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Keyword Match Types – Segment or Consolidate?

Segment or Consolidate?

So, you want your google ad to pop up on the first page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) once someone inputs a combination of your keywords? 

While there are various tactics you can use to optimize your SEO, the digital world is evolving at a fast pace. The dynamic search landscape is shifting rapidly, constantly affecting your rankings, traffic, and conversion rates. Thus, the question remains, to segment or consolidate keyword match types by ad group or campaign to boost your search performance?

Let us first take a look at segmentation and consolidation of keyword match types before we get down to which option is best suited for your campaign. 

Segmentation of Keyword Match Types

SEO segmentation is a marketing strategy that any google ads agency will use to break down your site’s data into meaningful groups. Segmentation allows you to take a problem and divide it into different components and then group them based on common characteristics. 

  • Segmentation works by identifying elements, identifying the common characteristics among the elements, creating a group, and analyzing.  
  • According to Google, you can segment data by exact-match keywords, broad, broad match modified, and phrase-match keywords. Exact-match campaigns provide precise keyword data and allow more precise bidding. They also offer the best user experience as it forces search engines to trigger the most relevant keyword/ad/landing page combination.
  • Conversely, broad and phrase-match keywords provide a greater reach with medium to minimum relevance. They also offer a different environment for testing. Google Ads, for instance, uses broad match keywords as its default match type. 
  • In an example, a broad match type that reads men’s coats will have the following as matching searches: buy men’s coats, winter clothing for men, men’s clothing. 
  • In the past, a google ads agency would design campaign structures to control the flow of search queries to specific match types. However, as Google continues to roll out updates on the match types, their functionality has evolved, bringing in the need to consolidate the keyword match types. This ultimately feeds the smart bidding algorithms as much data as possible to improve performance.

To Segment or Consolidate?

Any Google ads agency will tell you for free that match types can have a significant impact on your account’s performance. However, there’s a lot of deliberation on whether to do match-type segmentation or not. 

Before automation, segmenting match types allowed for more control over keyword bidding. However, with the rapidly changing automation to bidding tactics, manual CPC and ECPC are not considered best practices anymore. 

According to some google ad agencies, keyword match type segmentation is unnecessary. This is because most campaigns are primarily segmented by keyword, theme, location, or other common characteristics. Further segmentation could thus create more campaigns that will require more hands-on deck to monitor. Additionally, segmenting on the ad-group level may be less complicated, but it doesn’t benefit budget control.

On the flip side, combining all match types in one campaign can work and give you the data you need. Here is how you can consolidate the match types:

  •  Include exact-match keywords
  •  If you have long-tailed queries, use the phrase-match keywords.
  •  Include broad-match keywords to find new and relevant keywords. 
  • Implement ad group level exact-match negative keywords could provide more precise data while improving your ad relevancy. 

According to a test carried out by PPChero.com between different clients, consolidating keyword match types seemed to provide better results in terms of traffic generated. 

They ran the test on three clients- one was a B2B & B2C client, another was a lead generation B2B Saas client, while the last one was an ecomm B2C client. 

For the first two clients, before consolidation, they were not maximizing their visibility and reach with the data they were feeding back to the system. When they decided to combine the ad groups, they noticed they generated more impressions and clicks, reduced their Avg.CPC’s (Cost Per Click) increased their conversions and decreased their CPA (Cost Per Action).

For the comm B2C client, they tested the consolidated keyword match types for two months. The conversions and conversion rate went up, but their impressions, clicks, and Agg CPC had a negative result. 

Going by the tests carried out on the three different companies, the consolidated keyword match type seems to yield better results and generates more traffic than segmentation. Yet, the best way to structure your account is to try each method and analyze what works for you. With all the information detailed above, you will be in a better position to use each one of these methods to your benefit.