bid on the term ‘personalized’ on its own.
Then, take your root keyword and use other synonyms that you can find. So, the complete list might look like this.

  • Custom tshirts
  • Bespoke tshirts
  • Personalized tshirt
  • Customized tshirts
  • printed tshirts

Then, copy and paste and replace “tshirt” with “top”:

  • Custom top
  • Bespoke top
  • Personalized top
  • Customized top
  • printed top

Furthermore, if you have more synonyms, repeat this action

  • Custom shirts
  • Bespoke shirts
  • Personalized shirt
  • Customized shirts
  • printed shirts

And, you will not need to do any reasearch into average CPCs or competition levels, because a SKAG set up means you start off with a high quality score. The only research that is needed is into synonyms to expand your keyword list.


How To Optimize Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)

A lot of people worry about creating hundreds of different variations of their keywords and if they should include singular/plural variations.

But there is no need, as using a broad match will automatically trigger the longer tail versions.


Having so many search terms as ad group level negative keywords eliminates internal competition and means that the performance will continue to improve over time, because your new SKAGs have more specific ads, meaning a higher click through rate.

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