How to stop Internal Competition within an AdWords Account?

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Internal competition within an AdWords account is a very generic situation most PPC advertisers land in. Due to various reasons, ranging from lack of vital knowledge to negligence, advertisers fall prey to this vicious takeover. I’m not exaggerating when I say that internal competition is the worst competition. This is because you are competing against your own keywords. Either you fix it, or you are doomed due to unnecessarily high bids.

Internal competition can arise in two different instances:

  • Between keywords under different match types

Your keyword is aviator goggles, it is under broad match by default. When you set the same keyword under phrase match “aviator goggles” and under exact match [aviator goggles], these three key words would compete internally. for eg : if a user searches for aviator goggles , all three keywords will try to trigger ads.

Note: A keyword is a combination of text and match type. A keyword under three match types is counted as three different keywords.

  • Long tail variations of keywords

When you include long tail variations of your root keyword Aviator goggles such as men aviator goggles, women aviator goggles etc, internal competition might sprout up here too.

E.g: When a user searches for best aviator goggles, the keywords that can trigger the ads will be [best aviator goggles] (exact) as well as “aviator goggles” (phrase).

Note: Short tail keywords under phrase and broad will compete with exact, phrase and broad of long tail keywords.

The aviator goggles phrase and broad will compete with Men aviator goggles exact, phrase and broad. The Aviator goggles phrase and broad will compete with Women aviator goggles exact, phrase and broad.

E.g: If a user searches for women aviator goggles, keywords such as aviator goggles” (phrase), aviator goggles (broad) and [women aviator goggles] (exact) can trigger ads.

To stop internal competition within an AdWords account from blasting up your spend, you will have to restructure your account using negative keywords. Making a few simple additions to your Ad Groups can have a lasting and significant impact on your campaigns. For you to understand the restructuring better, I have used an example below and broke it down into steps.

Steps to stop internal competition between keywords under different match types

  • We create three Ad Groups, broad match modifier, phrase and exact, aviator goggles still being our keyword here. Ad group broad match modifier has aviator goggles under broad match modifier, ad group phrase has aviator goggles under phrase and ad group exact has aviator goggles under exact match type.

It is recommended that we have separate Ad Groups for different match types of the same keyword. This helps in tracking the progress of each keyword effectively.

  • We add Negative Keywords to each of the Ad Groups to stop them competing against each other. Aviator Goggles under phrase (“aviator goggles”) go as a negative keyword in Aviator Goggles broad match modifier ad group. Aviator Goggles under exact ([aviator goggles]) go as a negative keyword in Aviator Goggles phrase ad group. And aviator goggles exact ad group doesn’t have to contain any negative keywords.

By using the phrase as a negative in broad match modifier ad group, we are restricting the competition between phrase and broad match modifier. And exact as a negative in phrase ad group restricts the competition between the phrase and exact.

Steps to stop internal competition between long tail variations of keywords

Using SKAGS is the first and foremost step in restructuring an account to render better performance. I have explained SKAGs and their advantages in our SKAGs blog.

  • After creating single keyword ad groups. We have to add negative keywords in the short tail keyword ad groups to avoid competition.
  • For eg: aviator goggles is the short tail keyword with 3 ad groups (exact, phrase and broad). men aviator goggles is the long tail keyword with 3 ad groups (exact, phrase and broad).
  • We now know that there will be internal competition between aviator goggles broad and phrase ad groups and all keywords of men aviator goggles.
  • for eg: When a user searches for men aviator goggles , three ad keywords will try to trigger ads.
  • They are aviator goggles phrase and broad as well as men aviator goggles exact
  • To avoid this, add a negative keyword “men”  to aviator goggles broad and phrase ad groups.
  • This will prevent the short tail keyword from competing with the long tail keywords.

About the author

Mantha Sai Praveen

Content marketer by day, a poet by night.

By Mantha Sai Praveen

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