Automated Keyword Research

If you could perform automated keyword research that gave you insights to relevant clicks and conversions in real time, would you try it?

Through SKAGs, or Single Keyword Ad Groups, it’s possible.

Hopefully, you’ve already implemented SKAGs into your own SEM/PPC projects, but if you haven’t and don’t know what it is, scroll down to this section of the article. In simple terms, it enables you to:

  • Understand the power of keyword targeting
  • Make the whole buyer journey from end to end more transparent
  • Be flexible in order to react or adjust to SERP fluctuations

But one thing that might not necessarily be on everyones radar, is how Single Keyword Ad Groups can enable any marketer to perform automated keyword research that will directly lead to an uplift in relevant clicks and conversions.

Hold up – say what?

Keyword research is something every search marketer knows as a necessary part of the job.

Some marketers just love to get down and dirty in order to retrieve hundreds of keyword ideas, and other just loathe the amount of time and excel sheets it takes to get some new ideas – only to get zero search volume data back.

That’s okay though – going about individual keywords and targeting them according to search volume is an approach that would make sense 5 years ago anyway.

As many search marketers know, it’s all about topical relevancy.


Using Keyword Research Tools Is Not The Answer

There’s tons of keyword suggestion tools on the web, and the majority are based on the data they pull from Google Suggest, which make the suggestions real, because they are based on historical searches, but how can you know whether or not these suggestions are relevant for your project specifically.

You don’t.

After pulling this particular dataset, you still don’t have enough data to make any decisions about what keywords to go with.

Single Keyword Ad Groups not only automates this process, but gives you real time data instead of historical searches that might go back as far as a couple of  years back. Another thing it does, is that it gives you all the relevant keywords to one main keyword, making the topical relevancy of each suggestion highly relevant, and it gives you the exact amount you would pay for.

It is simply the best way to automate your keyword research!

At this point, I’m assuming you’d like to know how this looks like. Well, I’m not here to disappoint you.


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Knowing The Alpha Beta Adwords Account Structure

The Alpha Beta campaign was first introduced back in 2013 by David Rodnitzky of 3Q Digital. The simple approach is that you to have a set of “beta” campaigns leveraging broad match to find new keywords, and a set of corresponding “alpha” campaigns containing exact match keywords to leverage performance. 

Alpha Beta AdWords Structure

Image credit: Opteo

My preferred AdWords automator tool, Opteo, implements SKAG account structure in their algorithm to incentivize users to build their accounts that way – and they explain the Alpha Beta structure pretty well in this article.

It’s all about separating keywords by match type.

Apart from that, there’s a bunch of articles out there that you search for, in case you would like to know more. I’m assuming you already know this structure – or even are implementing it already – so let’s get down to business.


Learning The Automated Keyword Research Process

  1. Select the BETA campaign with the targeted keyword you’d like to get ideas from
  2. Head quickly over to your Search Terms tab in Campaigns → Keywords

AdWords Alpha Beta Structure Search Terms

3. Check the nature of the keywords and their CTR to decide whether you should create an ALPHA campaign for them

AdWords Alpha Beta Structure


As you can see, one BETA campaign for one keyword provided me with 8 new, highly relevant search terms in real time. These are broad or phrase matches that are based on one modified broad match keyword.

The CTR will always be ridiculously high as long as you know which keyword is broad enough to generate enough volume for the campaign and you know how to word it, so that you don’t get broad suggestions that are far off.

This way, you’ll always have a set of keywords that will make sense for your account, and if you ignore the percentages and rather see how many total clicks and conversions these keywords give you without really optimizing for it, then you are in a position to make an educated guess as to which keywords to transfer over to an ALPHA campaign.

Once you do that, you’ll be able to add even more relevant clicks and conversions to your account.

And all through beautiful, automated keyword research.

Featured Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash