Top 5 PPC Mistakes – #3: Too Many Keywords in an Ad Group


This is the third post in a series of the top 5 mistakes PPC campaign managers make.

Each ad should be as specific to the user’s search intent as possible. Let’s say you sell coats. You may have a list of keywords similar to the following: Coats Ad Group

  • Winter coats
  • Spring coats
  • Wool coats
  • Kids coats
  • Leather coats
  • Affordable kids coats
  • Coats for kids
  • Sale on leather coats
  • Women’s leather coats
  • Men’s leather coats
  • Trench coats
  • Men’s trench coat
  • Spring coat clearance
  • Winter coat clearance

Since all of these keywords are about coats, one may put all of these phrases into one ad group.  Each ad group has one ad (or a set of ads for A/B testing purposes).  You ad may look like the following: If the user is searching for “affordable kid’s coats”, the above ad might entice a click to your site. However you are attempting to reach an audience that has varying needs with the same ad and the same website landing page. Someone searching for kid’s coats has a different need than someone search for trench coats or leather coats.  By segmenting these keywords into more closely themed ad groups you can speak to the needs of the searcher more specifically.  Here is an example of how you could group these keywords: Kids Coats Ad Group

  • Kids coats
  • Affordable kids coats
  • Coats for kids

The ad for the kid’s coats ad group example could be: Had we not created a separate ad group for “kids coats,” and kept ‘all things coat’ under one ad group, we’d be presented with the following problems:

  1. Having generic ad text that contains very few specifics regarding the type of coat the searcher has indicated they are interested in. This decreases your relevancy to the searcher’s needs. You lose buyers to your competitors who have ads that speak to the searcher’s needs, resulting in a lower click through rate which leads to a lower quality score. Lower quality scores = higher cost per click.
  2. A generic ad typically points to a generic landing page that talks about coats in general, rather than a page specific to kid’s coats, which is what they “told us” they wanted. The probability of them leaving your site increases when they have to search for the information on kid’s coats they asked for originally.

Users who add a qualifier like “affordable” are indicating to you that they are interested in buying. They are close to making their purchase decision. Be sure you are capturing their interest with a relevant ad and a relevant landing page to makes it easy for them to take action and purchase. Be Relevant & Don’t Make Them Think.

Up Next: Mistake # 4: Failing to Track Performance Previous posts in this series: Mistake #1: Using Keywords that are Too Broad Mistake #2: Sending all traffic to the home page