Google is one of the most powerful advertising platforms to ever exist. With over a billion monthly active users, Google has no meaningful competitors and looks set to pull in a staggering amount of traffic for the foreseeable future. This makes Google an excellent channel for marketers to focus on. In addition to the enormous amount of potential reach, Google also offers a suite of useful and accessible advertising features, making it easier for businesses to connect with potential customers and grow their presence online.
One of Google’s advertising features — which is what we’ll focus on in this article — is called SKAGs. Let’s dive into what SKAG campaigns are, why they’re so useful, and how you can start using them in your marketing campaigns.
What are Google SKAGs?
What is the definition of SKAG? SKAG stands for Single Keyword Ad Group. It refers to groups of ads that all center around the same single keyword, allowing marketers to build highly focused and specific ad campaigns based on one topic.
SKAG campaigns differ from typical ad groups which tend to feature a range of different keywords, even though the general theme might be the same. As a result, SKAGs have a number of unique benefits over other types of Google ads.
What makes SKAGs so special?
There are several reasons why SKAGs stand out from other advertising methods. Here are some of the key benefits:
Easier to manage
Simple doesn’t always mean easy, but it often means less complicated. In the case of SKAGs, focusing each ad group around one single keyword makes things significantly simpler, and this makes many aspects of managing the ads much easier.
One example is research. With SKAG campaigns, you know from the beginning which keyword to target, and it’s typically a high-volume, short-tail keyword. This saves you the time and effort of researching multiple keyword variations and long-tail keywords for the same ad group.
Google’s editor also makes it easy to clone SKAGs so you don’t have to manually copy each ad multiple times.
Easier to tweak and optimize
Traditional ad groups contain multiple different keywords, which makes it tough to pinpoint the exact reason why a group is succeeding or failing. With SKAGs you don’t have this problem — it’s immediately clear which keyword is responsible for the group’s performance.
This makes it much easier to tweak and optimize your campaigns — leaning into SKAGs and keywords that perform well while ditching those that don’t work out — so you can improve metrics like click-through rates and conversion rates across your campaigns.
Ads can be more specific and relevant
With SKAGs, your ads all revolve around the same keyword which makes it extremely easy to keep the subject of each ad tightly aligned. There’s no confusion or dissonance between ads within the same group, and you can be sure that all your ads are reaching the intended audience.
How to set up SKAGs
Setting up SKAGs is fairly straightforward within Google. We recommend you take the following steps to make sure your SKAGs stand the best chance of success and are easy to track, tweak, and optimize.
Step 1: Decide on the right keywords
Since each SKAG will revolve around just one keyword, it’s important to choose the right ones. That said, you don’t need to worry about your keywords being perfect from the start — the performance of your ad groups will quickly indicate which keywords are solid and which ones should be left behind.
It’s best to choose your keywords by looking at the core topics or ideas your ads will feature, and then making lists of keywords based on that. Keyword generator tools like the one by Ahrefs can help you here.
Step 2: Build your SKAG campaigns in Google Ads Editor
Setting up your SKAG campaigns is pretty simply — just install Google Ads Editor, link up your Google Ads account, and follow the instructions within the tool.
At this stage, you should also add multiple keyword match types. This means that for each keyword you’ll include an exact match, a phrase match, and a broad match modifier. For the keyword “digital marketing”, this would look like so:
Why should you do this? Essentially, splitting your ad into match types makes it more likely to reach the intended audience. For example, if someone searches for a long-tail keyword that contains your phrase match keyword, your ad will remain relevant.
Finally, you’ll need to set bids for your SKAGs and then create them within Google’s editor. Remember to always include your keywords in the ad headline and URL.
Once your SKAGs are ready, use the cloning feature to avoid having to copy them many times over manually.
Step 3: Track and optimize your SKAG campaigns
Within Google Ads Editor you can easily track the performance of your SKAGs via the conversion tracking feature. Here you simply choose a conversion action that you want to track (like clicking through to a landing page, making a purchase, or booking a call) and Google will track performance in your search terms report.
Make sure to pay close attention to your search terms report so you can follow the progress of your ads, identify any problem areas, and optimize all your SKAGs on an ongoing basis.
Get the most out of Google SKAG Campaigns
Like many things in the world of digital marketing, SKAGs can be challenging if you go it alone. At Profitable Media, we help businesses of all kinds harness the power of SKAGs — along with many other elements of online advertising — so they can grow and thrive in the ever-changing digital world.
Get in touch to find out how we could help you.