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How Many Keywords should I have per Ad Group?

One Keyword?  Fifty Keywords?  Twenty Keywords?  What is the magic number?  Ad Groups are one of the basic components of an AdWords Campaign as they contain Keywords (what words I’m targeting) and Ads (what searchers see).  Setting up and organizing Ad Groups is one of the most important factors that leads to success via AdWords and advertisers often wonder how many Keywords they should have in each Ad Group.  The answer – hate to disappoint, but there is no magic number.  Ad Groups should be organized around granular, thematic Keywords.  Let’s dive in.


Organizing the Keywords in an Ad Group to be granular and thematic is going to ensure that I am able to serve relevant Ad Copy to my searchers.  Showing relevant Ad Copy to searchers is going to provide a better search experience for users, increase CTR on relevant searches, and hopefully lead to good Quality Scores and ultimately, a strong ROI from AdWords advertising.


Inside of Ad Groups there is not a 1:1 relationship between Keywords and Ads – meaning that if I have multiple Keywords and multiple Ads in my Ad Group, I cannot control what Keyword triggers what Ad to be served.  To increase CTR, and make Ads seem relevant to searchers, the Ads should closely be related to search query. 


Let’s look at an example:



In the above example, we see nine keywords that are all related to shoes that a consumer can use for sporting activities.  Even though these all relate to sports activities, these should be placed into different Ad Groups in order to make the Ad experience more relevant to the searcher.  As we look at these keywords, we see themes stand out – basketball, running, and general sports shoes.  A way to organize these Keywords into granular, thematic Ad Groups is to create an Ad Group for Basketball Shoes, Running Shoes, and Sport Shoes:




In closing, an easy answer to the question – how many Keywords should I have per Ad Group is: typically you want to have ~5-15, closely related, Keywords per Ad Group.  This gives you the ability to scale your Campaigns when organizing, while still being able to serve relevant Ad Copy to searchers.

about Brian Valentini

Chicago-based husband and father who likes sports, traveling, and laughing. Excited about the field of Digital Marketing, especially Paid Search. Work-life = Vice President/Director of Search Marketing at DigitasLBi, a global digital marketing and technology agency.

Trevor_Stewart Top Contributor
January 2014

Valid opinion on how many keywords per ad group! I would agree 100% for most cases.Good read.

February 2014

Good stuff! It's in line with advice I was given by a Google rep that said 10-20 keywords, per ad, per ad group was the way to go.

Mini-CM Community Manager
February 2014

Welcome back to the Community and thanks for posting the article, Brian. 

ScottyD Top Contributor
February 2014

Nicely addressed topic Brian!

Rohan M
February 2014

Nice Read !

Naveen K
February 2014

Yes ofcourse,  there is no rule or perfect number that assures you in CTR increase and conversion rate, however I prefer and belive, more than 12 keywords per adgroup is not recommendable - less than 12 keywords would be ideal to track all keywords within adgroup in efficient way, analyse, to match with the theme and relavant ads.. and more important to avoid self competing keywords with in adgroup also.


It also matters what kind of keyword matches you are adding to particular adgroup, if your adgroup contains only exact or phrase  match then i think we can add more than 12 keywords per adgroup, if the keywords belongs to borad match type then its better to restirct the count number less than 10 itself

March 2014


Mansoor S
April 2014

So 5-10 keywords per group but which match type is good?

Broad, Phrase or Exact?

vkore91 Top Contributor Alumni
April 2014

Hi Mansoor -

Great question - typically I recommend testing all Match Types - each Match Type will perform differently and could have different CPCs.  Below is a link to another article that discusses tesing all Match Types.  Hope this helps!





eddie t
November 2014

How to identify which keyword i have to add in ad group i have many keywords but i dnt know how many Ad Group should i create?



Any Suggestion?