Weighing in on Match Type Segmentation:

Our Opinion on an Industry Controversy

The team at Empirical360 is extremely passionate about segmentation. We’ve said this before, we’ll say it again, and we’ll continue to communicate it until we see it becomes the norm: you are wasting money if you don’t segment your campaigns. We’ve referred to PPC advertising without segmentation as a “black box” operation. You’re just guessing how to improve because you can’t see elements individually. If you do not know what is performing well and what isn’t, you have no way of knowing what to change. You can’t optimize, and if you can’t optimize, you’re not spending your money as efficiently as possible.

In previous blog posts about segmentation, we have discussed segmenting by device and segmenting by keyword. In today’s blog post, we wanted to tackle something that many professionals in the digital marketing sphere would disagree with us on – segmenting by match type.


What is match type segmentation?


Match types are a way of filtering keyword searches. They help Google determine which user search terms can and cannot trigger your ad. Google offers four primary match types: broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match (listed in order of most general to most specific). Broad match, for example, permits ads to be shown on searches that include related ideas, while exact match restricts showing ads to the specific search term (although lately Google has allowed more variance). You can read a more detailed explanation of each match type and their benefits in our blog post.  

When we talk about match type segmentation, we are talking about dividing your campaigns into these different groups. A typical account we manage will (at the very least) have a broad match modifier campaign for both mobile and desktop and an exact match campaign for both mobile and desktop. That makes a total of four campaigns for each service/product that we advertise for.

Sure, this adds an extra layer of complexity, and if you segment further (which we encourage), the number of campaigns you’ll have to manage will quickly increase. That’s why most people choose to avoid match type segmentation and instead stagger their bids all in one ad group. They maintain that is “good enough”, and that it will not affect your ad performance significantly. However, you can’t allocate budget to your highest performing match types this way. We think that segmentation, especially when it comes to match types, is always worth the extra effort, because without it you are not realizing your campaign’s full potential.

What are the benefits?


When you segment by match type, you know exactly which match type is giving you the most conversions, so you can spend your budget effectively. This strategy also allows you to divert traffic from your broad keywords to your more specific keywords. You can tailor the ad and landing page experience to the exact search query.

With match type segmentation, you will end up paying less for keywords, because more specific keywords are sometimes cheaper than broad terms. Users are more likely to convert when you target specific keywords you obtain from your search term report, because they are searching for exactly what you are offering. Segmenting by match type helps you optimize your campaigns, which is what you need to do if you want to increase your ROI!  

Got questions?


We’d love to discuss how segmentation and account restructuring with you (something we do really, really well) if you feel like your results from paid search advertising aren’t what they could be. Contact us today to hear how we’ve made millions of dollars in revenue for our clients and what we can do to increase your ROI. 

Shea Antonucci - Author

Director of Content Marketing

Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!