An ad group is used to define the characteristics of certain ads when using search engine marketing (SEM) or PPC. In other words and more simple terms, an ad group defines a group of related search terms. Ad groups are groups of keywords that are closely related.
Each ad group has a common goal—to attract a certain type of customer based on their Google search query. For this reason, they typically share similar targets and keywords.
In a Google ads account structure, an ad group is part of an ad campaign, which is part of the larger ad account. Every Google ad you create has an ad group attached to it, whether you realize it or not.
The main point of Google ad groups is to help you structure your ad campaign, making it easier to measure the effectiveness of certain parts of it, like keywords, targets, and audience. Your ad group contains all the keywords associated with particular ad campaigns, allowing you to group and organize search terms together or separately, depending on the ads you create.
Your business probably has more than one product or service, so you might have different target audience segments with different pain points, needs, or interests. Using ad groups correctly enables you to market effectively to those individuals while making your SEM ads more relevant to a particular target audience. Let's take a look at an example:
Marvin owns a pet supplies company, with most of his customers owning dogs, cats, or both. Knowing this basic information about his business, you can separate the ads into two groups — one promoting cat supplies and another for dog supplies. The search terms within your ad groups might include variations of both keywords.
How many ad groups you have depends on your business and who you're trying to attract. A marketing company might create an ad group to promote each of its services separately, helping it create more relevant ads that utilize more focused keywords.
If you're trying to attract companies looking for social media management, you probably don't want to use the broader term "digital marketing" because it's less relevant.
Instead, your ad will rank higher in SERPs for a particular word by using it in the ad, making ad groups important for structuring your Google ads account and necessary for improving relevance to help your ads rank higher and attract more customers.
While it's easy to create a single ad group that includes all keywords related to your business, it'll be impossible to make a relevant ad for all of them, which is why ad groups are so important; they allow you to separate keywords based on how closely related they are to one another and help make your ads more relevant to users while ensuring your chosen platform — whether Google or Bing — can effectively rank your ads based on this information.
Optimizing your ad groups does more than help you create a more structured and organized ad account. It also offers several benefits, such as:
Organizing ad groups can increase your conversion rate by improving ad relevance to keywords. Ad groups increase conversions because it provides a seamless user experience.
If someone searches for "yoga pants," they expect to see an ad for yoga pants, not athletics apparel. You can also take ad groups a step further by adding audience targeting, which factors in interests, location, habits, and other behavioral targets.
While most bidding is automated these days, ad groups make bidding more flexible by allowing you to set maximum spend for a different set of search terms. Doing so allows you to control your spending and campaign performance.
You might have one ad group you need to lean on to increase conversions quickly, and another you can spend less on to increase brand awareness. Monitoring your ad results can help you determine which ad groups require higher spend.
Like organic Google search results, ads are ranked in search engine results pages (SERPs). Using ad groups properly can help you increase your rankings and beat the competition because it allows you to be as specific as necessary to appear on search results for the right queries.