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Three Use Cases that Show the Power of AdWords Segments

Published: October 14, 2014

Author: Joseph Hall

As digital advertising continues to grow, we find ourselves with an ever-increasing number of ways that data can be sliced. Different slices or segments, as we find in AdWords, become powerful tools to understand what is truly influencing performance.
For any marketer who is not currently utilizing these segments, I highly advise getting familiar with them. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of all the segment breakouts.


o   Day

o   Week

o   Month

o   Quarter

o   Year

o   Day of Week

o   Hour of Day


o   Conversion Name

o   Conversion Category


Network (with Search Partners)

Click Type

Device Top Vs. Other

+1 Annotations

Search Term Match Type [Only found under Keyword Tab]

These segments can help a marketer reduce time and the need to pull reports or jump tabs. This is especially useful in giving a high-level view while identifying current trends without leaving the UI.

Day of Week Use Case

Optimizing for conversion rate? As you can see in the Day of the Week segment, below, we can quickly identify inefficiencies in CVR by day of week and build a new bidding strategy to address it.

Top vs. Other Use Case

Outside of reviewing and identifying optimization opportunities, we can determine, on a deeper level, what is really shifting in an account. As you’ll see in the following Top vs. Other example, we had a complete reversal of impression share for the two types, which greatly changed our CTR when looking at just the UI perspective without segments.
Simply relying on the top-line UI, a person would suppose that recently added ads had failed to beat last year’s ads or that existing ads had lost searcher attention, year over year. This would make sense from the top-line view, where average position and impressions are relatively equal while CTR has decreased by nearly half.
Using this segment, however, you clearly see that CTR has shifted very little within the segments, and the position on Google’s Search layout is the culprit (a lower % of Top ads will naturally result in a lower overall CTR).
I predict that this will be an increasingly important segment as Google continues to test different count ads in the top position (1, 2, 3 ads) with the rest pushed to the right side. This’ll be especially significant for those who manage e-commerce businesses that have to deal with PLAs becoming more dominant in search.

Network (with Search Partners) Use Case

Along the lines of improving your understanding of the account’s performance, particularly year-over-year, we ought to remember the Network (with Search Partners) segment. Search and Search Partners have very different KPIs, which the aggregate perspective will hide.
In this example, we would think search volume has actually dropped 68% when actually it’s 44% for search. What would perplex many marketers is that at the aggregate level the CTR shows improvement, while average position has gone backward. This segment makes it clear why these metrics have shifted; the recent date range, with Search Partners and its lower CTR having been turned off for poor performance, isn’t comparing apples to apples.
These are just three examples of the power that segments give marketers. I encourage everyone to try more than just these on their accounts to obtain quick wins or clarity into performance.

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