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Google Ad Groups Best Practices: How to Manage Your PPC Ads Better

    google ad groups best practices

    Diving into Google Ads can feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube while riding a unicycle — tricky and overwhelming. Even more so if you are managing your business at the same time. But fear not, because there’s a secret weapon to make this balancing act more manageable: Ad Groups.

    Think of ad groups as the training wheels for your Google Ads unicycle. They’ll help you organize your campaigns and ads, making the whole experience smoother and more enjoyable.

    So, let’s learn how to master ad groups together and turn that wobbly ride into a confident cruise through the world of Google Ads.

    What are Ad Groups and Why Do You Need Them?

    In today’s competitive digital landscape, Google Ads has emerged as a potent weapon for businesses looking to increase traffic, boost conversions, and enhance their online visibility.

    However, realizing the full potential of Google Ads demands a deep understanding of its various components, including the pivotal role played by Ad Groups.

    What are Ad Groups?

    At the heart of a Google Ads campaign, Ad Groups are collections of ads that share common keywords and targeting parameters. They act as the foundation for your advertising efforts, enabling you to efficiently organize and manage your ads.

    By clustering ads based on creatives, topics, or keywords, you can ensure each ad targets a specific audience segment, resulting in higher click-through rates (CTRs), enhanced ad relevance, and superior quality scores.

    Advantages of Having Ad Groups

    Ad Groups help marketers run ads in Google like a well-oiled machine. Here are a few reasons why a good Google Ads campaign structure can help us:

    Structured Ad Groups Make Ad Management Simpler

    Imagine you run a local shoe store, and you decide to set up a Google Ads campaign targeting your city to showcase your newest running shoe collection.

    Instead of merging all your ads into a single group, you can establish individual Ad Groups for the various types of running shoes — trail running shoes, road running shoes, and more. You can then promote these different types as necessary for the season — no need to go around pausing certain keywords that don’t match.

    Ad Groups contribute to simplifying Google Ads campaign structure. By categorizing your ads into well-defined groups, you can swiftly pinpoint which ads are performing optimally and which ones require adjustments. At the very least, you’ll end up with campaigns that are easier to manage.

    Facilitates A/B Testing

    This organized approach also facilitates the implementation of A/B testing, empowering you to compare different ad variations and fine-tune your campaigns for peak performance. By organizing your ads into distinct groups, you can quickly identify which ads are performing well and which need improvement.

    Here’s how Ad Groups help in A/B testing:

    • Precise targeting: Since Ad Groups share common keywords and targeting parameters, the ads within a group are shown to a similar audience segment. This means that the results of your A/B tests will be more accurate, as the ads are being tested on a consistent set of users.
    • Ease of analysis: Grouping ads make it simple to analyze the performance metrics of each ad variation. You can effortlessly track metrics like clicks, impressions, CTR, and conversions, enabling you to identify which ad version is delivering better results. This allows for a more efficient and organized way to compare ad performance.
    • Better application of bid strategy: Organizing your ads into Ad Groups allows you to apply bid strategies on a group level, rather than doing so for each individual ad. This aids in achieving better results without having to make changes to individual bids manually.
    • Iterative optimization: By leveraging the insights gained from A/B testing within Ad Groups, you can continuously refine your ads to enhance their performance. This iterative optimization process helps you maximize the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns, ultimately leading to improved ROI.

    Better Audience Experience

    To truly harness the power of grouping within campaigns, it’s essential to understand your target audience and create ads tailored to their needs and interests. By effectively matching keywords, ad copy, and landing pages within individual Ad Groups, you can ensure a seamless and relevant experience for users, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

    For example, if one of your Ad Groups targets trail running enthusiasts, your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages should all focus on the specific benefits and features of trail running shoes. This laser-focused approach not only improves user experience but also contributes to a higher quality score and better ad performance.

    Managing Your Ad Budget Effectively

    Ad Groups play a vital role in managing your ad budget effectively. By organizing your ads into relevant groups, you can allocate your budget more strategically, ensuring that your most important ads receive the necessary funding.

