Micro-Segmentation Hurts Paid Search Campaign Performanceby Anvil on March 6, 2019Advertising
Micro-Segmentation of PPC Campaigns Can Hurt Paid Campaign Performance
Tightly-themed ad groups has been a best practice for running successful Google Ads paid search campaigns for a long time. The more specific the theme of your ad group is, the easier it is to create more relevant ad text based around that theme, which makes sense. However, this can be overdone, and when that happens you could be missing out on conversions. I recently read an article about how your campaign structure could be hurting your ad performance if you’re micro-segmenting your campaign structure, i.e. making the ad groups too specific and/or targeting the same keyword with different match types in different campaigns. The point in this article is that it’s not the most effective to segment campaigns out by device and/or keyword match type.
What is Over Segmentation
Segmenting, or dividing your keywords into specific, related groups, is important to keep your ads in your paid search campaigns targeted towards a specific audience. The more closely related your keywords are, the more specific your ads can be. This then allows you to use a more specific your landing page, which makes it more likely it is that people will click on your ad and convert on your website. For example, if you’re a clothing retailer, one ad group might be for women’s blouses and another could be for men’s shirts. But when you’ve narrowed it down to the point of only having one or a few keywords per ad group you may be getting too specific.
Paid Search Campaign Automation
Now that we’re in the age of automation for paid search ads, the logic is that paid search campaigns will be utilizing automated bidding strategies using machine learning to optimize for the KPI you’re looking to focus on. The more information that Google has, the better it works for getting you more of the results you want, which makes sense. The trick is hitting the right balance of traffic. Automation can help you with the more mundane tasks such as bid management, with strategies that allow you to even target your ads to the top of the SERPs. This will give you more time to craft your strategy for paid search ads and implement that strategy.
How Over Segmentation Can Make Automation Ineffective
When you’ve structured your campaigns to be too specific you may not be getting the full benefit from the automations that Google has made available. While not all automation features are created equal most of them can be helpful in getting you the best return for your advertising that’s possible. When your keywords get too specific, while they may convert well you could be missing out on other opportunities. Since you would also be getting less data overall from your campaign performance it makes it harder for the automations to optimize your bids
Keep Your Ad Campaign Set Up Simple
It’s important when setting up your campaigns to have a goal in mind. That could be generating more leads, getting more retail sales for your online store, or just raising awareness for your brand. It is still important to set up tightly-themed ad groups, but segmenting them down to too few keywords makes it harder for the automations to work. This is where micro-segmenting your paid search campaigns can negatively affect their performance.
In some cases, it absolutely makes sense to segment campaigns so that you can dedicate budget to high performing keywords, or maybe you need to dedicate a specific amount of budget to a specific offering. Keeping it simple will help make management of the ads, extensions, and negative keywords easier.
There are people who utilize a strategy using a single keyword per ad group with all its match types present as separate keywords in that ad group. While you end with highly relevant ad copy and usually get stellar click through rates, this is a prime example of over-segmentation. It takes a long time to build out a campaign that way and that time can be better spent refreshing creative.
While narrowing your targeting and making your ads as specific as possible is important for your PPC ads, it can be over-done and that can hurt your campaign performance. Automation works better with more data, and being a little less specific sometimes in setting up your paid search campaigns can benefit you more in the long run. Fewer campaigns means overall less to manage and better odds of great conversion rates.
If you need assistance with running paid media, contact Anvil today!