Stay Focused: Why Small, Niched Keyword Groups Dominate In Paid Search

How do you organize your keywords in your AdWords campaign? If you are like many marketers new to paid search, you have likely made the mistake of creating keyword groups that are too big for their own good.

This is an easy error to commit! Much of the free PPC literature on the web focuses on finding exciting keyword opportunities and wording your headlines just right for web shoppers. While these are definitely important steps in the process, they overlook a crucial strategy necessary for dominance on Google and other engines: keyword grouping.

Below, we will discuss how and why you should keep your ad groups small, and the benefits this approach produces for your campaign.

How To Keep Keyword Lists Small


An effective keyword group is centered on a single, focused customer intention. No ad group should ever include keywords that betray more than one search goal. The shotgun approach of grouping divergent keywords in the same group forces you to write broad or completely unfocused ads that do resonate with the searcher and result in low click-through rates (CTRs).

Instead, keeping keyword groups small lets you get inside the head of each searcher and advertise directly to them In a small keyword group, every key phrase is a closely similar derivative of the last. There should be virtually no big differences between them.

For example, let’s say you sell iPhone accessories. You’d probably want to target people searching for a replacement 3GS charger. Using a keyword generation tool such as SpeedPPC, you could build the small keyword group:

  • “Buy iPhone 3GS Charger”
  • “Get iPhone 3GS Charger”
  • “Replacement iPhone 3GS Charger”

Notice that each key phrase contains the root “iPhone 3GS Charger” and targets the intention of buying a new one. This is the basis of the small keyword group strategy.

Using Single Keyword Ad Groups


Sometimes, if a keyword is important enough to your business, it should have its own ad group entirely. This allows you to craft a unique approach to dominating this term with an individually focused ad, bid price, and budget.

For example, if the action keyword “Buy iPhone 4 case” gets a high volume of traffic, it deserves its own group tailored specifically to these searchers. In this example, you can write an ad discussing this exact product, and direct all traffic to a special landing page for iPhone 4 cases rather than your standard home page.

Small Groups Increase Click Through Rates


One of the biggest factors Google takes into account when determining your quality score is your click-through rate (CTR). A low CTR will negatively impact a group’s score and could hurt your ad position, potentially costing you lots of traffic and subsequent sales.

For those unaware, CTR is the ratio of the number of times an ad is clicked to the number of times it is shown. This is displayed to the advertiser as a percentage (ie – your ad has been clicked 3% of the times it has been shown). Naturally, the more broad your ad appears, the less likely it is to be clicked by searchers.

Keeping ad groups small allows you to compose a relevant and targeted ad for each similar group of keywords. You can include the root keyword in the ad, using the searcher’s language to communicate that your business has exactly what he or she needs. If you can do this successfully for each of your ad groups, your entire campaign’s CTR will rise dramatically.

Small Groups Increase Landing Page Relevancy


Getting a searcher to click your ad is only half the battle. If they click a niche ad and arrive at a broad, unfocused homepage, there is a good chance they won’t have the patience to search around for what they need. Clearly, lots of traffic that doesn’t convert is nothing more than a wasted expense.

However, crafting small ad groups empowers you to send different searchers to different landing pages. Using pay per click tools such as speed PPC, you can create a series of highly focused web pages based on the specific keyword the visitor came from. Structure all the sales copy and calls to action on that page to conform to their needs, and literally serve the customer exactly what they came for without any additional effort required from them.

This approach makes the most of your traffic and encourages a strong congruency between the search performed, advertisement displayed, and landing page used. This is not possible with large ad groups, as you will be forced to send many different searchers to the same landing page.

Small Groups Save You Money


Any marketer who has been on Google AdWords long enough knows that click costs can vary greatly between different keywords. Traditionally, short, action-oriented keywords are much more expensive than other “long-tail” alternatives. But they also vary from industry to industry. For example, the car insurance market has historically bred some of the highest click costs around. Keywords in the woodworking industry by comparison will likely run far cheaper.

As a successful advertiser, you will need to control these costs with as much specificity as possible. If you lump large groups of keywords together into big, broad ad groups, it will be harder to determine where your wasted ad spend is coming from, and which keywords need bumps in their bids. Not to mention the fact that the naturally higher click through rate these groups pull will increase the click cost you’ll need to pay.

Organizing your keywords into small groups provides better control over your bid prices, and more accurate tracking of your budget. Using this strategy, you can proportion smaller budgets and lower bids to nonperforming keywords, and bias the majority of your spend to the keywords you know are producing the most sales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *