Google AdWords for Pest Control How to Set-up Ad Groups

Google AdWords for Pest Control: How to Set-up Ad Groups

I recently wrote an article about creating the right structure for your pest control PPC campaign. You can read it here. In it, I outline how to structure your pest control ppc campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, and why it matters. I touched briefly on ad group structure. In this article, I want to focus on the importance of ad group structure and how to target the right keywords for your pest control account.

Ad Groups = Your Services

I recommend that you create one ad group per service, that you offer. This should be dependent on your budget. If you have a smaller budget, stick to the services that are going to yield the best return. A common mistake companies make, is they try to go after everything, when they can’t afford to. Obviously, make the decision that is best for you, but less is always more.

Ad Group Structure for Ad Budgets Less Than $1,000 Per Month

For smaller budgets, less than $1,000 a month, I create the following ad groups: Exterminator and Pest Control. I like to keep it really simple. Although both typically yield the same end result, it’s important to segment them out to create the strongest possible correlation for the person searching.

Ad Group Structure for Ad Budgets Over $1,000 Per Month

For larger budgets, more than $1,000 a month, I create the following ad groups: Ants, Bed Bugs, Bees, Exterminator, Mice, Mosquito, Pest Control, Rats, Roaches, Rodents, Scorpions, Termites, Voles, and Wasps. Some of these services are seasonal and I don’t recommend creating all of these ad groups if your budget doesn’t allow it.

Ad Groups = Ants, Bed Bugs, Bees, Mice, Mosquito, Rats, Roaches, Rodents, Scorpions, Termites, Voles and Wasps

After spending almost $1M on pest control related ads over the past 5 years, I’ve identified keyword trends that have helped create better performing ad groups. Although this isn’t an exact science, I have found the following keyword variations provide the best shot at attracting new business. These keyword variations include company, control, exterminator, inspection, pest control, prevention, protection, removal, service and treatment.

Let me give an example to explain.

If I were creating a new Ad Group for Termites, I would consider adding the following keyword variations:

Broad Match Keywords

Don’t create any broad match keywords! Plain and simple. I explain why in my PPC articled referenced above.

How to Structure Broad Match Modifiers

  • +termite +company
  • +termite +control
  • +termite +exterminator
  • +termite +inspection
  • +termite +pest +control
  • +termite +prevention
  • +termite +protection
  • +termite +removal
  • +termite +service
  • +termite +treatment

How to Structure Phrase Match Keywords

  • “termite company”
  • “termite control”
  • “termite exterminator”
  • “termite inspection”
  • “termite pest control”
  • “termite prevention”
  • “termite protection”
  • “termite removal”
  • “termite service”
  • “termite treatment”

How to Structure Exact Match Keyword

  • [termite company]
  • [termite control]
  • [termite exterminator]
  • [termite inspection]
  • [termite pest control]
  • [termite prevention]
  • [termite removal]
  • [termite service]
  • [termite treatment]

Negative Keywords and What Not to Do

For a long time, I made these more complex than I needed to. In the past, I added a variety of negative keywords and phrases to each of these ad groups to ensure that I was only running ads for the exact keywords I wanted to target.

The truth is, it’s just not necessary. I determined that any keyword or phrase that wasn’t worth advertising in one of these ad groups could be added at the Account Level. I go into more detail on this in a different article. You can read that here. Where Negative Keywords matter most are in the Exterminator and Pest Control ad groups. I’ll get into that next.

Ad Group Structure = Exterminator and Pest Control

These variations will work for any ad group or service with the exception of Exterminator and Pest Control. The keyword variations for Exterminator & Pest Control are significantly simpler. This is what I recommend you use:

Broad Match Keywords

Again, don’t use this keyword match type!

Broad Match Modifiers

  • +pest +control
  • +exterminator

Phrase Match Keywords

  • “pest control or exterminator near me”
  • “pest control or exterminator in city”

Exact Match Keyword

  • [pest control or exterminator city]
  • [pest control or exterminator near me]

Why Negative Keywords are Important

Since we’re including the words “exterminator” and “pest control” in each of the keyword variations for all other services or ad groups, it’s extremely important to add the right negative keywords to these ad groups. Without negative keywords, Google won’t know where to show your ad or for which keyword. For the Exterminator and Pest Control ad groups, I recommend adding the following negative keywords:


  • “ant pest exterminator”
  • “bed bug exterminator”
  • “bee pest exterminator”
  • “mice pest exterminator”
  • “mosquito exterminator”
  • “rats pest exterminator”
  • “roaches exterminator”
  • “rodents exterminator”
  • “scorpions exterminator”
  • “termites exterminator”
  • “voles exterminator”
  • “wasps exterminator”

Pest Control

  • “ant pest control”
  • “bed bug pest control”
  • “bee pest control”
  • “mice pest control”
  • “mosquito pest control”
  • “rats pest control”
  • “roaches pest control”
  • “rodents pest control”
  • “scorpions pest control”
  • “termites pest control”
  • “voles pest control”
  • “wasps pest control”

I included all of the ad groups that I previously mentioned, but if there is an ad group or service that you are not going after, then simply don’t add it as a negative keyword.


Start with your budget in mind. Don’t overextend yourself. If your budget is small, there’s nothing wrong with that, start small. If you have a larger budget, still ease into it. If you are starting a new ad group or looking to improve the ad group structure of an existing one, add the keywords suggested to help create the best opportunity within a safety net. If you decide to advertise beyond Exterminator and Pest Control, don’t forget to add the suggested negative keywords in those ad groups to prevent competing with yourself.