7 Keyword Grouping Strategies

Learn how to think from the customer’s perspective and create organised, optimised content for successful, high-converting campaigns.

Keyword grouping or segmenting is an essential but often overlooked aspect of running Google Ads. Grouping and organising your keywords intelligently can raise your account’s relevance and your quality score, lower the cost-per-click and improve the overall effectiveness of your PPC campaign. From narrowing down your keywords to creating groups based on products, sales funnels and more, our downloadable guide gives you the tools to create a winning strategy.

What You Will Find in this FREE Keyword Grouping Downloadable

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Google Search Account Hierarchy

Before you start creating ads and campaign strategies, you need to get the basics right, which begins with learning the structure/hierarchy of the Google search ads account. Google Ads has a three-layer design: the account, the campaign, and the ad words within the campaign.


Understanding the relationship between each layer/section of your search ads account will hep your organise your ads, keywords, and ad groups in an effective manner to that your campaign target the right audience at the right time and place.


The elements of Google Ads can be broken down into:


So, you have a singular Google Ads account.
Within this account, you can run 1, 2 or multiple campaigns.
Within each campaign, you can have multiple ad groups or sets of ads.
And, each ad group will have a unique set of keywords, and, unique ads based around those keywords, associated with it.

*Please note that for video ads, the ad group will contain videos with common targeting criteria and bids.

Splitting Out Ad Groups

Splitting your ad groups is an important part of ensuring success and uncovering what is working in your campaign. But before we get to that, we need to understand what an Ad Group is.


An ad group contains one or more ads that share similar targets/audience. Every campaign you run will be composed of one or more Ad Groups, and these Ad Groups can be organised or clubbed together based on a theme (For example, based on the products or services you offer. Many Ad Words users find it helpful to base their ad groups around the sections or categories that appear on their website.)


Your ads are eligible to appear when one of your keywords matches a user’s search term on Google or on search partner sites. And, you set a bid, or price, to be used when an ad group’s keywords prompt an ad to appear. This is known as the cost-per-click (CPC) bid.


So, splitting your ad groups into relevant categories/themes helps you set your CPC bid to be used when an ad group’s keywords trigger an ad to pop up. Prices can also be set for individual keywords within the ad group you have created.


You can also add high-performing search terms to your ad group as keywords. You can also adjust bids, later on, once you get to know which search terms appearing in the search terms report are already receiving traffic.

Types of Keyword Groupings in Google Ads

The what and why of ad groups has been explained. Now comes the “how.” How do you group keywords to ensure you get the most out of your campaign?


Like we mentioned, a majority of Ad Words users find it find it easy to create their ad groups around the sections or categories that appear on their website. This is can be considered a top-level, broad categorisation. For example, if you run a cafe, an easy categorisation would be to group your ads based on your menu offerings, like snacks, beverages and desserts. These are your broad sections.


Once your broad sections are in place, you need to segment your keywords into more targeted subgroups, which usually contain some kind of modifier, or a word that signifies the specifics of the offering. So if you have dessert as your main keyword group, cupcake and chocolate cake could be your targeted keyword within that group. (In multi-brand e-commerce stores, for example, this second-level could include types of clothes or a specific brand.)


The third level of keywords would be more actionable/transactional/investigative. These kinds of terms usually reveal more about the intent of the searcher/user, and where they might be in the buying cycle. Examples include words like buy, sale, review, how-to, etc.


You should also optimise your keyword groups for plurals, derivatives, misspelt words/typos, synonyms and duplications.


How many ad groups should be in a campaign?

Google recommends having at least Max of 7-10 ad groups per campaign, Of course, there will be exceptions to these rules, but for most businesses, these are solid guidelines.

How do I organise my ad groups?

According to Google, you should pick a narrow theme and create ad groups around that theme for each Ad Group. Use keywords related to that theme. It is also wise to have at least one keyword in the headline of your ad.

Should ad groups have different keywords?

Your account will have different campaigns at any point in time, and different ad groups within those campaigns. Ideally, each of those ad groups should have different keywords, so that you can target a larger audience who may be interested in your products and services, at different stages of the buying journey. You may also be advertising for the same product or similar products which might all share some of the keywords, so it’s best to use different keywords.

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