Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) – The Advantages and Disadvantages

What Are SKAGs?

No SKAGs are not some kind of illicit drug.

They are a way of structuring your campaigns so that each individual keyword is matched with a unique text ad which is specific to that keyword.

Each and every keyword has its own ad group, hence the name: Single Keyword Ad Groups.

Even separate match types (i.e.. Exact, Phrase, Broad) are split into separate ad groups.

Advantages of SKAGs

Simple Structure

When using SKAGgs, there’s no decision that needs to be made about which keywords should be grouped together, whether it’s based on relevance or some other factor.

Each and every keyword will have its own ad group by default. This really simplifies the process of structuring your campaign.

Quick to Setup

Because of the simplicity, the SKAG structure can be very quick to setup when using a combination of Excel/Google Sheets and Google Ads Editor.

With a simple formula within Excel, the keyword can be used to define the ad group name, and can be used to write parts of ad headlines and descriptions. The campaign can then be easily imported using Google Ads Editor.

Ad Copy Can Be Specific to Each Keyword

As mentioned above, using the SKAG structure, the ad copy can be unique to each keyword. This can help to significantly improve the overall performance of a campaign by helping to:

  • Engage prospective clients with ad copy that matches their search query
  • Improve click-through-rates
  • Improve ad relevance
  • Improve Quality Scores

Disadvantages of SKAGs

Lack of Volume

An issue with the SKAG structure can arise when there are many keywords that have been included within the targeting of a campaign, which do not have a high search volume.

This can result in a large number of ad groups which are generating little or no impressions and clicks.

Ad groups with a very small amount of data can be difficult to optimise, as it is a challenge to see which ads are working best, and what would be the optimal bid to use, when there is limited data to influence your decision.

Can Be Cumbersome to Manage

The SKAG structure results in the maximum number of ad groups. This means that there are more ad groups to manage, which means more ad sets to review, and more bids to optimise.

Depending on how the campaign is being managed, this can result in more time being required to manage the many different ad groups.


The SKAG structure is one of the simplest, and quickest to setup. SKAGgs can also perform very well because of the ability to easily match keywords with relevant ad copy.

However there are draw-backs to using the SKAG structure, and there may be a more effective structure for meeting the objectives of your campaign.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you would like assistance in implementing the SKAG structure for one of your campaigns, or if you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in touch with you.

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philip February 12, 2020 0 Comments