    This targeted approach helps maximize your ROI, delivering better results for your product or service.

    And as we mentioned above, a better user experience and higher ad relevance mean better ad scores, leading to lower CPC costs. Google Ads rewards good advertiser behavior, after all.

    5 Best Practices for Building Campaigns and Ad Groups

    As a small business owner, diving into the vast ocean of online advertising can feel like setting sail on an uncharted voyage. 

    Think of your Google Ads campaign as a bustling harbor teeming with ships (your ads) ready to embark on their journey. Each ship needs a skilled crew (Ad Groups) to ensure it sails smoothly toward its target audience.

    Without proper organization and planning, your fleet risks drifting off course or even sinking in the competitive digital marketing seas.

    To help you chart a successful path, we’ve compiled a treasure trove of best practices for building campaigns and Ad Groups. Here’s how you can steer your small business toward newfound success and growth.

    1. Identify the Goals of your Ad Groups

    When setting out on your Google Ads journey, it’s essential to have a clear destination in mind. Identifying the goals of your Ad Groups is a crucial best practice that serves as the compass for your advertising efforts.

    By establishing well-defined objectives, you can tailor your ads and targeting strategies to achieve the desired results, ensuring your ships stay on course in the vast digital marketing ocean. You can also create ad groups based on the goals you want to achieve, may it be brand awareness, a lead, a phone call, or a purchase.

    But let’s not be too broad. When creating an ad group, here are a couple of things you should think about:

    • Define specific targets

    Set quantifiable and time-bound targets for each Ad Group to help measure performance and track progress. For example, you might aim to achieve a certain number of conversions, a specific click-through rate (CTR), or a target cost per acquisition (CPA) within a given timeframe.

    • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs)

    Select relevant KPIs that will enable you to evaluate the success of your Ad Groups in achieving their goals. Common KPIs include impressions, clicks, CTR, conversions, and CPA. Monitoring these metrics will help you identify areas for improvement and optimize your campaigns for peak performance.

    2. Group Related Keywords Together

    One vital best practice for building effective Ad Groups is to group related keywords together. This approach allows you to create highly targeted search ads that resonate with your audience and lead them toward the treasure trove of your products or services.

    Before you can group related keywords, it’s crucial to conduct thorough keyword research to uncover the most relevant and valuable terms for your business. Delve into the depths of keyword tools and analyze search trends to discover the phrases your potential customers are using in their quest for solutions.

    Once you’ve gathered your keywords, follow these steps to group them effectively:

    • Identify common themes

    Examine your list of keywords and look for overarching themes that represent different aspects of your business, product offerings, or customer needs. These themes will serve as the foundation for your Ad Groups. We’ll talk more about how to do this later.

    • Avoid keyword overlap

    Be cautious not to include the same keyword in multiple Ad Groups, as this can lead to internal competition and dilute the effectiveness of your campaigns. Assign each keyword to the most relevant Ad Group to maintain clear distinctions between your advertising efforts.

    • Create groups based on match types

    Keyword match types refer to the settings that determine how closely a user’s search query must match the keywords in your ad group for your ad to be eligible to appear. You can group ads based on broad match keywords, exact match groups, exact match positive terms, and more.

    • Limit the number of keywords per Ad Group

    Overcrowding your Ad Group with too many keywords can hinder its effectiveness, much like an overloaded ship struggling to stay afloat. Aim to include a manageable number of closely related keywords (typically 10-20) in each Ad Group. This approach allows you to create targeted ads that directly address the search intent of your audience while maintaining a streamlined and efficient structure.

    For certain high-value or highly competitive keywords, consider creating dedicated Single Keyword Ad Groups. SKAGs enable you to craft laser-focused ad copy and landing pages specifically tailored to a single keyword, potentially improving your ad relevance, Quality Score, and overall campaign performance.

    • Continuously refine your keyword groups

    Regularly review and update your keyword groupings to account for changes in search trends, audience behavior, or your business offerings. This ongoing optimization process will help you keep your Ad Groups fresh and relevant, ensuring they continue to sail smoothly toward their goals.

