Book a Discovery Call
9 min read

Understanding a SKAG Structure in Google Ads

Featured Image

SKAG stands for Single Keyword Ad Group.

Why is it so popular?

  1. SKAG structure ensures that your ads are not missing out on any opportunity to take part in an ad auction that exists within the set of keywords you chose to target.

  2. Another great advantage of using such ad group-keyword structure is that your ads and keywords will never struggle for quality score. You can always use the exact same keyword as your Headline 1 in your ads. e.g. If your ad group name is “Commercial Solar Proposal” then as per SKAG it will have the same keyword i.e. “commercial solar proposal” and the same Headline 1 i.e. again “Commercial Solar Proposal”

  3. It reduces the need for creating DKI ads within your ad groups. As explained in step 2 above, when you’re using the exact same keyword in the Headline 1 of your ad then you probably do not need DKI syntax until and unless you want to concatenate your Headline 1 with the terms like “Buy”, “Affordable”, “Purchase” which is usually the case with eCommerce businesses.

single-keyword-ad-group

How exactly is it structured OR formed?

There are 2 ways of implementing a SKAG structure:

  1. SKAG with Negative Farming
  2. SKAG without Negative Farming

SKAG with Negative Farming:

Here we will go one step further and discuss the keyword match types and their counterparts i.e. negative keywords and their match types.

‘Broad Modifier’ & ‘Exact Match’ are the most preferred match types to be used regardless of any industry, be it eCommerce or Lead Gen. Below is a step by step guide on how to build a SKAG structure with Negative Farming:

Using 2 Match Types: Broad Modifier & Exact are the 2 most popular match types commonly used by advertisers.

The next step is to create SKAGs for all the keywords and their match types. One single keyword will have 2 match types and hence 2 separate ad groups will be created for 2 match types and their negatives will be added accordingly.

e.g. Let’s assume that our keyword is “solar panels”. Now 2 ad groups will be created for this keyword targeting 2 different match types:

Campaign Ad Group Keyword Match Type Negative Keyword Negative Keyword Match Type
Example Campaign Solar Panels - BMM +solar +panels BMM [solar panels] Exact
Example Campaign Solar Panels - Exact [solar panels] Exact - -

In the above example, BMM will cover all the Broad and Phrase match queries and we have a separate ad group to target Exact match queries. Exact match type queries are negated from the BMM ad group.

The modus operandi would be Broad Match Modifier keyword will target BMM as well as phrase match long tail key phrases, similarly exact will attract only exact queries. BMM keywords can never be triggered via Exact search queries. And hence covering all aspects of searches that customers can perform with the highest Quality Score & lowest CPCs possible.

solar-keywords


Using All 3 Match Types:
Many advertisers also use Broad Modifier, Exact & Phrase match types. You can also use Broad match for targeting loosely relevant broad audiences.

Note: I would advise not to use Broad Match - instead go for Broad Match Modifier unless you don't care much about relevancy and want to show your ad to each and every customer who is searching for your products/services or products/services relevant to your product.

The next step is to create SKAGs for all the keywords and their match types. One single keyword will have 3 match types and hence 3 separate ad groups will be created for 3 match types and their negatives will be added accordingly.

e.g. Let’s assume that our keyword is “solar panels”. Now 3 ad groups will be created for this keyword targeting 3 different match types:

Campaign Ad Group Keyword Match Type Negative Keyword Negative Keyword Match Type
Example Campaign Solar Panels - BMM +solar +panels BMM "solar panels" Phrase
Example Campaign Solar Panels - BMM - - [solar panels] Exact
Example Campaign Solar Panels - Phrase "solar panels" Phrase [solar panels] Exact
Example Campaign Solar Panels - Exact [solar panels] Exact - -

As you can see in the above example, Phrase and Exact match types are negated from the BMM ad group. Similarly, Exact match has been negated from the Phrase match and lastly, there is no negation for the Exact match ad group.

The modus operandi would be Broad Match Modifier keyword will only target BMM search queries, similarly phrase will attract long tail key phrases and exact will attract only exact queries. No match type can cross target any search query that belongs to another match type. e.g. BMM keyword can never be triggered via Phrase & Exact search queries. And hence resulting in the highest Quality Score that particular keyword can achieve and therefore the lowest CPC that it could perform on.
search-query-segregation

Differences between using 2 Match Types and using 3 Match Types:


Concerns Using 2 Match Types Using 3 Match Types
Execution Execution of this process is easy and less time consuming. Execution is tedious and hence a time consuming process.
Avg. Monthly Searches If the relevant keywords to your business have medium or low avg. monthly searches then you must go with this process. If the relevant keywords have really very good avg. monthly searches and then you can opt for this process.
QS & CPCs Both the processes are equally effective for this criteria.
Search Query Segregation Better. Best.
SQR Scrubbing May require once in a month (Also depends on the traffic that your website receives). May require once in 2 months (Also depends on the traffic that your website receives).

 

SKAG without Negative Farming:

This process would be the easiest among all to execute and keep the quality score and CPCs intact.

Here’s the tabular explanation of how the structure will look:

 

Using 2 Match Types:

Campaign Ad Group Keyword Match Type Negative Keyword Negative Keyword Match Type
Example Campaign Solar Panels +solar +panels BMM - -
Example Campaign Solar Panels [solar panels] Exact - -

 

Using 3 Match Types:

Campaign Ad Group Keyword Match Type Negative Keyword Negative Keyword Match Type
Example Campaign Solar Panels +solar +panels BMM - -
Example Campaign Solar Panels "solar panels" Phrase - -
Example Campaign Solar Panels [solar panels] Exact - -

 

Pros & Cons:

S. No. Pros Cons

1.

Execution without negative farming is super easy and very time efficient. SQR scrubbing is required every 15 days because there is no negative farming.
2. This process has been proven really effective especially for medium and low avg. searches keywords. You lose control on which match type keyword should participate in the ad auction for what query.
3. All the processes discussed above are considered highly effective as compared to setup structures that contain 15-20 keywords per ad group.
4. Campaign structures will be simple and easy to understand. Ad group level optimization would not be possible.

 

Getting Started

If you already promote your company online in several different ways and want to achieve better results then an audit would be a better option for you. Speak to us about auditing your existing Google Ads campaigns. Or if you are new to Google Ads, we can set up a discovery call to see if we are a good fit for your solar business.

If you're ready to start the conversation book a call with us to talk through your business goals.