How to Set Up Google Ad Groups

Google Ad Grant

Logging into your Google Ad Grant account for the first time can be overwhelming in terms of, well, new terms. What’s a campaign vs. an ad group? Are ads themselves different from ad groups? And how do keywords fit in? Take a deep breath, it’s all going to be okay.
We’ve put together resources that break down each section of your Google Ads account so you can go from novice to pro in no time. This time, we’re diving into Google Ad groups, what they are, and how to create one.

What is an Ad Group?

An ad group in Google Ads contains one or more ads that all share a set of keywords. This is in between a campaign and an individual ad if we’re going from macro to micro. At the ad group level, you can adjust:

  • Demographics of your target audience including age, gender, parental status or household income
  • Where you want your ads to show at the ad-set level through keywords, topics and placements.

Each ad group carries its own bid, which is the highest amount you’re willing to pay to get the ads within that ad group served. For Search Network campaigns, this number would be your maximum cost-per-click, or Maximum CPC. Note that overall budget, bidding strategy, geotargeting, and start and end dates are all set at the campaign level, not the ad group level. This is important to remember when structuring your ad groups within your Google Ads account.

How to Structure Google Ad Groups

There are many different ways to structure your account’s ad groups. One effective way we’ve found is to organize them around different audiences that you want to reach under a specific campaign.

Alternatively, you can organize them around different services or resources on your website. For example, with Power Poetry, the largest online teen poetry community, has a lot of resources on different types of poetry slams. For this organization, we can create a general campaign called Slams, and then build different ad groups directed to different types of slams hosted on Power Poetry’s website, such as political, social, and educational poetry slams.

Each of these ad groups would then contain at least 1 responsive search ad in order to create multiple ad variations which would all be triggered by the same set of keywords. Ad groups may also contain expanded text ads, but as of June 30, 2022 these text ads can no longer be edited, and new text ads can no longer be created.

How to Create an Ad Group

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads Account.
  2. Choose the campaign you wish to add an ad group to.
  3. Toggle to the Ad Group section listed in the gray bar on the left side of the screen.

Google Ad Group

  1. Click on the blue + icon to create a new ad group.
  2. Name your ad group in a way that is easily identifiable.
  3. Start adding in relevant keywords and writing your ads. Tip: Avoid adding any duplicate keywords and keywords that closely resemble those in existing ad groups in order to avoid competing against yourself and driving up costs!


Now that you have a better understanding of setting up your Google ad groups, here are some other relevant Whole Whale University resources to guide you on how to set up your google ads, as well as best practices, tips and mistakes to avoid! Using these optimization tactics that many organizations overlook will help your organization know when’s the best time to run your Google ads in order to see the best possible performance.

If you’re a Google Ads newbie and would like to dive deeper about how to set up an account from scratch, how to write awesome ads, where to find keywords, and how to measure success within your account, enroll in our three-hour Whole Whale University course. You’ll learn how to make the absolute best use of this grant, which will mean thousands more users taking meaningful action on your site this year. We’ve managed over $4 million in Google Grants and we want to help you get free money too!

Have more questions about ad groups in Google Ads? Tweet us @WholeWhale!