How to Build a Single Keyword Ad Group Campaign (Multiple Lists)

Note: If you’re new to building Single Keyword Ad Group Campaigns, you may want to check out our help article on building a campaign with a single list first, as this article will skip some of the more basic steps covered there.


Quick start video

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Detailed instructions

The beauty of using SpeedPPC is the ability to supercharge your campaigns by using multiple lists. With multiple lists, you can effortlessly expand the keywords you’re targeting, so that it’s easy to create a Single Keyword Ad Group for every possible keyword combination. 

The basic idea behind multiple lists is that you can mix and match two or more separate lists of keywords. These campaigns come in handy when you have either variations on a product or service, or synonyms for your features or what you offer. They allow you to make sure that you’re covering every possibility that someone might search for, without losing control by relying on a few general broad match keywords that will bring you a lot of irrelevant traffic.

SpeedPPC gives you the option to add up to three expansion lists to your seed keyword list. Here are some possibilities for what you might do:

  • Add a descriptor to each service you offer: emergency plumber, 24 hour plumber, weekend plumber, emergency heater repair, 24 hour heater repair, weekend heater repair, etc…
  • Add a color and a material to each product keyword: red cashmere sweater, blue cashmere sweater, green cashmere sweater, red wool sweater, blue wool sweater, green wool sweater, red cashmere socks, blue cashmere socks, green cashmere socks, red wool socks, blue wool socks, green wool socks, etc…
  • Add an action word, location, and specific type of service to a synonym of your offering: hire divorce lawyer new york, find divorce lawyer new york, contact divorce lawyer new york, hire custody lawyer new york, find custody lawyer new york, contact custody lawyer new york, hire divorce attorney new york, find divorce attorney new york, hire custody lawyer connecticut, find custody lawyer connecticut, etc…

Sounds complicated? Not to worry! Getting started with a Multiple Lists campaign is pretty straightforward. When you start a new campaign, enter the basic campaign information and be sure to choose Single Keyword Ad Groups as your campaign type. You’ll want to choose two, three, or four lists depending on how many sets of expansion keywords you have.

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Onward to the Keyword Setup tab! There you’ll see 2-4 boxes depending on the number of keyword lists you chose on the last screen. Type, paste, or load your seed keywords and each set of expansion keywords into the appropriate box.

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Note that SpeedPPC provides dozens of handy-dandy pre-existing keyword lists you can easily use to grow your campaigns, such as colors, place names, action words, and more. You can add these via the “Load” menu above the box for each set of keywords.

When planning your keywords and deciding on the expansion lists you’d like to include, keep in mind that there are limits on the number of ad groups you can have in a campaign. With these campaigns, you can easily overdo it. For both Google and Microsoft Ads, you can only have 20,000 ad groups per campaign, so for Single Keyword Ad Groups that means you can only have 20,000 keywords. It might sound impossible to have so many keywords, but once you explore what SpeedPPC can do it won’t seem so crazy!

Once you’ve finalized your keyword lists, move on to the additional settings at the bottom of the page. Keyword URL’s function similarly to a Single List campaign, but when you have multiple keyword lists, the Advanced Options section becomes important. Here’s what you need to know here:

Keyword clean-up: This will correct extra spaces and bad characters in your lists. We’ve got your sloppy spreadsheets covered.

Phrase spaces: If any of your lists contain keywords made up of more than one word (for example, “teal blue”), when you chose “Remove & Replace” SpeedPPC will eliminate the space (the final keyword would be sweater tealblue). In most cases, you’ll want to set this to “Don’t Remove.”

Keyword Combining Options: For Mix Type, if you choose “Same as Column Order,” your seed and expansion keywords will appear in the order they appear on this screen (seed keyword first, then expansion 1, then expansion 2, then expansion 3). While this may not be a problem if you want a smaller list of keywords or if you’re only using broad match, the downside to this is combinations may be less natural than if they were in a different order (plumber emergency rather than emergency plumber or sweater red cashmere instead of red cashmere sweater). You could potentially miss out on some valuable exact match and phrase keywords, so you may not want to use this option if you’re using those match types.

If you choose “Every Variation,” SpeedPPC will create an ad group for every possible combination of your keyword lists. This will ensure you don’t miss any of the possibilities, but you may end up with a lot of nonsensical, irrelevant, or awkward keywords that will clutter your campaign, waste your money, or that you’ll need to spend time cutting (not just buy new house but also new buy house; not just california hotel but also the song hotel california). Also, keep in mind the limit on ad groups mentioned above when using this option - it can create a ton of keywords!

Mix Type Spacing: Here you'll usually want to choose “Space between words,” unless you have a special case where you want one-word keywords (for example, your expansion list may be made up of prefixes or suffixes).

Include seed keywords without mixing: Checking this box will create ad groups for your seed keywords by themselves with no expansion words: just plumber, heater repair, etc…

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That’s it for the Keyword Setup section. You’re past the most difficult part now. On the next screen, you’ll set your bids, match types, and other settings the same way as you would for a campaign with a single list. 

When it comes to your ads, multiple list campaigns have additional considerations that single list campaigns don’t, mainly when it comes to inserting dynamic text via tokens. You’ll want to use the {final} token if you want your whole keyword to be included, as {seed} will only include the words and phrases from the seed keyword list. You can also use {expansion1}, {expansion2}, and {expansion3} to insert your expansion keywords in your ads at different points. The screenshot provides an example, and you can learn more about tokens and dynamic keyword insertion here. A little tip for you: right-click on the different ad text fields to bring up a list of tokens.

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Once you have your ad copy, you’re all set and you’re ready to preview and export your campaign. Happy advertising!

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