How Many Keywords Do You Include In An AdWords Ad Group?

You have no idea how many keywords some advertisers try to include in the same AdWords Ad Group. I have audited more than one AdWords account with in excess of 200 keywords, all in the same ad group.

Whilst dumping all your keywords into one ad group may be convenient, it guarantees that your click-through-rate (CTR) and return-on-investment (ROI) are going to be a lot less than what otherwise might have been the case.

Many studies have already proven that people searching online are often looking for the answer to a question. They will enter a series of words into Google, hit the search button and expect the answer to their question to appear in the results.

Any expert will tell you that the most effective way to attract your prospects attention, is to create ads that answer the question searchers are asking.

For example, if someone searches Google for “nintendo wii games”, giving them an ad with the title “cheap wii games” might work. But an ad with the title “wii games consoles” will probably be a lot less successful.

The second ad title may be relevant, but it does not use the same language as the searcher and will, therefore, be considered less important.

This mistake is very common – don’t make it in your AdWords campaign!

If you have more than one keyword in an Ad Group that is getting lots of search traffic, you are almost guaranteed to gain a significant increase in CTR and ROI by breaking the ad group down into smaller, more targeted ad groups.

Okay, you’re probably wondering how many keywords should you include in a single AdWords Ad Group?

There is no doubt about it, the smaller number of keywords you have in any of your ad groups, the more targeted that ad group will be. Ideally, you should be aiming at having no more than five or ten closely related keywords in any ad group.

For the perfectly targeted ad group, you’ll want to have one keyword that attracts considerably more searches than all the others in the group. This is also the phrase that you’ll want to imitate in your ad copy.

As your AdWords campaign starts to develop, review your ad groups regularly and look for any groups with more than one keyword phrase that is attracting a lot of impressions. You’ll want to separate these keyword phrases and create separate, targeted ad groups for each keyword phrase.

You can also keep a lookout for keyword phrases that convert well. These may also benefit from being separated out into their own ad group.

Here’s another example:)

One client, a used car sales dealer, had one big AdWords ad group with a selection of used car and second-hand car keyword phrases in it. Two keywords, in particular, were of interest because they were really popular and extremely relevant to the cars that this dealer sold. These were honda used cars and mazda used cars.

Many AdWords users would have been happy to keep both these phrases in the same ad group. Indeed, they both had a decent CTR and a number of leads came from the landing page that the ad sent prospects too. But they also each accounted for 20% of the ad groups impressions.

By separating these two keywords into their own ad groups, creating targeted ads and individual landing pages for each we boosted the keywords CTR by between 60% and 80%. This additional volume increased the number of leads our car dealer got by 16%.

It’s important to remember that there are no hard and fast rules as to how many keywords you should include in any AdWords ad group.

In the above example, the performance increases were achieved with only one keyword in each ad group. However, we could have easily added more keywords to each ad group and seen an even bigger improvement provided each keyword was closely related to the original.

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