Ep 52: Are SKAGs Still Best Practice?

Apr 20, 2022

Single keyword ad groups have been a Google Ads best practice for many years, but I think it's time to rethink that recommendation.

Hey everybody, Jim Lastinger here. Hope you are doing well. We are coming off of spring break, getting back into the swing of things down here in Georgia.

If you've listened to this show for any amount of time, or read any Google Ads blogs, watch YouTube videos about PPC, or anything like that, then you've definitely heard about how single keyword ad groups, which are commonly called SKAGs, are the best way to organize an account.

Well, Google Ads has to changed quite a lot over the years. Automation and simplicity is the name of the game now, so it stands to reason that it might be able to help you get better performance out of your account. At the very least, it's worth a test to see if the new automation can help.

I can see a future where Google Ads is successful by running simpler campaigns, using broad match or phrase match keywords, and responsive search ads. I can see how that can actually outperform SKAGs over time, as things improve.

The idea would be to have fewer ad groups, and those ad groups would be based around products or services, at a broader level. Those ad groups within the these broad match keywords, or maybe even phrase match, would use responsive search ads. Together, that leaves a lot more room for Google's AI to interpret your ads, and who might want to click on them.

Think about that, it just makes sense for where the future is going, where we're going with Google Ads. More automation, making it available to more people, and making it simpler to use.

I've started performing some experiments with campaign structure, just like this, and a couple of high performing accounts. The results so far have been pretty positive. Conversions and cost per conversion are at least as good as the more granular old school SKAG campaigns. Again, this is early on in the testing process, but I can see how this might be the beginning of a new norm in campaign structure.

So what I'm recommending for you today, is to try this out in your accounts and see what happens. You'll want to create a new search campaign and structure it just like I described. Personally, I would pause the old search campaigns for a few days while you're testing. But if you really rely on that search campaign, and can't do that for a few days, then create the new campaign and just split your budget between the existing campaign and the experiment campaign.

For accounts that have a limited audience size, but would like to spend a little bit more money and scale it up, this might be just what you're looking for. The automation is going to show your ads to more people than what you would normally get with your more granular targeting.

Let me know how your experiments go. I'd love to see your results. You can DM me on Instagram @jimlast, J-I-M-L-A-S-T, or @marketingin10.

I'll have show notes in a transcript available at jimlastinger.com/52. If you have two minutes to rate and review the podcast, I would greatly appreciate that. That helps me grow the show, and help more people just like you.

As a thank you for listening, I've created a free guide that shows you exactly how to manage your Google Ads accounts in just 30 minutes a week. This is the exact process that I teach my coaching clients, and includes everything you need to run profitable ad accounts. This is at jimlastinger.com/guide. It's a completely free download, go do that now. That's jimlastinger.com/guide. I'll also have a link to this in the show notes.

That's it for this week's episode. I'll be back next week with another episode of Marketing In 10. Until then, take care. Have a great day. See you soon.

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