Updated Aug. 4. 2014:

This one is for the PPC consultants!

I was talking to a business colleague (another PPC marketer) the other day, and they mentioned that in a new PPC account (their identity will remain protected – Ha!) that they were managing, they found several instances of duplicate keywords across ad groups.

Please don’t do this!  There appc consultants keywordsre two reasons that quickly come to mind for why this is bad, bad, bad…

First, you are giving up control of your account!  Google will decide from which ad group to pull your keyword.  The decision is typically based on ad rank.  The appearance of the keyword with the highest ad rank will get triggered.  This leaves the other duplicated variations to sit there with zero impressions and zero clicks.  Silly!

The other problem is just… Why?  Are you trying to test multiple landing pages or variations of ad copy?  If so, this should be done within one ad group.  Peppering your account with the same keyword is also just messy.  What if through your testing you prove the keyword to be ineffective?  So, you pause the keywords, but it’s twins are out there… Making trouble for your account.

So, bottom line:  Don’t duplicate your keywords across ad groups.  It won’t help you.  It is sloppy.

If you are curious if you are a duplicate keyword “offender,” use your Adwords Editor Tools to check and find duplicate keywords across ad groups.  It’s an easy mistake to make, but it’s also fairly painless (and important) to correct.

If you have hired a Pay Per Click advertising agency to manage your campaigns, please talk to them to ensure that they are following this practice.

Happy PPC’ing!


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