What Are Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) in PPC Marketing?

Single Keyword Ad Groups, otherwise known as SKAGs, is a pay-per-click marketing strategy which aims to:

  • Increase click-through rates.
  • Lower average cost-per-clicks.
  • Reduce wasted ad spend.
  • Better focus and optimise search campaigns.

Some people swear they are the best thing to happen to their business and paid campaigns, others think they are better off left as a nice idea.

In any case you should at least test a SKAG campaign to find out if they can help you maximise your valuable ad budget. Testing new theories, strategies and ideas is a habit that will serve you well throughout your PPC career.


  • Better target keywords.
  • Customise ad copy to the keyword being targeted.
  • Higher ad scores.
  • Lower cost-per-clicks (due to higher ad scores and increased click-through-rate).
  • Minimise wasted ad spend.


  • The focus is on the target keywords rather than the intent behind that keyword (and similar ones).
  • Can result in too narrow targeting settings for your ads to be triggered.
  • “Exact match targeting” doesn’t actually always mean exact match – there is room for Google’s algorithm to gauge if searches outside your “exact” keyword should trigger your ads.
  • SKAG strategies will be more time intensive that standard ones, particularly for those with larger budgets and multiple campaigns.
  1. Woah the optimisation scores went through the roof seemingly over night! Great improvements to the click-through-rates as well.

    1. Interesting, we saw mixed results tbh. Some good ad optimisation increases but not so much on the CTR’s. Maybe because our dynamic search ads tend to do a similar thing as the SKAG ones (include the target keyword in the ad copy).

  2. I tried a SKAG strategy and the results were great. Not sure I’d apply to my larger campaigns just yet though as they can be quite time intensive to manage.

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