The decision to segment Search campaigns or ad groups by match type can be tricky. More campaigns can often mean more needed management. On the other hand, including all match types within the same ad group will result in extra campaign management time as well. Typically, segmenting match types at the ad group level is best practice, however, we recently tested going an extra step by segmenting match types at the campaign level. This restructure resulted in a 24% conversion rate lift over just three weeks.

Case Study


Several campaigns within an account were always limited by budget and had seen declining performance over 90 days. These campaigns contained both broad match modified and exact match keywords. We discovered that the majority of the limited daily budget each day was first being used by broad keywords. As a result, exact terms in each campaign had a high Lost Impression Share due to Budget.


After segmenting these campaigns by match type, we saw conversion rates and CPA improve within a week. This resulted in these campaigns, which previously had higher CPAs than our goal, to achieve enough efficiency to warrant additional spend. For this reason, budget was reallocated to these segmented campaigns (we also had higher conversion quality from these terms). Even though spend increased by 61% for these campaigns, conversion rate improved by 24%. High-quality conversion volume lifted by 77% over the course of three weeks.

We now have even more control with budget allocation for the segmented campaigns. Since exact match keywords are performing at a higher conversion rate and lower CPA compared to broad keywords, we push the majority of the daily spend for the campaign category to the exact match variation.

When to Segment Campaigns by Match Type

Campaign-level match type segmentation could benefit your Search campaigns if they meet any of the below criteria.

  • The campaign is regularly limited by budget
  • Search Lost Impression Share due to Budget is high for exact match keywords
  • Non-exact match keywords spend the majority of the daily budget
  • Keywords in the campaign have a high potential for quality conversions or high revenue purchases

The best indication it’s time to consider segmenting campaigns by match type is if your non-exact keywords are spending the majority of the daily budget. Take a look at impression share metrics for exact match terms and all top performing keywords. In our example, we saw that impression share was only 24% for exact match ad groups.

Quick Implementation

If you already have ad groups segmented by match type, implementing a new campaign will be easy. Let’s say you are only using exact and broad match keywords within the campaign. Look at historical data to see which keywords generated the most click and conversion volume. Keep the match type with the most volume within the existing campaign to maintain its history.

Let’s assume the below Google_Search_SEM Analytics campaign was limited by budget and seeing decreases in performance. The BMM (broad match modified) ad groups were spending the majority of the daily budget leaving little spend each day for exact match keywords to gain impressions. We’d then take the below steps to segment the campaign by match type.

Editor steps to segment this campaign by match type:

  1. Copy and pasted the campaign
  2. Renamed the old campaign to include “BMM”
  3. Renamed the copied campaign to include “Exact”
  4. Paused all Exact ad groups in the newly named “BMM” campaign
  5. Reverted changes for all BMM ad groups in the “Exact” campaign

Budgets and Bids

When segmenting campaigns, make sure to update bid strategies for the new campaign. For example, we would initially avoid using Target CPA in the new Google_Search_SEM Analytics_Exact campaign because there is not yet conversion data for Google to rely on.

If you don’t update daily budgets, you could easily double daily spend for the total campaign category. If your hypothesis is that exact keywords should perform better, allocate a larger percentage of your budget to exact or split budget evenly until there is enough data to determine the best next step.

Keep in mind that exact match keywords do not always perform more efficiently than broad match keywords. It’s important to monitor budgets and bids over the next several weeks until you see consistent results from the campaign segmentation restructure.