SKAGs Are Friends Not Food

You need to be using Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs). That’s all for today, don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Oh okay fine I’ll go into more detail. They’re more work for people like me to set up, but that doesn’t matter because I like effort. The best things in life take maximum effort (except loving my dogs, that’s effortless).

The Google Ads money juggernaut keeps going, and will keep trying to broaden the words that trigger your ads. If you’re smart and work with someone like me you can let Google make all the money off of your competitors while you bask in the glory of better ad relevance and more frequent conversions. The web is all about hierarchy; In Google Ads accounts there are 3 layers (or even 4 layers, if you count Keyword as a level):

Ad Group

(The Keywords level is not technically its own level is because keywords exist at Account, Campaign, and Ad Group levels; not on their own). Using SKAGs will (again, technically) change that. It’s time for Keywords to gain some independence! Free the keywords!

If you are not using SKAGs, then you should be. If you work with someone who handles all that, and you ask them about SKAGs, and they look at you blankly, or with a question-face (huh??), or says “don’t talk about my mom like that” …I’m not gonna lie, you should reconsider working with them. SKAGs have been around since AdWords began (RIP AdWords, gone but not forgotten, Google Ads is a fake name don’t @ me).

To set these up is pretty simple: create an Ad Group that’s just one keyword. C’est voila! Basically, using a single keyword (with multiple match types) will let you accomplish a few important things:

– know which keywords are really driving success online
– drop your average cost per click (CPC), and raise your click through rate (CTR)
– make better matches between keywords and ads (good! It means more conversions!)
– light up the long-tail keywords

“Long-tail” refers to searches of more than 2 words – and usually connect to someone who is really, really looking for the thing you are trying to sell or promote. Long-tail keywords are generally associated with searches farther down the funnel. Think “Garden tools” vs “buy garden tools Angus Ontario”. Which one sounds like they’re more serious about buying?

“So if SKAGs are so amazing, Ameet, how come I’ve never heard of them? How come Google isn’t shouting about this strategy from the rooftops?” I think the following chart will help:

Google is very good at drawing out more marketing dollars from advertisers. SKAGs are far from the most aggressive way to ramp up a campaign, and naturally Google wants you to see results quickly while taking advantage of your FOMO.

“What if you missed some keywords? What if your ideal customer searched something not obvious to you, but Google’s AI managed to guess that they really meant? Gee, you’d hate to miss that, right?“ What I’m trying to say is that Google is a business, not a charity. They’ll give you all the Lego bricks you could ever want, but it’s up to YOU to figure out the best way to build that castle. SKAGs have been possible for ages, however the benefits of using them haven’t been touted regularly.

Well I’m here to tell you that SKAGs are friends, not food. Use them to gain deep insights into your strategies, test theories, and to prove once and for all that people can still beat the machines. For now. Does anyone here speak binary…?

Remember SKAGs are friends, not food. Use them to gain deep insights into your strategies, test theories, and to prove once and for all that people can still beat the machines.

Finding some of these acronyms confusing? Well I’m always here to help, download our PPC Glossary today! Over 160 PPC-related terms defined (including WTF PPC is). It’s FREE, and yours immediately if you let me email it to you. Postage is expensive, people.

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