    3. Create Tightly Themed Ad Groups

    Assign related keywords to specific Ad Groups based on their shared theme. This focused approach ensures that your ads directly address the search intent of your target audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.

    Creating tightly themed Ad Groups is a best practice that can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns. Like assembling a well-coordinated crew for each ship in your advertising fleet, a focused approach ensures smooth sailing toward your desired results.

    Follow these steps to make this work:

    • Organize Keywords into Themes

    Once you have a list of potential keywords, group them into tightly-themed clusters based on their relevance and similarity. Analyze your researched keywords and look for themes that represent different aspects of your business, product offerings, or customer needs. These themes will serve as the foundation for your Ad Groups.


    Let’s say you own an online store selling eco-friendly products. After conducting keyword research, you identified the following keywords:

    reusable water bottles

    eco-friendly bags

    bamboo toothbrushes

    sustainable clothing

    You can create four separate ad groups, each focusing on one of these themes:

    Ad Group 1: Reusable Water Bottles

    Ad Group 2: Eco-Friendly Bags

    Ad Group 3: Bamboo Toothbrushes

    Ad Group 4: Sustainable Clothing

    This focused approach guarantees that your ads directly address the search intent of your target audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.

    • Creating Targeted Ad Creatives and Ad Copy

    For each ad group, develop ad creatives and ad copy that specifically target the theme and keywords of that group.

    Ensure your headlines, descriptions, and display URLs incorporate the most important keywords from your ad group. This will increase the relevance of your ads, improve your quality score, and even raise your ad rank.


    Using the eco-friendly product store example, here’s how you can create targeted ad copy for the “Reusable Water Bottles” ad group:

    Headline 1: Premium Reusable Water Bottles

    Headline 2: Stay Hydrated & Eco-Friendly

    Description: Shop our range of stylish, durable, and eco-friendly water bottles. Free shipping on orders over $50!

    Display URL:

    • Defining Your Target Audience

    Tailor your ad targeting settings for each ad group based on the preferences and behaviors of your ideal customers. Consider factors like demographics, location, interests, and past interactions with your brand when defining your target audience.


    For the “Sustainable Clothing” ad group, you may want to target the following audience:

    • Demographics: Women aged 18-40 who are interested in sustainable fashion.
    • Location: United States, with a focus on urban areas where eco-consciousness is more prevalent.
    • Interests: Users who have shown interest in topics related to sustainability, eco-friendly products, and ethical fashion.
    • Remarketing: Users who have previously visited your website or engaged with your brand on social media.

    By concentrating on organizing keywords into themes, creating targeted ad creatives and ad copy, and defining your target audience, you can significantly improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.

    4. Utilizing Relevant Landing Pages

    You don’t want to make your audience think that they landed on a page they did not want to be, right? This can lead to high bounce rates.

    By directing users to highly targeted, well-designed landing pages that match your ad groups’ themes, you can increase conversions and boost your quality score.

    Here’s how to do this:

    • Match Landing Pages to Ad Groups’ Themes

    To ensure a seamless user experience, it’s essential to direct users to a landing page that closely aligns with the theme of your ad group.


    Let’s revisit the eco-friendly product store example. You have four ad groups:

    • Ad Group 1: Reusable Water Bottles
    • Ad Group 2: Eco-Friendly Bags
    • Ad Group 3: Bamboo Toothbrushes
    • Ad Group 4: Sustainable Clothing

    For each ad group, create a dedicated landing page that focuses on the specific theme:

    • Landing Page 1: A page showcasing a variety of reusable water bottles, their features, and benefits.
    • Landing Page 2: A collection of eco-friendly bags, highlighting their materials and sustainability.
    • Landing Page 3: An assortment of bamboo toothbrushes, emphasizing their eco-friendliness and unique selling points.
    • Landing Page 4: A curated selection of sustainable clothing, detailing the ethical production processes and materials used.
    • Maintain Consistency Between Ad Copy and Landing Page Content

    Consistency between your ad copy and landing page content is vital for maintaining user trust and ensuring a cohesive experience. Users should feel that the landing page delivers on the promises made in the ad copy, which will increase the likelihood of conversions and improve your quality score.


