Well-built ad groups are ROI darlings

Ad Groups are nothing to blow off.

For something that the visitor never sees, your ad group structure is a crucial part of your PPC campaign. It affects your campaign’s reach and ROI more than it ever gets credit for. See, for all the talk of bid tactics, we don’t see much about the advantages of building ad groups. Is that because people tend to rush through this when they’re first setting up a PPC campaign? Maybe. Creating ad groups can be a tedious pain. That’s where Groupie can help.

 We should say before we start, Groupie isn’t just for starting out. In just a bit, we’ll touch on how Groupie can help you tighten up keywords your domain is already advertising on. Plus, Groupie sends SEO some love, too. Hang tight.


First a quick word about ad groups

When you bid on keywords that will trigger your ad in Google searches, those keywords get grouped into ad groups where you can set the ad copy and the landing page to serve all of those ads. Ad groups organize similar keywords together, like a main folder with subfolders. (Or IRL, a hanging file holding a few standard file folders.)

In general, you would create one ad group for every topic, product or service that your ads cover. Dentists would have ad groups for searches on “crowns” and “dental cleanings.” They might create more specific ad groups with just a few keywords each like “crowns done on site,” “emergency crown replacement,” and “dental cleaning costs after insurance.”

A vitamin supplement business would advertise on “vitamin supplements online” and “fat burning supplements,” and probably roll those into one ad group at the start. Going even further they could create more specific ad groups with just a few keywords each. Think of groups like skin care vitamins that would have “vitamins for skin” and “acne vitamin supplements.”

Russian Nesting Dolls

That micro-detail is why ad groups often get a mediocre once-over. People just don’t have the time (or patience) to set them up right. Or, when you start with a few keywords, the ad groups don’t always grow to accommodate new additions. Unfortunately, stagnant and broad ad groups leave you missing a big boost in campaign performance. The more specific the ad group, the better your long term ROI:


Grouped keywords –> targeted ad groups –> relevant ads and landing pages –> better quality score and more conversions

 Now we can look at how it plays in your campaign start-up.


 Set up ad groups when you start a new PPC campaign

 New AdWords campaigns don’t have to start from zero. If you find a similar domain to emulate, that domain can help map an ad group structure for you. With a few edits and personalization, you will have a huge head start in building ad groups for your own site.

Back to that vitamin supplement business. If that’s you, your best shot at cutting out hours (at least) to set up strong, relevant ad groups comes from a similar business.

Start with a Domain

 I found “vitacost.com” by searching a simple keyword like “vitamin supplements online” in SpyFu. That gave me a few choices for top advertisers.

 Enter a domain name to search keyword groupie

 Type this domain into Groupie and “groupify” its keywords. What’s going on in the background is that we’re collecting vitacost.com’s paid and organic keywords. I’ve chosen their “paid keywords” groups to emulate.

Here’s a great example of how detailed you can get. “Superfoods” is specific. No one would argue with you there, but choose a grouping option from “loose” to “strict” and Groupie can tighten your groups even more. Who would have expected two more distinct ad groups to come out of this?

 Keyword groups for the keyword superfood

 And that’s where Groupie helps where our brains don’t want to remember thousands of products or search terms. If you were creating these ad groups on your own, no one would fault you for stopping at “Superfoods.” It’s just that Groupie gives you the chance to get even more relevant, and that prompts you to create landing pages and set bids that are going to improve your quality score for such specific searches.

Remember when I said you’d do a bit of editing and personalization? It’s as easy as picking and choosing from the virtual list of ad group suggestions.

Walk through of SpyFu Keyword groupie


Err on the side of inclusion. If an ad group looks relevant to your site, click it to send it from the left side list to the right side grid.

From here, you can export your newly structured groups (and keywords) into AdWords via a text file or save it in CSV format.


Improving an Existing PPC Campaign

Groupie’s flip side of “starting with a domain” is starting with keywords. While you could type your own domain into groupie to get it organized into groups, we’re accommodating a more realistic aspect of PPC management: you are always adding to and improving your keywords.

We understand that you get your keyword ideas from other tools. Some come from SpyFu, some come from the client, and some even come from those moments of genius in the shower. The variety is great. What’s not so great is the inconsistency across those keywords when it comes to data.

Groupie: “You rang?’

Upload your entire keyword list into Groupie’s “start with keywords” box. No matter where you got your keyword ideas, you can organize them into a uniform list. We’ll group them together after adding any missing data and dropping duplicates.

This helps kill any overlap within your hundreds or thousands of keywords–regardless of match type. Without that extra step, you’d face heavy double bidding or a more expensive match than what it could have triggered.

You vitamin supplement business could have the keyword “discount immunity defense vitamins” fit into two of your ad groups:

  • Discount vitamins ($5 a click)
  • Immunity defense vitamins ($2.50 a click)

The discount vitamin search triggers this keyword at a higher CPC, and it could end up on the “discount vitamins” landing page where it leaves the visitor hunting for immunity defense vitamins. You can count on a lower conversion rate than if they had arrived via the second ad group’s keyword.

Now you’re paying more money for a click that won’t be as likely to convert.

When Groupie removes the duplicates, it leaves you with phrase match keywords that don’t overlap with other long tail keywords in your list. You’ll have a clean list of phrase match and modified broad match keywords to work with. The remaining keywords are given as exact match so you can follow that structure when you set up your ad groups.


Plus, new ideas to keep improving

 Once you set up tighter ad groups to increase your relevance, that’s going to help drive you toward better quality scores and ROI.

Working with focused ad groups will show you the holes where you can bring in new keywords. It will trigger new ideas and give you ad groups you hadn’t considered adding. Now, challenge yourself to create new landing pages for specific services or products. The less time it takes your customer to find information on your page that matches what they searched, the more engaged (and ready to buy) they’re going to be. These landing pages are an up-front investment in time that pays off with every click.

 Commit to:

  • Tightly focused keywords inside ad groups
  • No duplicate keywords
  • More relevant landing pages

Groupie helps you stay on top of that challenge.


Use Groupie for SEO, too

This isn’t just for PPC. The way Groupie breaks down a domain lets you peek into that site’s content structure. The keyword lists include “organic” keywords, so it arranges a content idea map for you to follow. Work with a similar domain for inspiration from their organic keyword structure. It’s a menu of opportunities that you can tackle.

Data on keywords for the keyword group Vitamin


 Since Groupie results include stats by broad, phrase or exact match like Cost per Click and Clicks per Day, you can use PPC stats to judge the keywords’ popularity and audience reach.


Get Started

Start here with a group of keywords or a domain, and we’ll handle the rest.