Single Keyword Ad Group - When and How to Use them ?

Single Keyword Ad Group – When and How to Use them ?
June 10, 2019 MadMarTech

What is Single Keyword Ad Group (SKAG)?

Single Keyword Ad Group as the name suggests is an ad group with only one keyword. These ad groups are highly targeted and geared towards getting high CTR and a better conversion rate. Due to better performance, they also reduce the CPC, thus lowering overall costs and optimizing the campaign. This is how the campaign structure of SKAG looks like:


Single Keyword Ad Group SKAG account structure

This image is an example of an account structure. A campaign can have multiple Ad groups. Each ad group has multiple ad copies to test and optimize on their performance. However, the SKAGs have only one keyword with multiple keyword match types. 

When Should You Use Single Keyword Ad Group?

SKAGs have been quite a controversial topic among PPC marketers. Some of them highly recommend it and the others say that it has made the Ad account management process a disaster. Well, the answer here is it is not the concept that is wrong, but the usage. The Single keyword ad group, when used for the right keyword in the pertinent industry, can do wonders. Let us have a look at the pros and cons.

Pros of Using SKAG


High CTR

As the ad copy is created for that particular keyword instead of a set of different keywords, it is very relevant. Due to this relevancy, the ad has a high probability of getting clicked.


The SKAG usually have low CPC with time due to better performance. This cuts down unnecessary costs and advertisers can re-allocate the budget elsewhere.

Higher Conversion Rate

Matching customer intent from the search query to the keyword leads to a better conversion rate thus lowering the cost per conversion as well.

Better Quality Score

With higher CTR and better conversions rate, Google is convinced that you are not spamming the users with irrelevant ads. The boost in Quality score leads to low CPC.

Cons of Using SKAG



It is time-consuming to create one ad group and multiple ad copies for one keyword. More ad copies mean more landing pages which can be exhausting.

Account management can get messy

Imagine having to set up, manage and optimize SKAG for 200 top performing keywords. The naming convention and having a tab on all the ad groups can be quite messy. If you are not organized, SKAGs can drive you crazy.


-> If you are not in an eCommerce business and you have limited product or service to offer then SKAG is ideal for you.

->  You know your top performing product(s) and would like to create a dedicated campaign for that specific product.

-> Have a dedicated landing page that is purely dedicated to that keyword of SKAG and you would like drive conversions.

It is good to test SKAG for a few keywords and see what works for you. However, if you have an exhaustive list fo 400-500 keywords then SKAG is definitely not recommended for all of them.

How to Set Up Single Keyword Ad Group Campaign?


Step1: Create Campaign

Once you are on the dashboard section, click on the “Campaign” tab on the right-hand side. In the redirected page, click on “+” sign and choose “Add New campaign”

Choose your marketing objective. SKAGs are recommended only for conversions campaigns. Hence we will choose sales. Click on the search network option as we are reaching people who are surfing on the web.

Choose the website visit option and enter your URL.

setting up single keyword ad group campaigns

Once you are redirected to the campaign settings window, name your campaign appropriately. Choose the search network only. If you are in a dilemma on whether or not to include Google search partners, run a test campaign for 10 days with search partners and the other 10 days without checking on that button. Compare the results and make a decision for the actual campaign period.

SKAG campaign settings

Choose your target location and bidding strategy to create the campaign

Creating a Single Keyword Ad Group

Add the chosen keyword in all the three match types. Here is an example for the keyword digital watch golden strap

  1. Broad Match Modifier: Append plus operator in front of the word in the keyword phrase -> +digital +watch +golden +strap
  2. Phrase Match: Paste the keyword and add quotations -> “digital watch golden strap”
  3. Exact match: Insert the keyword within square brackets -> [digital watch golden strap]

Voila, here you have your first SKAG campaign. Add the ad copies and launch your test campaign.

SKAG ad group settings for single keyword ad group campaigns


It is a good idea to incorporate responsive search ads into your campaign. They provide better conversions and higher flexibility. It also saves time for advertisers. If you would like to know more about responsive search ads, read here.