If you’ve been around the search world long enough, you’ve witnessed some great debates play out among experts who take passionate yet opposing views on strategic best practices. Some of those great debates include fundamentals like bidding on one’s own brand name, the need to bid to position, and the importance of impression share.
More recently, Single Keyword Ad Groups or SKAGs have entered the gauntlet for debate. The case for SKAGs is pretty straight forward: By separating individual keywords into specific ad groups with tailored ad copy to match, you dramatically increase relevance and quality score. A quick search for SKAGs will find many articles that claim to prove its value and a handful who make the case against it. For the purposes of this article it is not our intention to get involved in the performance value of SKAGs, after all, there is more than enough literature on that topic. However, one area where both sides of the SKAGs debate find common ground: Implementing and maintaining Single Keyword Ad Groups is extremely difficult. Here at Fluency, we are happy to debate that claim.
When done manually, creating single keyword ad groups is massively time consuming and potentially very risky. The time consuming part is self explanatory - building out a more complex campaign structure requires more effort. If your current campaign structure consists of 2 campaigns, 6 ad groups and 18 ads and the new world consists of 2 campaigns 32 ad groups and 96 ads; it’s going to take more time to manually build, launch and maintain accounts, period.
In the case of SKAGs, it also requires huge attention to detail to ensure that everything aligns and isn’t duplicated; hence, potentially very risky. People make mistakes, especially when copying and pasting mass quantities of data from strategies to ad platforms.
These problems are compounded as digital marketers add new accounts across more products and services. For that reason, most agencies won’t even entertain running A/B tests of SKAGs against evergreen strategies for the simple reason: What happens if they outperform our current strategy? Are agencies really willing to invest in resources to rollout a SKAG strategy globally?
In speaking with digital marketing agencies across the country, the most common problem executives are looking to solve is finding margin the the business and cleaning up operations. Under that lens, SKAGs are dismissed as a risky and needless expense. Imagine a VP of Operations who’s just been tasked with improving EBITDA suggesting adding 7-10 hours of manual effort to each individual client launch?!
Fluency is the world’s first data driven automation advertising platform. While it’s easy for people to make mistakes, it’s equally as easy for data not to. Oftentimes, where SKAGs make the most sense to implement are for long tail, lower level, descriptive search terms. Let’s take a deeper look at two examples that might benefit from SKAGs to showcase how data driven advertising makes scaling instant and accident proof.
Example 1: ‘New Toyota Camry Lease Miami Florida’
When broken into data types, the actual search above amounts to ‘[Vehicle condition] [make] [model] [offer] [city] [state]’. All of those data fields are easily accessible to the business owner, web platform or search provider. In Fluency, those data fields are easily transferred from Ad group, to keyword, to ad, and replace for all clients instantly and at scale.
Ad group: [Vehicle condition] [make] [model] [offer] [city] [state]
Keywords: [Vehicle condition] [make] [model] [offer] [city] [state]
Ad Copy: H1: [Vehicle condition] [make] [model] [offer] H2: [city] [state]’s trusted dealer
Yes, that means that if Dealership A has three brands under management (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep) which jointly represent 20+ models, 40+ current offers, serving 15 cities in 1 state - all of that parses instantly and properly. This one customer just benefited from the creation of 12,000 SKAGs in an instant. Bigger picture, that also means that a dealer group, manufacturer or agency representing 100s of locations could have replicated 1000s of SKAGs in seconds and without concern of misalignment (mismatched ad copy, forgotten model, dated offer etc).
Example 2: ‘3 bedroom home for sale in Burlington Vermont with a pool’
This also breaks down to easily accessible data: [# of bedrooms] [property type] [offer type] [city] [state] [property feature]. Data in, unlimited perfect SKAG out. A brokerage using Fluency could end up with multiple SKAGs for individual properties. In addition to having a pool, a property (and searcher) might also be looking for a fireplace, two car garage, granite countertops, and many other hyper specific features that exist as data to a brokerage, agency or realtor.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to unlock your data to drive better performing advertising at scale, we would love to hear from you.