Ad group naming: 3 great ways to name ads on the Google Search Network

In this post, we’ll now take a look at competitor ad group naming and setup among other things in this third article of the series. In a follow-up article, we look at creative ways to optimize your ads on the Google Search Network.

Advertising on the Google Search Network is generally done to achieve the following objectives:

  • Increase brand recognition for the advertiser,
  • Stimulate additional sales revenue, and
  • Convert more leads into actual sales.

Using the Google Search Network approach drives a direct response by showing the brand on paid search results for particular keywords. Below, we look at three ways to name ad groups: based on competitors, your own brand and your own business model.

Ad group naming for Competitors

Name your ad groups to reflect competitive brands. This ensures you are showing up for search terms related to your competitors. Ensure visibility on keyword match types with (phrase) and bucket ad group with (long tail).

Do not ‘separate out’ the long tail as it does not offer enough added value for the extra work load. For instance, Germany’s Continental would list the following tire manufacturers as competitor ad groups:

  • Bridgestone, Bridgestone (longtail), Bridgestone (phrase)
  • Michelin, Michelin (longtail), Michelin (phrase)
  • Goodyear, Goodyear (longtail), Goodyear (phrase)
  • Pirelli, Pirelli (longtail), Pirelli (phrase)
  • Others following the same pattern as shown for the sample competitor brands above

What about ad group naming for your own brand?

Following the Continental example above, name your ad groups to reflect your own brand queries; these would be generic terms that anyone would use to search for your brand name, products and/or services, one can leverage Google Analytics (or top 2 tools listed before the summary section below) and look up sources for direct search traffic to look up the typical search terms.  Ensure visibility on the following:

  • match types with (phrase)
  • bucket ad group with (long tail)
  • navigational searches with (url)
  • branding issues with (misspellings)
  • Main associations with expanded out ad groups

For instance, Continental would create the following ad groups:

  • Continental
  • Continental (longtail)
  • Continental (misspellings)
  • Continental (phrase)
  • Continental (url)
  • Continental + tires

What if Continental decided to do ad group naming based on their business model?

They would need to ensure the following:

1. Ad group names reflect generic business model queries; again, these are search terms which anyone would use.
2. Visibility on match types with (phrase) and bucket ad group with (long tail).
3. Inclusion of non-campaign name keywords in cases of low search volume; this helps to gain a little bit of traffic from the broader pool of search traffic.

And as above, the following would be the typical ad groups:

  • Tires
  • Tires (longtail)
  • Tires (phrase)

Now then, let’s take a look at some keyword rules or best practices if you like:

  1. Always enter keywords in lower case; consistency is gold.
  2. Exact match: Include singular and plural variants of the keyword in any word order with traffic volume.
  3. Phrase match: singular and plural variants of the head match keyword.
  4. Broad match: the most common head match variant of the keyword. See the below example.
KeywordAd group
“tires”Tires (phrase)
“tire”Tires (phrase)
[tire brand]Tire + Brands
[tire brands]Tire + Brands
[best tire brands]Tire + Brands + Best

As mentioned in previous articles regarding the Google Search Network, there are several tools one can use for keyword research to optimize your PPC campaigns. In my experience, I’ve used with great results, the keyword magic tool by Semrush. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, then you can try Ahrefs‘ all in one SEO tool set.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this article where we’ve briefly looked at the best strategies for ad group naming for your competitors, your business model and your own brand on the Google Search Network. In the next post, we’ll look at optimization strategies.

Marketing, Academic Posts, Learning Resources and Reviews, twice a month.
I hate spam too. Unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment