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In our attempts to get clients more clicks and better value for their search marketing dollars,even experienced search marketing professionals can get carried away with adding keywords to an ad group. This keyword creep can happen to anyone, and before you know it, your ad text doesn’t really match the keywords you’re buying in order to display it.

During a recent conversation with a few of our Google account reps, they provided me with an important reminder: “Keep the ad groups tight!”

At our Seminars For Success, we usually recommend that ad groups contain between 10 and 20 keywords. As a general rule, if you can divide the keywords into more sub-categories, you can probably divide them into separate ad groups.

By ‘tight’ ad groups, they mean keywords that align closely to the ad text and to one another. The keywords and the ad text should use the same words in the headline and body text (don’t go overboard and forget an appeal, benefit, and/or call to action though), and they should all have the same theme.

Keywords = dog treat toronto, dog treats in toronto, toronto dog treats

Toronto Dog Treats
Keep Your Dog Healthy. Treats Made
From Fresh Ingredients. Buy Now!

Keywords = dog treats Toronto, puppy food, GTA dog food

Natural Dog Treats
Natural Treats For Dogs And Puppies
Fresh Ingredients. Buy Now!

In the above GOOD example, the ad repeats the theme of the keywords and uses the same language. The in BAD example, the language changes between dog, puppy, and between Toronto and GTA (Greater Toronto Area). This will result in fewer clicks because it’s less likely that the ad will reflect the language and intent of the searcher.

Keeping the keywords and ad text thematically tight has several benefits, all of which are related to the fact that your ad text is ultimately more relevant to the search query and the search intent of the user:

  • Bolded ad text when search query shows up in ad text
  • Higher click-through rate (CTR)
  • Higher quality score due to ad text relevance and better CTR
  • Lower cost per click due to higher quality score

So go through your ad groups and make sure that your keywords are indivisible! Whether you’re new to AdWords, or a seasoned veteran, this is your daily reminder.


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