Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs): 14 Reasons Why You Should Use From Today OnPosted by Updated on

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Do you know what are SKAGs are? Yes, SKAGs is what today’s generation nowadays call single keyword ad groups. The millennials came up with a trendy name for single keyword ad groups. But SKAGs have been in use since the time they hadn’t got a time.

SKAGs are in rage as it has been figured out that it is one of the consistent profitable strategies for the PPC community.

Put in a way simpler, SKAGs are faster ways for gaining control as well as help you achieve higher performances regarding your Google Ads account.

Using SKAGs is an excellent deal for PPC performance as they save you from the biggest danger that is, burning out of your PPC budget on irrelevant traffic.

Single keyword ad groups are not just for Google Ads. It also works effectively for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

We all want to spend our ad budget on the right amount of audience, relevant traffic with high chances of conversions and that will provide a good revenue generation. The last thing you will want is see your ad budget getting whittled away click after click without any conversion coming through.

Google ads have turned out to be extremely competitive and the average CPC (cost per click) has increased very sharply throughout the last few years. When the costs increase, you cannot afford to have poor clicks and lower quality score. One of the simplest ways to increase the CTR as well as the quality score for a better impact on the position of ads is by switching over to SKAGs (single keyword ad groups).

So what are SKAGs?

Single keyword ad groups are SKAGs. They are what they sound like, a single keyword for each ad group with its set of ads. True to its name, SKAGs has one keyword per ad group, unlike Google recommendations. SKAGs include broad match modifiers, phrase match and exact match modifiers of the same keywords.

The ad group level is where you enter the keywords targeted by the campaign. Your Google Ads account structure is essential for you to be successful in PPC. So, the SKAG approach is one of the swiftest ways for the increase of your CTR (click through rates) as well as quality score and, above all, to help you make money.

Why SKAGs are important?

Pairing your keywords into unique ad groups to make sure that the keywords you are bidding on should match the search terms that you are paying for. You should take care of this otherwise you will end up like the “iceberg effect”, remember the movie Titanic. Ha-ha, remember the iceberg!

Why use SKAGs?

Google is secretive about its algorithms and wont flat out about the metrics contributing the most for the quality score increase. But generally the belief is that the expected CTR that metric which influences most to the improvement of quality score. One of the effective ways to increase the CTR is through relevant ads tied with specific keywords and SKAGs allows you to do that. Also, while using single keyword ad groups, you can make your landing pages much relevant after being clicked on by users.

The reason Single keyword ad groups are must for Google Ads ROI?

You should know exactly what are SKAGs and know their importance for the optimization of Google AdWords account. The more relevancy of the ads to the target audience, the better will be the metrics on Google. The relevance of ads can be improved but this can narrow down your audience. Smaller audience can have a higher click through rate (CTR). It happens because while targeting  a single keyword, your ad will have much more relevancy to their search intent.  

You can also improve both the significant factors for quality score: relevance and expected CTR.

Relevance, quality score and expected CPC:

The usual idea behind SKAGs is cutting down on the inconsistencies from search terms to keywords, then from keywords to ads and finally ads to the landing pages. One aspect lying behind the success of Google Ads and behind SKAGs is message match. Keyword targeting in general depending upon broad match leads to ads as well as landing pages which are relevant to several search terms.

PPC marketers are likely to choose DKI (dynamic keyword insertion) but the problem is DKI deals with ad copies and marketers will have to depend on a generalised landing page. SKAGs can bring this one step further and allows creating a streamlined and unified experience for the audience. The improvement of ad relevancy and expected CTR also adds on to the improvement of quality score. 

You should keep in mind that Google makes money every time your ads are clicked by users so Google is happy when your ads have higher expectancy of CTR and reward you accordingly with cheap CPC (cost per click) rates. SKAGs help you to save your money along with the improvement in performance of your ads.

Perfect Match types for SKAGs:

Single keyword ad groups are single keyword per ad group. But one can include multiple match types of the single keyword in a specific single keyword ad group.

Look at the below instance:

When you sell custom made swimwear, look at the keywords in any of the SKAGs:

  1. +Custom +made +swimwear
  2. “Custom made swimwear”
  3. [Custommadeswimwear]

With all Google ads, we want both the display path and the headline to include the keyword. The keyword is the chief determinant behind ad relevancy. Make sure that the ad links to post-click landing pages containing the keywords and highly relevant content.

Precise targeting and particularity consume both time and effort but it is worth it. But of course there are downsides too and you need to be aware before you dedicate a lot of time and energy for the ads.


There are several reasons why do you choose Single keyword ad groups.

1. High CTR 

While lowering the discrepancy ratios of keywords to search terms or keywords to ads, you will notice that visitors tend to click more on the ads as it is the ads that serve as keyword holders. This, in turn, means the CTR (click through rate) experiences improvement as no one tends to read all ads before they click on one. Improvement in CTR can bring the magic.

2. 10-/10 in quality score

All of you might know that CTR (click through rate) is the biggest factor behind the success of quality score for Google ads. Once your quality score is improved with SKAGs, you can see average positions, CPC (cost per click), impression shares along with other good things coming your way!

3. Ad positions

Once you have an improvement in your CTR and quality scores, you will see that Google has started rewarding you with higher positions.  Thus, you can now start outranking your competitions even if you have lower keyword bids. Google cares a lot about the experience of visitors. The improvement in CTR is a great indicator of people liking the results of the ads created by you through sheer hard work and keyword research.

4. Low CPC 

If you ever want to lower your average CPC rate (cost per click) avoiding the lowering of your bids, then SKAGs can make you super happy! One of the major benefits of SKAGs that helps to improve quality scores is that the improvement in quality score provides you lowered bids for the first page, that is, lowered FPB (first page bids). This happens for Google gives discount on your CPCs when you have higher quality scores compared to your competitors along with greater relevancy.

