E-Commerce | Google Ads

Single Keyword Campaigns for E-Commerce

On the quest for continuous optimizations, we embarked on a new adventure called single-keyword-campaigns (SKC). 

We wanted to test a new campaign structure and decided to adopt the single key ad groups (SKAG) approach and use it on a campaign level. 

If SKAGs are used to gain more control and achieve higher performance, could we achieve even higher performance and control using the same concept, but on a campaign level? 

With this idea in mind, we set up the campaigns for one of our E-Commerce clients. This blog post will share our insights and the most significant differences we encountered compared to a more traditional account setup involving multiple keyword ad groups. 

Difference 1: Time

It probably comes as no surprise that setting up single keyword campaigns takes much time. In this specific example, we set up 105 new campaigns and used around half a week to do so. For our e-commerce client, we decided to set up campaigns based on their two best-performing products and product categories in addition to brand campaigns.

In essence, this means that we set up keywords and ads for each of those 105 campaigns. Ad groups were not so much a problem, as each campaign only uses one ad group. However, adding all the relevant negative keywords took up quite some time. Nonetheless, it was an essential step as it would be a shame if all the hard work ends up in the campaigns bidding against each other. In summary, we spent around 21h to set everything up.

If you decide to set up single keyword campaigns, it will be the perfect time to start using the Google Ads Editor. It is a life and time saver when it comes to copy/paste entire campaigns and bulk edits easily.

After half a week of setting up, we were excited to go live. We started seeing the benefits right away. First and foremost, optimization becomes a lot easier and also faster. We have never been more efficient from navigating the account to adding negative keywords based on the search term report.

Difference 2: Focus

As already mentioned above, each campaign focuses only on one single keyword in three match types:

– Modified broad match

– Phrase match

– Exact match


Keyword examples

This circumstance makes each campaign hyper-focused. It also means that ad copy, keyword, and landing page are very much aligned. This, in turn, leads to above-average ratings for expected CTR, Ad Relevance, and Landing Page Experience. All of this leads to high Quality Scores.

Table showing quality score, expected CTR, ad relevance and landing page expereince

The high quality scores further helped achieve high impression share. Coupled with low CPCs, and we are more than pleased with the results.

Impression share table

Difference 3: Control

Another advantage of the single keyword campaign is the amount of control you have over it.

In times when more and more is automated, and Google pushes evermore for smart campaigns, it is nice to regain some control.

By breaking up the account into more than 100 campaigns, we defined a budget for each campaign. Down the line, we were then able to re-arrange the budget based on campaigns’ performances, ensuring optimal performance regarding media cost/sales for our client.

Another great feature of this specific setup is the tight control we have over the fit between keyword and ad copy. We are able to experiment with ad copy while having to focus on only one single keyword.

Control doesn’t stop with the budget, keywords, and ad copy, though. The increased control means we can further optimize the campaigns with ad schedule and geography on a micro-level. For example, we can define bid adjustments per canton on a per campaign basis for a single keyword that is performing exceptionally well in that specific geographic area.


We have been using the single keyword campaigns for several months now. While it did take quite a lot of time to set everything up, we believe the advantages more than made up for it.

We were able to achieve a high ROAS at 865%.

With a conversion rate of 7.54%, the client was way above the average conversion rate across Google Ads search campaigns.

And last but not least, the account has never been more organized. With the single keyword setup, it is easy to navigate the account and save time.

One last recommendation: This setup works best for e-commerce clients with a small and well-defined range of products. The time and cost for setting up and running all the various campaigns will be too high for bigger shops or distributors with a wide variety of products.

Now it’s your turn! Set up your single keyword campaigns or, if you prefer, we’re happy to help you out.


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