4 Best Tips to Master Single Keyword Ad Groups (Skags): How to Maximize Ecommerce PPC Ad Campaigns

4 Best Tips to Master Single Keyword Ad Groups (Skags): How to Maximize Ecommerce PPC Ad Campaigns

Today we’re diving deep into the world of PPC ads for the experts. The verdict is in. Single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) can help improve your quality score along with the overall effectiveness of your PPC campaigns.

By using a single keyword per ad group, you can be sure that your ad, keyword, and landing page are in perfect alignment. You know what this means: More money in your pockets!

This sounds great until you realize that PPC campaigns and Google Shopping campaigns work differently. In an ordinary Google search campaign, you bid on the keywords and have control over where and when your ads show.

Unfortunately, that’s not how Google Shopping ad campaigns work. Here, you’re not allowed to pick keywords! Instead, Google will crawl your site and product feeds and then show the items that are most relevant to the searcher’s query.

We’ll be covering how can you maximize the efficiency of your ecommerce paid campaigns? Here are some tactics that can help you accomplish your goal.

1. Use Single Product Ad Groups (SPAGs)

Since you’re basically advertising based on product types, optimizing your product feeds can determine whether or not you’ll make a sale, right?

So, if your Shopping campaigns are not properly organized by relevant themes and around the most profitable products, you may end up spending the majority of your advertising budget on products that don’t make you the most money.

Can you tip the odds in your favor?

Yes, you can – by using single product ad groups (SPAGs).

What are SPAGs and how can they help? Basically, single product ad groups are ad groups within your Shopping campaign containing a single product. By implementing this strategy, you can:

  • Identify the exact terms people use in searching for your products
  • Eliminate irrelevant search terms that drain your ad budget
  • Determine the profitability of each search term

Next question: how do you create SPAGs? Here’s a step-by-step guide in setting up your first SPAG.

  • Go to the Products tab in Google Ads.
  • Copy the Item ID and Title columns and paste the information on a spreadsheet. You’ll use these data for generating SPAG names.
  • Modify the file by creating separate columns for “Campaigns,” “Ad Group,” and “Max CPC.” Input the SPAG names under the Ad Group column.
  • Export the spreadsheet to your Google Ads editor and paste the data from the clipboard. Don’t forget to check “My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups” to avoid duplicates.
  • Go to the ads pane in Google Ads editor, scroll down to “Shopping Ads,” and add a shopping ad to all of the ad groups in your campaign.
  • By default, Google Ads provide an “All Products” group, but this isn’t what you want. Turn this into a SPAG by clicking on the “+” sign and select the designated product in the ad group name. Additional tip: Always exclude the “everything else” subcategory or all your efforts will be in vain.

Setting up your first SPAG can be a lot of work, but you’ll be thrilled at the results: improved ROAs, increased revenue, and lower cost per conversion!

2. Optimize Product Feeds

As mentioned earlier, the quality of your product feeds determines the performance of your shopping campaigns. Thus, the need to optimize. There are two ways to do it: go for broad level optimization or optimize individual product information.

Here’s what you need to do to ensure maximum performance:

  • Include a lot of details: Let Google and potential customers know everything they need to know about the product by just reading the title. The average search engine user has a short attention span, so put all the possible details (including brand name, GTIN, and other basic information) in the title.
  • Keep it simple: While the title should be as informative as possible, it shouldn’t confuse the audience, so keep it simple and understandable.

  • Optimize product images: Who doesn’t appreciate high-quality product images? Certainly not Google or any of your customers. Using high resolution images can increase your conversion rate and win Google’s favor so go for it! For best results, optimize your products’ compressed image size as well.

  • Choose the right product categories: This will attract the right audience and improve your sales performance. Moreover, Google loves keeping things neat and in order so you’ll score bonus points for doing this.

  • Use customizable spreadsheets: If you want total control over your data, don’t rely on any product feed management tool since they may not be as flexible and as easy to use as you think. Our recommendation: Use Excel or Google Docs.
  • Manage your budget: Identify your top and least performing products and adjust your budget accordingly. This slight tweak can make a huge difference in your CTRs and profitability rates.

3. Implement the “Gold Panning Technique”

Running a shopping ad campaign without proper optimization can be pretty expensive.

You can attract huge search volumes and spend most of your ad budget, but won’t make a lot of sales. That’s the so-called “Mob Effect” in full force.
However, while most of that traffic will not translate to sales, you can turn things around and increase your chance of hitting the jackpot.

How? By implementing the “Gold Panning Technique”!
Basically, it helps you get high-intent searches by segmenting your traffic into generic, branded, and product-specific searches.

Ready to get started? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make it work.

  • Create a multi-campaign structure: If consumers don’t usually do product-specific searches in your industry, you can get good results from running two campaigns (generic and branded). But if they do, like when you’re selling appliances and electronic devices, add a third layer of segmentation (SKU) in your campaigns.

  • Set your campaign priorities: Maximize your campaign’s potential by giving the highest priority to your generic campaigns. This way, you can capture all the traffic the product feed is optimized for.

  • Funnel your searches: Create shared negative keyword lists (universal, brand, and SKU negatives) to drive higher-intent traffic to the appropriate campaign. As a rule, apply all the negative keyword lists to your generic campaigns but make sure you only apply the universal keyword lists to your SKU campaigns.

  • Adjust your bids: Bid differently across levels, with the lowest bid going to the generic campaigns and the highest to the SKU campaigns. Aim for 60% to 80% difference between campaign levels to make sure Google sends the traffic to the right campaign.

  • Use a shared budget: If you allot separate budgets for each campaign, you risk pulling in generic traffic to your brand and SKU campaigns. Why is that so? Your generic campaign has the highest traffic potential so the daily budget for this campaign will be exhausted faster. When this happens, your brand and SKU campaigns will start pulling in generic traffic, causing ROAS to drop. With a shared budget, none of these will happen since searches with higher intent will land on the right campaign

4. Put Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) in Action

Do you have a fully optimized ecommerce website with a particularly large inventory and constantly changing products? If you do, then dynamic search ads (DSA) can be your ticket to success!

DSA campaigns are unique since instead of relying on keywords, Google scans your website and uses your content to target your ads which are then served to people with matching search queries.

There are several advantages to using DSAs. A DSA:

  • Saves time and effort by eliminating the need for keyword research, bidding, and ad text creation.
  • Automatically generates ads for relevant search terms.
  • Gives you full control over your ads by allowing you to choose the most appropriate targeting options.
  • Provides opportunity to generate additional traffic.

Dynamic search ads work particularly well for ecommerce businesses like Seal Skin Covers which offers semi-custom car covers for different car brands.

By running a DSA campaign, Google simply pulls in text from relevant product pages in response to a search query, making it easier to have ads targeting BMW owners, Mercedes owners, Mustang owners, and other car owners.

There are still a lot of ways to maximize the efficiency of your ecommerce paid campaigns. Honestly, these are just the tip of the iceberg but one thing’s for sure: you can derive satisfactory results by implementing these strategies!

About the Author
Andy Beohar is a co-founder of SevenAtoms, a marketing agency that is a premiere Google AdWords Partner and a Gold level HubSpot partner. Andy develops and manages ROI positive paid marketing campaigns for Tech, SaaS and Ecommerce companies.