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Segmenting Your PPC Channels

How we search and how we frame our queries varies significantly based on where we are when we’re searching.  For instance, when I’m conducting a mobile search on my iPhone, the keywords I use are typically shorter because it isn’t easy to type four and five word keyword strings in my mobile search bar (autocorrect, anyone?).  When I’m at home on my desktop, I vary my search tendencies, going back and forth between various different search methods – short or long question formats, geo-modified or local, etc.

As a result of these vital differences in searcher behavior, I always, always, always recommend segmenting out my traffic in all my pay per click campaigns and ensure that I am separating and differentiating my campaigns by device.  I also separate out different geo-targeted areas into different ad groups or campaigns depending on my goals – ad copy that works in New York City may not work in Knoxville.  I also segment out display network and content network settings.  There are other possibilities for segmentation, but these are absolute necessities.

Why have so many different campaigns (or ad groups) even though they’re all being sent to the same web page? Because different platforms, different devices, and different locations use search queries and respond to ad copy in different ways.  By using proper segmentation, you are able to individually optimize each campaign and ensure its optimal performance.  Separating each of the constituent platforms allows you to improve the overall account performance, improving click through rates and quality score and lowering cost per click.  What other ways can you segment a campaign for testing and optimization purposes?

Note: This blog was written in 2012 and functionality, best practices, and searcher behavior has changed dramatically. Please review some of our more recent blogs on best practices in PPC in order to view more up-to-date recommendations. The beauty of digital marketing lies in the fact that it is dynamic and ever-changing.