Keyword Grouping Software Tools for PPC

My definition of good keyword grouping software is a downloadable program that can systematically group any-sized keyword list into logical keyword groupings every time regardless of marketing vertical or niche.  In this post, I'll introduce you to all the keyword grouping software tools I've run across and explain the pros and cons of each.

Before I start though, let me say...

There's no right or wrong way to group keywords.  I've seen account managers group keywords by brand, high-volume, low-volume, location, intent, category, product, type, make, model, competitors, and so on.  If I gave a keyword list to ten SEMs and told them to group the keywords, they would all come back with different keyword groupings and account structures.  We all have our own way of doing things.  So, grouping keywords one way versus another isn't necessarily good or bad... it's just different.

One thing is certain though... keyword grouping is boring and takes a lot of time.  I can't tell you how many hours I've spent grouping keywords only to be unhappy with the way I grouped them... so I start over.  It's important to have a strategy in place before you start grouping to avoid wasting your time.

Keyword Grouper


Keyword Grouper Software

Keyword Grouper

Keyword Grouper is the only stand-alone software specifically designed for grouping keywords.  It has a ton of features and settings.  Probably the most powerful setting is its ability to set criteria for the minimum number of keywords per ad group.  This means you can set a threshold within the program to only create groups if there are enough keywords to create the group.

Adwords Keyword Grouper Tool

The Adwords keyword grouper is a tool built into Adwords Editor.  This tool evaluates commonalities among keywords within an adgroup.  A textarea allows you to filter out and ignore certain words when generating common terms (potential keyword groupings).

Adwords Editor Keyword Grouper

To use the Adwords keyword grouper tool, you first need to download Adwords Editor.  You then take your keyword list, put it into a single adgroup, and then use the Keyword Grouper tool.  Here's a video that shows you how!

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  • The order of words within a keyphrase is not taken into account
  • The common terms it generates are extremely granular
  • Highly useful when I already know the keyword groupings I want

In my opinion, Google has done a poor job at giving us the ability to group keywords.  They are always pointing out how important it is for advertisers to group keywords into common themes yet; they give us the most basic tool to group with.

On the other hand, one could argue that we are lucky to have a keyword grouping tool at all!

Adwords Editor Manual Keyword Grouping

Instead of using the Adwords Editor Keyword Grouper tool, you can always group your keywords manually.  Adwords Editor provides a search box.  The concept here is simple, you dsearch for keywords, cut them out of the main list you're sorting, create a new adgroup, name the adgroup appropriately, then paste the keywords within that adgroup.

Watch the video below to learn how to manually group your keywords using Adwords Editor.

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Speed PPC

Speed PPCSpeed PPC is popular PPC campaign creation software.  Speed PPC has an "Ad Group" tab that allows the user to group keywords by various methods.  The various methods available to the user depend on whether their campaign type is "Single Core", "Dual Core", "Multi Core" or "Domain."

Essentially, what these options mean is that you can combine "seed lists" with "expansion lists."  In layman's terms, it's taking one keyword list, combining it with another list to make a larger keyword list.  You can then group your keywords based on your seed list or your expansion list keywords.

Speed PPC Keyword Grouping Options

Without getting too far in the weeds here, let me just tell you the type of keyword groupings Speed PPC offers:

  • By Seed - create an adgroup per seed keyword
  • By Expansion - create an adgroup per expansion keyword
  • By Final - create an adgroup based on each unique combination of seed and expansion keyword
  • Keyword Theme - create an adgroup per theme in your keywords
  • Assigned Names - manually create custom adgroups

The upside is that Speed PPC offers several options for grouping keywords.  The downside is that most of these options will generate a lot of adgroups which will make managing your account difficult.  Furthermore, these keyword grouping options can be easily replicated quickly using Adwords Editor or Excel.

Let me explain.

The Keyword Theme option outputs similar results as the Adwords Editor keyword grouper tool does - too many unnecessary granular groupings.

The Assigned Names option is nice to have but it still requires the user to define the adgroup names.  Again, the same functionality exists in the Google keyword grouper tool.

A Single Core campaign grouped By Seed groups each keyword in its own adgroup.  So, the keyword "blue widget" would be in an adgroup called "Blue Widget" and could have broad, phrase and exact match types.  For a small list of high-volume keywords, it makes sense to group like this.  If you have a huge keyword list and you put each keyword in its own adgroup, it will be hard to manage.