5. Lower CPA 

When you have lower CPC (cost per click), you will have a low cost per conversions too.

6. A rise in conversion rates

While exposing search terms as new keywords, you tend to decrease the search term: keyword discrepancy ratio and in turn you increase the control over bidding options for keywords set with various conversion rates and intents. This helps you to identify wasteful keywords and you can pause them or lower your bids on the less performing keywords. This, in turn, increases your conversion rates for a larger number of clicks are likely to convert.

7. Impressive ad relevancy 

Studies found out that when ad relevancy increases, it results in a huge drop of cost per clicks as well as higher CTR. Higher CTR suggests a greater number of clicks and more the clicks more will be the conversions coming your way.

When you use Single keyword ad groups and keep individual ad groups for each of your products under the main campaign, the relevancy of your ads get much better. When users search a specific term on Google, they expect to get the results accordingly and exactly what they are searching for. Your ads should display the same search term as typed by the audience so that your ads serve them potentially and as this causes the ad relevancy to be much effective which in turn can lead to more clicks and bring in more conversions.

8. Above average landing page experience

When you have a better understanding of the users those who are clicking on your ads, you can make better preparation for your landing page and offer a personalized experience for your audience. Most of the landing pages make the best practices to keep the landing page experience for the users focused on a singular goal. And this is for a good reason- the reason behind SKAGs. You can create a streamlined experience for your users which can keep your potential clients focused on the same goals from clicking on your ads till converting on your page.

9. Ad group level bid adjustments

When all the important Google Ads metrics move in the right direction and your search terms are being exposed, you can find out that you have to add less and lesser number of negative keywords over the time. When you have search terms as your keywords, you can understand the closing and sales rates of your keywords [keep in mind that it is not the conversion rate] in the lead generation space.

10. More control over search terms 

SKAGs have a level of advanced detailing which means that Google has lesser controlling power and you have more control over your search terms and your campaign. Google recommends using 10-20 keywords in each ad group so you can be able to make sure that all the keywords have less search term variance. 

for instance, if your visitor is searching for sweatshirts and she gets landed on your website page showing products such as tops, she is going to have a hard time searching for her choices and she will tend to bounce away from your website. Most of the advertisers succeed in maintaining the scent form the ads to their landing page but they at times fail to add the scent from the search terms to the ad copies. but SKAGs do it for you!

You can have greater control over your search terms with SKAGs for you can make adjustments to them depending on your results and this again brings up a change in the overall campaign management. 

11. Negative keywords become your BFFs

You will definitely not like your ads to show up for negative keywords and after some time with your campaigns, you will be better with identifying negative keywords with the help of search terms report. You will get to refine your ads after a better understanding. 

For instance, you run an e-commerce website selling only iPhone X covers and not any other iPhone cover like most e-commerce sites in your niche. So you should list a specific type of iPhone X covers with color variations called iPhone X covers. Here iPhone 8 covers act as a negative keyword and you will definitely not want your ads to show for iPhone 8 covers searches as you are not selling those and it would be irrelevant both for your audience and your ads. Users will find it irrelevant when landed on your page as they will not find any product for their iPhone 8 and your clicks get wasted. So be careful to include a list of negative keywords. 

12. Ad group level bid adjustments

In the world of PPC clicks and bids tend to scale down your ad budget with the decrease in the number of traffic so you need to focus on your campaigns. and how to do that? 

Focus on the traffic generation for this will, in turn, generate high ROI. You cannot afford to waste your ad spends on keywords that are irrelevant or are generating low intent traffic or negligible conversions. Try to calculate your bids according to the potential of your keywords and make necessary alterations for the highest converting and the losing keywords accordingly. Keep higher bids for the winning keywords and minimum bids for the losers. This way you can adjust your bids in the ad group level to make the most out of your ad groups. 

13. Easy to determine the converting keywords 

With SKAGs, you can easily determine which are the converting keywords as you can monitor each of the individual ad group and each single keywords and search terms. If you find some of the keywords are not converting, you can easily minimize your bids. And in cases where you find your keywords are turning out to be winners, you can adjust your bids and increase the amounts for getting the maximum out of your ad campaigns. 

14. Make more profits

Now that all other positive aspects are covered, the most important and crucial factor should be focused too- that is you can make money, the ultimate reason to opt for Single keyword ad groups. While lowering your cost per conversions, it is evident that the profit margins will be increased. And if you increase your conversion volumes, you can then definitely increase the revenue too.

SKAGs: small target and bigger results

You definitely don’t want to pay for the clicks which bring very less or no conversions at all. Nobody is a fool to throw their dollars on the burning pyre. So you should have triggered ads for only the search queries those that have higher relevancy. The best option to do this is to increase the level of detailing in your account. Single keyword ad groups can do this in a rapid way. You need to go through a vast ocean of ad groups while viewing at the campaign level.

But still you need to have an overall detailed view of how each single each ad group or ad variant performs instead of clicking through each single campaign to identify winners and losing keywords.

The granularity can make your ad spends safe allowing you a peace of mind that the clicks generated are coming from users who are actually potential searchers of your brand. You can do better if you align your PPC marketing strategies to the actual search intent of the real world customers. SKAGs might offer you a smaller target but they will ultimately bring you greater wins in the long run.

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Biplab PoddarView all posts

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Biplab Poddar

Biplab Poddar is the Founder & CEO of Oxedent. He is a Google Ads Lover and CRO Strategist. He Helped 250 plus businesses to launch their first PPC campaigns as well as optimize the campaigns to get maximum out of their ad spend.

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