SKAG Strategies

AutomationDigital MarketingAutomationAISKAG

Put a real SKAG strategy into place automatically.

A SKAG is a “single keyword ad group”. A SKAG is a method Google Ad gurus use to optimize Google Ads. The idea is that it saves you money and gets you more relevant targets for the ads you are serving up.

There are some great writeups on the method. KlientBoost has written the best one that I’ve seen. But there are also those that think SKAGs are outdated.

One of the core features of the Aderator is the ability to automatically generate SKAGs. There is some forms to fill out, but its less work than any other method to create them. Plus, we add the benefit of suggesting a bid price. Our strategy is simple: You pay less to Google to get more results.

The Strategy

The Aderator SKAG strategy works as follows:

  • Select a Campaign
  • Select the Keywords you think relevant
  • Create a template for the ad shown
  • Generate the SKAGs
  • Monitor Performance

Let’s explain each of these steps to make it more clear:

Step 1: Select a Campaign

Let’s assume you have a campaign running. That campaign will already have phrase match, exact match, and broad matches within it.

  • Broad Match - When some subset of our keywords are in the users search, our ad will show up.
  • Phrase Match - The keywords should be in the same order how the user typed them, plus some more text. So if we want to serve ads when the user types in “Big Blue Bus” then if they type “Big Honkin’ Fat Blue suede shoes Bus” then our ad will also sho.
  • Exact Match - Only if the user types in exactly what we specify. Nothing more, nothing less.

Obviously Broad matches will get your ad shown more. Then Phrase match, and Exact Match will be shown the least.

When we query all the search terms that set off our ads, then we can see which ones got clicks, which ones got conversions, and how many impressions each ad got.

Our SKAGS will now be built from this list of keywords!

Step 2: Select the keywords that are relevant

From this list you will see all the strange things people type, including misspellings, exotic searches and other things. It can be somewhat entertaining to go through this list.

You can select two things here:

  1. Terms you want to make SKAGs from
  2. Terms you want to negate

You may find there are keywords that keep showing up that have nothing to do with your business. Shut those off so you don’t spend money on this junk!

But the other words can be gold! Suppose you are selling disco balls. If your ads keep showing up for the game “Disco Elysium” you probably want to negate that keyword on a broad match.

However, if you find someone was searching: “where can I spend a lot of money on a disco ball” and you got 4 conversions out of it, then for goodness sakes, let’s SKAG that keyword!

Step 3: Create a Template for the Ads

The most effective SKAGs have the keyword in the Ad copy. We can make most of our ads the same, but have one part of the headline change to match.

For example, suppose I’m running an ad for high end travel. My company is called SuperDuperAdventures. I can make an Ad template that looks as follows:

SuperDuperAdventures | < keyword > | Luxury High Adventure

Then I can fill in that <keyword> with each Ad I create. This gives me a bulk way of loading ads. Obviously, we may need to refine a bit on some of them. For the “where can I spend a lot of money on disco balls” we might instead change that to be “Luxury Disco Balls”.

Step 4: Generate the SKAGs

At this point you’ll have to select which Campaign you want to put all of these SKAGs under. In the past, we normally select the initial farming campaign and append it with SKAG, or some other designation.

This part is all very time consuming if you do it manually. The point is, this is a simple exercise you can go through once a week looking at previous words that were generated from search results. Each week your campaign becomes more optimized.

With our SKAGs, we only put exact matches in, give the campaign a reasonable budget and over time take budget from the original farming campaign and move into the SKAG campaign.

This is impossible to do manually. However, using the Aderator can do this for you and allows you to spend 5 minutes a week optimizing.

Step 5: Monitor performance

There are two points to evaluate performance:


How much revenue did you get for every dollar spent on advertizing? The goal is to have a big number. SKAGs can tell you this.
You may find that some SKAGs don’t pay off. For example, if you have a SKAG that is called: “How to make disco balls”, that may or may not be your market.

With SKAGs we should see in our campaigns higher ROAS than in the farming campaign.

b. Cost Savings

How much money did you not give Google? This is a huge number as well. We can evaluate this by taking the total cost spent on a keyword in the past. Every time that keyword is called in our new SKAG we can subtract the difference. This will show us how much less we paid Google for that keyword to render our ad. Since we are better targetted, the cost should go down.

Brief Aside: Sometimes you can ignore Google’s Recommendations

If you run a manual CPC campaign then Google may warn you that your ads will not show because you aren’t bidding enough. Well, it turns out they actually do. It is not ironic that the company that renders your ads wants you to pay up to a certain price for it to be shown. Certainly Google Cost Per Click has gone up over the years.

Beta Testers Wanted

This strategy outlined in this post is basically what the Aderator does for you. You plug it in, select your campaigns, and it goes to town every week adding new SKAGs and recommending keywords to shut off. This is the product we hope to launch soon. We’d love to know if you are interested in learning more about it. We’re also looking for several customers who would be interested in trying the product out before we get to general availability. If that sounds good to you, please drop us a line at[hello@