Chapter 2 » Commandment IV
Structure Ad Groups by Ad Content Not Keywords

You’re probably unknowingly creating keyword groups, not ad groups.

That sometimes hinders the power of a strong relation between keywords in an ad group to strengthen its relevance.

There’s a reason Google didn’t call ad groups keyword groups.

Two common mistakes: putting only one keyword per ad group or putting 100 keywords in one ad group. Don’t have too little and don’t have too many.

I’ve had great success with 3 to 4 keywords per ad group, more is ok as long as each keyword contributes in strengthening the relevance of the ad group. More than 10 becomes too much.

Creating ad groups can almost be considered as the complimentary art to ad writing. Mastery is when you know your market so well that you can picture the person behind each keyword and instantly know which ad in which ad group will create the perfect connection.

One thing that’s easy to forget is that behind every keyword is a real person seeking for a solution. It is so easy to see keywords as just words that generate traffic… they are not!

Every keyword has a real person behind it… forget that and you’ll go nowhere.

Every person searching on Google has questions he or she needs answers to.

Two searchers may be looking for the same solution but they might describe it in different terms. Your ad groups should segment people by the solution they’re looking for and by the terms they use to describe it.

Ad group creation is sometimes straight-forward, sometimes not.

Consider the following example.

Jenna, Carol and Melinda are being harassed by some clueless guy who calls and hangs up using an unknown number (maybe he’s just in love and shy, who knows… it’s still creepy). They all decide to see if they can trace the number and find out who’s calling.

Jenna uses the keyword mobile phone directory.

Carol uses cell phone directory.

Melinda uses cell phone lookup.

They’re apparently looking for the same solution, they’re using slightly different terms but how would you create ad groups to target them?

You could create one ad group for each keyword. That’d be ok but it’s not the best scenario. Keywords in an ad group strengthen each other, the power of the theme* is the core of high ad group relevancy that is key to 10 scores.

You can put all the keywords in one single ad group. That could also work but you’ll notice very fast that one keyword isn’t in its place and you won’t have a powerful theme.

To some people reading this, the solution might be obvious, it wasn’t to me at first. Yes, this is a real life example.

I had an ad group called Cell Phone in which I put all the keywords that had the words cell phone in them. Then I had an ad group called Mobile Phone in which I put all the keywords that had the words
mobile phone in them. Sounds logical, doesn’t it?!

Turns out it wasn’t the best strategy. I never got my Quality Scores above 7 (that sucks, I know!) until I did this little tweak described below.

The solution was to think about the person behind the keyword and create a message for them before putting them in an ad group.

Once I had my message right, I created an ad group called Phone Directory and one called Phone Lookup.

The difference between Jenna, Carol an Melinda’s searches is that Jenna and Carol are thinking about a directory… the terms mobile phone and cell phone are the same and putting them together in the same ad group strengthens their relevance to the ad.

Melinda however was thinking about performing a lookup… a reverse phone lookup to be precise. I created an ad group called Reverse Phone Lookup in which I put cell phone lookup, reverse phone lookup and a few variations.

The results? I finally got my 10s.

Don’t underestimate the power of strong ad group structure. The way to create strong relevant ad groups is by writing one ad first then evaluating each keyword against the message in the ad (as opposed to segmenting the keywords first then writing the ad). If the message in the ad corresponds to the keyword then the keyword has its place in the ad group, if not it corresponds to a different ad group.

I would have created my ad groups correctly from the start had I followed the advice I just gave you.

My ad would have been:

Cell Phone Lookup

Type in any number and

find out who’s calling you.

From that ad, it is evident that the message doesn’t perfectly
correspond to a person looking for a directory.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 2 » Commandment IV
Structure Ad Groups by Ad Content Not Keywords

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