If you have a dual or multi-core campaign and your expansion lists are small, grouping By Expansion will produce a small amount of adgroups.  The problem with this strategy is the expansion keywords may not be the best way to group your keywords by.


Campaign Explosion!Adgrenade is keyword grouping software that allows you to group keywords dynamically by placing template string parameters (placeholders) within fields throughout the program.  When you Explode your campaign, the program outputs comma-separated values that you paste into Adwords Editor which generates your campaign.

I've used Adgrenade extensively.  This tool is intuitive, easy-to-use and has a lot of useful features.  When it comes to grouping keywords though, the program is really only useful for grouping each keyword into its own adgroup.

Adgrenade Keyword Grouping Parameter

In the Adgrenade program, there's a "Group Name" field.  In this field you can put parameters which act as placeholders until you explode your campaign.  For example, when you put {KeyWord} in the Group Name field, each keyword in your keyword list will become its own adgroup.

You can also put static words before or after the dynamically generated adgroup name.

Example: Brand - {KeyWord[-]}
Output: Brand - Some-Keyword-Here

Aside from grouping each keyword into its own adgroup, the only other useful way to group your keywords is to manually type in an adgroup name.  So, Adgrenade is really useful for breaking each keyword into its own adgroup, but can't do much more than that in terms of grouping keywords.


Rapidkeyword Logo

Rapidkeyword has a keyword grouper tool.  I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about Rapidkeyword because frankly, it's archaic.  The only reason I'm mentioning it is because it has a "Keyword Grouper" function.

Essentially, the user either pastes or loads a keyword list into the textarea provided.  The user then clicks the "Group Keywords" button... and it groups keywords into common themes.  You can delete keyword groupings you don't like and send keyword groups to different parts of the program to manipulate further.

Saving your keyword list simply saves all the keywords into a big text file.  From there, you would manually create adgroups which would be a nightmare.  This tool is not specifically for PPC though; it's more for manipulating strings.

Rapidkeyword Grouper Tool


iSpionage has a keyword grouping tool that allows users to group keywords by combining different types of rules.  That means you type in the groups you want to create and it generates the groups for you.  You can also group keywords based on the specified number of words.

iSpionage Keyword Grouping Tab

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iSpionage Keyword Grouper

The iSpionage keyword grouping tool is straight-forward, easy to understand and use.  The only downside again is that you need to have some idea of the type of keyword groupings you want in order to group the keywords.

KSS Keyword Tool

KSS stands for Keyword Suggestion Scraper.  This keyword tool harvests keywords from multiple sources.  What is kind of nice about the tool is that it groups the suggestions into folders and counts the keywords within each folder.

KSS Keyword Suggestion Tool

This gives you a nice view of the root keyword terms that are most frequent within a keyword universe.  It also gives you ideas for negative keywords.  Unfortunately, there's no way to save or export the keyword grouping structure so this program is really only useful for getting keyword grouping ideas.  Furthermore, this program is definitely not user-friendly or intuitive.

PPC Campaign Generator

PPC Campaign Generator has a built-in keyword grouper that helps you analyze the keyword density of your keyword list.  The software also has advanced keyword group filters that allow you to include or exclude certain words from potential keyword-groupings.  You can ignore potential keyword groupings that begin with, end with or contain certain keywords (ie: "for", "of", "is", etc.).

PPC Campaign Generator Keyword Grouper

For example, if the phrase "Gifts For" appears 1,223 times within a keyword list, it means that it's a common term.  But, you probably wouldn't want to create an adgroup called "Gifts For", right?  It's not descriptive.

In PPC Campaign Generator, you can add terms like "for", "a", "to", and any other words you want to ignore.  But PPC Campaign Generator is flexible!  You don't have to ignore the entire keyword like "a" or "for."  A lot of high-volume keywords have these keywords in them.  For example: "buy a car", "apartments for rent", "how to lose weight", etc.

So instead of completely ignoring these keywords, you can simply tell the program to ignore potential keyword groupings that end with or begin with these words.

Keyword Grouper Example

Example of how PPC Campaign Generator groups keywords. Would you rather create Adgroups from the list on the left or the list on the right?

You can merge singular and plural keywords into the same group.  You can also view the keyword density from 1 word up to 5 word frequencies to make decisions on how to group your keyword list.  There are many more bells and whistles within this program that makes keyword grouping a million times easier.

PPC Campaign Generator is a new software that is in early beta stages.  In my biased opinion, it's better than all the other keyword grouping software out there... and it will keep getting better with time.

You can try PPC Campaign Generator for just $7 !

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