Jason Puckett

October 25, 2016

Ad Copy Hack for Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) In AdWords

Managing Ad Copy for SKAGs

Ok, so you’re an SEM manager, you’ve built out this amazing single keyword ad group structure within your biggest campaigns, you’re ready for the highest possible alignment between your search terms and your ad copy/ landing page experience.

One of the biggest challenges when managing a Single Keyword Ad Group account is writing, implementing and testing ad creative. You’ll want some of your ad copy elements to be very specific to your search terms, other elements will be generic for the campaign.

You also probably want to implement multiple versions of creative in order to test and analyze which value propositions will work well for each campaign. However, some of this copy will need to vary by ad group in order to keep your detailed aligned. If it doesn’t, what was the point of painstakingly building out these SKAGs?

Ok, then how do we implement very specific ad copy while testing certain elements across all of the ad groups in our campaign? That’s what we’re talking about here today.

We are going to show you a nice little trick for implementing this quickly.

AdBasis Best Practice

A very common best practice is to have a customized Headline 2 (H2) and Pathway for each ad group based on your search term (only one search term per ad group). Including your search term multiple times in your ad copy is a great way to ensure alignment and relevance. This may result in higher quality scores, better positions and improved CTRs.

So if your keyword/search term for an ad group is “Buy Product A Online”, your ad might look like this:


What is the Hack?

We want you to translate your keyword report from the keywords tab, associate the search term to each ad group easily, and turn it into ad copy that can be inserted into your ads individually for each ad group. No advanced excel stuff here, this is automatically generated from AdWords.

Let’s look at how we do this

1. Go to your Keywords tab in AdWords, click “Edit”, and “Download Spreadsheet”. DON’T try to add Ad Group ID as a column, it’s not possible. You must download this data as shown below.


2. What you’re left with is a Keyword Report with a ton of stuff, but what’s really important is that your keywords and Ad Group ID#’s are matched up in a single row. This isn’t available through your normal method of downloading a keyword report (ad group ID is not available as a column).
...and yes, we blurred out our full keywords list so you don’t have all our secrets.


3. Drill it down so it looks like this. Column A = Your keyword, Column B = Ad Group ID #. And once we have this in the below two-column format, we need to use excel to modify this into ad copy.


Excel Steps below:

1. Use “Find and replace” to eliminate the keyword modifiers. “Find” the modifier and “replace with” nothing.


2. Convert Your Keywords Into Proper Text (first letter of all words being capital) if that makes the most sense for your Headlines (this step isn’t always necessary, depends on your preference).


3. Go through each row, and scrub the text to make sure it reads nicely. Normally this won’t take as long as you think it will. I’ve seen 1500 ad groups get scrubbed in 5 minutes.


4. Use Excel to Monitor Character Limits for either Standard (25) Headlines or Expanded Ad (30) Headlines.

Now Upload these Sheets Into Your Account

You can use AdBasis custom parameters for this. This will allow you to dynamically insert these various values in the Headline, while testing the other elements within the ads.

Let’s say you wanted to use your new keyword based ad copy as the Headline 2, but you wanted to test three variations of Headline 1 and two Pathways.

You can also use ad customizers to achieve this, but AdBasis allows you to test variations of ad text and will allow you to optimize in bulk based on the creative data you’re finding in your tests.

Here’s how it should look:


**If you use different Final URLs for every ad group, this would require another param here. Please inquire.

The Outcome

If implemented properly, this would deploy 6 ad variations (permutations) to every ad group in the campaign (3x headlines and 2 pathways). The key here, is that each ad group has a unique H2 for every single ad group, and this H2 came directly from your keywords report.

One of the key benefits of using Single Keyword Ad Groups is the ability to align your search terms and your ad copy, this does exactly that.

Get This Done Automatically

Sorry for the shameless plug, but if you’re interested in this model for your own ad copy and need a platform to automate it, please let us know.

For questions, comments or thoughts, please contact us!

Have a question for us? We'd love to hear from you!

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