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Explain ad groups to a beginner

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So I am just starting on Adwords and getting the hang of it but I am confused about something...


I've read all the help guides but I think I need a better explanation of the purpose for an ad group. I get that the groups are so you can keep keywords and such isolated to similar groups....


But why....


I don't get what this does, how would it be different if I had just one ad group with everything in it? 


Are they just so you as the account owner can keep track?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Explain ad groups to a beginner

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello there;

In a nutshell;

A key component of Adwords (and Google in general) is relevancy;

Thus, Adwords  rewards you for having keywords that are relevant  to the service  / product you promote; This is done through an algorithm known as  the Quality Score;

To get a higher quality score, keywords have to be tightly themed /  closely represent the service  or product you offer.


Read more:

Check and understand Quality Score



Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Explain ad groups to a beginner

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Ethan,

I think there are 2 aspects to why it is recommended to have keywords grouped by ad groups instead of one large ad group with all of the keywords and ads. There is an algorithmic aspect, where google will match (or not) a users search query to your keywords, and having related sets of keywords in an ad group improves the chance of your keyword appearing or even appearing higher in a search page. The result of that should be a relevant ad for a user to see, and a higher click-through-rate as a consequence. The algorithm is expecting related things in an ad group.

The other aspect is organization for users. You should be able to focus on a particular ad group and its set of ads and keywords faster than having filter in place in one monolithic ad groups containing all ads and keywords. Also, another account manager should be able to look at your account and understand how the various campaigns and ad groups fit with the business.

I Hope that helps.

Re: Explain ad groups to a beginner

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi ethan,
I understand what you are saying, i thought about this too when i started using Adwords.
Ad groups are used to group similar ads such that the same set of keywords trigger those ads. And Google displays the best performing Ad in the Ad group. So if you put all your ads into one ad group such as you create an ad group named "courses" and you create ads for science courses, art courses etc. If the ad group has a keyword such as "learn science courses" and a user searches using this keyword, an art course ad might be displayed to the user since it is in the same ad group with the science courses and the same set of keywords trigger them. So this is why it is better to group similar ads into the same ad group.
I hope this is useful

Re: Explain ad groups to a beginner

[ Edited ]
Badged Google Partner
# 5
Badged Google Partner

Ethan H,

Expanding upon the great advice you already received:

The main reason to have additional ad groups is to provide the best optimization so that you receive the correct keyword match displaying the relevant Ad that produces higher CTR's increased Quality Score and a lower CPC actual cost then your Bid ( AD Rank also a factor in all this but that's another story.)

When you optimize your account it good to have 5-15 keywords per ad group all closely and tight related so that the KEYWORD will Match the AD and the click through will go to the correct Landing page.

Example: Ad Group Blue Widgets.

Blue Widgets
Top Quality Blue Widgets
Lowest price Blue Widgets Online
Mydomain, com/BlueWidgets

[Blue Widgets]
+Blue +Widgets


Now make additional Ad groups and Ad for
Red Widgets
Discount Widgets
Pink Widgets
Widgets Online



This ad group syncs perfectly, the AD is relevant to the Keywords, the landing page goes to the Blue Widget page and you are optimized for success. Your Click Through Rate (CTR) could push or drive your Quality Score and Your Bid price, additional Extensions, could help you achieve a better Ad rank which could push your Actual Cost Per Click Lower (CPA) through a basics "Discount price in the Adwords Auction" ( see video below).

So if my initial daily budget is 100 and my CPC's originally are 10 - I will get 10 clicks that day. If I optimize my account, making tight adgroups with keywords, ads and landing pages all in alignment, I utilize best practices of Extension and Get a Good Click Through Rate by having a decent Bid and have good initial Ad Position. I can be rewarded with higher QS and Ad rank and then for example my 100 Daily budget achieved a 5 CPC allowing me 20 clicks a day. I would have increased my exposure, got more clicks for the same budget, and improve my potential ROI.

( Disclaimer - there is a lot more to it and the above is just a Example of How the Process works in a general thematic way. Learning the system and letting your data drive decisions is vital and crucial to your success. QS, Ad Rank, CTR's are dependent your set-up, keywords, Keyword Match Types, Negative keywords, targeting method, bid amounts, ad copy, competition, ad scheduling, extension etc... )

See video about Ad Rank and the Adwords Auction

Example two: None Optimized

Ad group Widgets
Ad: We have your Widgets
Get them online Cheap
Buy today and save

Blue Widgets
+Red +Widgets
Online Widgets
[Where to buy Widgets]
Widget manufacturer
Retail Widgets

In this scenario of a non optimized account, as mentioned prior, any of your Ad's could show up for your keywords. A person typing in Blue Widgets get the generic Widget ad. But the competition has a more highly targeted ad in which the Keyword Query is Bolded in search add and draws the end users attention and Could get the click and potential sale. As your ads are tide to the CTR, clicks/impressions as that number drops, so does your QS. When your QS drops, your Ad rank Drops, and as a result you could no longer get a "discount in the auction" ( see video above) and eventually your ad rank and QS can become so low that your ads no longer appear because of the perpetual lowing of CTR. ( same disclaimer as above applies here as well)

In the long run as everyone else basically mentions, Adwords Rewords those that do their best to provide the most relevant Ad, Keyword and Landing page for the End User experience. It's the difference of having a successful ROI with adwords and just barely making it or losing money in the deal,.

I have some ad groups with Just 2-3 keyword and 5 different ads
I have some ad group with just all Exact match
I have some Ad groups with Just broad match Modifiers
I have some ad groups that just use geo-targeted city along with main Keyword
etc etc etc

Your setup is up to you, but be wise and think through what it is you want to accomplish and sculpt the account for best performance.

A Little bit of effort, learning the system, can make all the difference in the world for your account set up and eventual success.

Hope that gives you a deeper under standing of the importance of an Optimized account and the use of Ad Groups to help achieve one element of optimization.