    For the “Reusable Water Bottles” ad group, the ad copy is as follows:

    • Headline 1: Premium Reusable Water Bottles
    • Headline 2: Stay Hydrated & Eco-Friendly
    • Description: Shop our range of stylish, durable, and eco-friendly water bottles. Free shipping on orders over $50!

    The corresponding landing page should:

    • Feature a prominent headline that reiterates the ad’s messaging, such as “Discover Our Premium Reusable Water Bottles.”
    • Emphasize the eco-friendly nature and durability of the products.
    • Clearly mention the free shipping offer for orders over $50.
    • Display a variety of reusable water bottles with engaging visuals and product descriptions.

    Ensuring that your landing page matches the theme of your ad group is crucial in providing a seamless and relevant user experience, which can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates and better ROI.

    5. Create Ad Groups Based on Audience Intent

    One of the most effective ways to structure your Google Ads campaigns is by creating ad groups based on audience intent. This approach allows you to target users at different stages of their buyer’s journey, from brand awareness to purchasing intent.

    • Ad Groups for Users in the Research Stage (Brand Awareness)

    Creating ad groups targeting users in the research stage helps raise brand awareness and position your business as a solution to their needs. Focus on providing valuable information and addressing common pain points to capture their interest.


    Suppose you own a retail company that sells shoes. You can create ad groups targeting keywords related to project management challenges or questions, such as:

    • “how to choose the best shoes”
    • “best shoe types based on activity”
    • “shoe buying tips”

    Your ad copy should emphasize your expertise and offer valuable insights. The landing page can feature informative content like blog posts, customer reviews, or a feature page showcasing your products’ benefits.

    • Ad Groups for Customers with Buying Intent

    Creating ad groups targeting customers in the buying stage helps you capture users who are ready to make a purchase or commit to your service.


    For your project management software, create an ad group focusing on keywords with buying intent:

    • “buy running shoes”
    • “running shoes price in [city]”
    • “running shoes on sale”

    Your ad copy should emphasize the ease of purchase, pricing advantages, or special promotions. The landing page should provide clear pricing information, feature a straightforward purchasing process, and offer free shipping to encourage conversions.

    • Ad Groups Targeting Competitor Research

    Creating ad groups focusing on users researching your competitors allows you to highlight your unique selling points and attract potential customers who may be considering other options.


    For your project management software, you can create an ad group targeting competitor-related keywords:

    • “alternative to [competitor name]”
    • “[competitor name] vs. [your software name]”
    • “compare [competitor name] and [your business name]”

    Your ad copy should highlight the advantages of choosing your retail company over the competition. The landing page can include a side-by-side comparison, customer testimonials, or special offers to entice users to choose your solution.

    By creating ad groups based on audience intent, you can effectively target users at different stages of their buyer’s journey and tailor your messaging accordingly.


    In conclusion, Ad Groups are an essential component of any successful Google Ads campaign. They provide a systematic way to organize, manage, and optimize your ads, leading to higher CTRs, better ad relevance, and improved quality scores.

    By understanding your target audience and effectively matching keywords, ad copy, and landing pages within individual Ad Groups, you can streamline your advertising efforts and achieve a better ROI for your product or service.

    If the idea of creating and managing Google ad groups seems overwhelming or time-consuming, don’t fret! You can always opt for powerful Google Ads Management tools that incorporate AI technology, like Braxy!

    Braxy is a cutting-edge Google Ads management platform designed to streamline your advertising efforts — including the creation of ad groups tailored to your business needs.

    It uses AI to conduct keyword research, create campaigns, craft compelling ads, oversee performance, and optimize ads with minimal intervention on your part. It can even create a Google Ads account if you are yet to have one!

    By leveraging a tool like Braxy, you can enjoy the benefits of efficient and effective advertising without getting bogged down in the complexities of ad group management. Book a free demo today and witness the remarkable results it can bring to your business!

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