OK… answering a question about how many keywords you should I have per ad group is a fairly easy answer, but please understand, this is a personal preference and not necessarily a rule of thumb.
When building my PPC campaigns, I will try to divide my keywords into ad groups with no more than 10 keywords per ad group. Now a lot of people may think this is too few. Here’s my logic… and while I know the beginning of my explanation is usually a well known tactic, the second part is pretty key!
Keyword Answer – Part 1
When you get too many keywords into an ad group, they tend to not be very targeted. Let’s use the sample to the right:
Let’s assume that someone did a search for “funny t-shirts”.
Now while some people may believe that “funny” and “humorous” are the same thing… they are not. They are specifically 2 different keywords that people may use when searching for those products.
I’ve run different tests in the past with those specific keywords (so I do have some experience with this particular example). If someone searches for “funny t-shirts”, running an ad with the keyword “humorous” in it does not have as high of a quality score that one with the keyword “funny” would have. And the quality score helps us come up higher in the paid results for cheaper (cheaper and higher are what it’s all about). Click through rates are also much higher.
Also, when people type in a word like “funny”, they will always gravitate towards an ad with that specific keyword in the title and body of the ad.
Now “tshirts”, “t shirts”, and “tee shirts” are all the same keyword, (just different spellings).
In this ad group there are 16 keywords. My first order of business would be to separate them into 2 ad groups. Ad group #1 would be “Funny T-shirts” and ad group #2 would be “Humorous T-shirts” and each group would have 8 keywords. Anything less than 10 is OK.
Your ad group (as a whole) should be treated like the tire on a car (the car is your campaign). It’s a small part of something larger. Now if you have a car with an under inflated tire, it’s going to affect the gas mileage, it’s going to affect the steering, it’s going to affect the life of the tire. It’s going to affect the car as a whole.
If you’re tire is inflated properly, your car will run more efficiently and safely.
Your campaign needs to run efficiently and it won’t do that with bad ad groups. OK… I know most of that is basic, but let’s get to part #2.
Keyword Answer – Part 2
It always comes back to the 80/20 rule. While the 80/20 rule was not invented by Perry Marshall, he does implement it a lot into his Adwords teachings (rightfully so).
20% of your keywords will drive 80% of your business. And it’s extremely easy to find that 20% when you’re dealing with smaller ad groups. I literally have a campaign with about 40 ad groups and each group has only about 2-4 active keywords per group. The total number of active keywords in that campaign right now is 146.
Now the campaign did not start this way. It started with about 400 keywords in it. Once we saw that there were a lot of keywords that were getting no impressions (or very few) or they were keywords with very few clicks, we simply paused them.
Sure, there were some keywords that were getting some clicks (but not a lot) and we didn’t want to pause them, that’s why there were 4 keywords active in some groups. But the quality score for those keywords that ARE active are extremely high. Yes, it is more work having to do a lot of ads in the beginning when creating the campaign, but in the long run, my clients are VERY happy.
Also, think about your budgets.
Let’s say that you get 100 clicks a day to your ad group and that group is averaging $1.00 per click ($100 per day). With a better optimized ad group (with higher quality scores), you may be able to get that cost per click down to just 80 cents or lower. Hence, 20% more clicks per month and your budget goes that much further.
The better that tire is, the better the car runs!