Segments Basics

A guide to why we built Segments and how it all works.

Shaquira Jeyasingh avatar
Written by Shaquira Jeyasingh
Updated over a week ago

How can Segments help you? 

We built Segments so you can see a campaign group's strengths and weaknesses at a glance. Segments will instantly highlight where to focus your efforts, reduce bids, spend time, and allocate budget to grow conversions and reduce CPA.

Breaking down a campaign group into segments involves splitting the data into comparable slices: comparing ad performance on desktop browsers to mobile browsers, performance on each day of the week, in different countries, and so on. 

Comparing segment CPAs can lead to valuable discoveries. Perhaps your ads convert particularly well on weekdays but not weekends, or your CPA drops significantly for mobile browsers. Segment data drives several Opteo improvement tasks and can help you make independent optimisations to your account.

Before Segments, you had to use Google Ads' native Dimensions tab (in the new Google Ads experience, by clicking Campaigns > Show More > Specific segment you want info on). Only a few "dimensions" were available and useful, and it was left to you to calculate each CPA and compare them to your targets. Breaking down each dimension was only possible by downloading an Excel report and building a pivot table. You needed to be motivated, and you needed to know your precise aims. In short, there was no easy way to explore CPA performance across different segments of your account.

What segments can I see? 

Currently, we segment your campaign group data by:

  • Campaigns

  • Networks

  • Devices

  • Match Types

  • Hours of Day

  • Day of Week

  • Cities

  • Countries

  • "Root Words" — also known as n-grams. Top words, pairs of words and trios of words found in your search term report. 

  • First & Second Headline Fields

  • Demographics (Age & Gender)

Segment Settings

At the top of the page, you have your date-picker tool, and the hamburger menu allows you to switch between campaign groups. Right from the start, we'll show you your best and worst-performing segments. Click into each one to get further information and metrics:

How to read the graphs

With the screenshot above, we're looking at the "Campaigns" segment type. Each segment is a campaign in your account. You can hover over a block to see which segment (in this case, campaign) it is. Here you have a clear indication of how this particular campaign is doing compared to the CPA Targets you set within your Campaign Groups.

A segment's color and position represent its "distance from the target CPA". So if a segment is at the top in the -50% green category, its CPA is -50% or less than the target CPA -- it's a very efficient segment, and you should look to grow it! (For example, by expanding the KWs in that campaign and/or by increasing budget and bids).

Inversely, if a segment is in the light pink / dark pink +50% category, its CPA is 50%+ higher than the target CPA. It would help if you looked to make that campaign more CPA efficient (for example, by reducing bids or pausing KWs entirely.)

If a segment is in the light pink +/-0% category, it means that its CPA is roughly in line with the target CPA. It's between -50% lower and 50% higher than the target CPA.

If a segment is in the dark pink "0 Conv." category, it doesn't have any conversions and thus doesn't have a CPA. This could mean a segment has a lot of spend, and no conversions -- that's probably not a good thing!

Table Columns


This is the name of the segment. In the example above, it's a campaign called "Opteo". Pretty self-explanatory :)


The cost of that segment over the last 30 days. In the example above, the campaign "Opteo" spent £331.50 in the last 30 days.


The number of conversions in that segment over the last 30 days. Note that the conversion types we include in "Conversions" are set in your campaign group settings. By default, we include all "include in conversions" conversion types.

Target (CPA)

This is the target CPA of the campaign group. If you haven't set a target CPA for this campaign group, we'll use the average CPA of the account. You can modify campaign groups and target CPA(s) in your Campaign Groups page


This is the CPA of the segment over the last 30 days. The calculation for CPA is: Segment Cost / Segment Conversions. In the example above, £331.50/ 21 = £15.79. The conversion types used are defined by your campaign group. 


"Difference" is calculated with the following formula: (Target CPA - Segment CPA) / Target CPA. This represents the % difference between the segment's CPA and the target/average campaign group CPA. In the example above, we can see that the segment's CPA (£15.79) is -54.90% lower than the CPA target (£35.00).

A negative -XX% difference (green) means that the segment has a CPA that is XX% cheaper (better) than the campaign group average/target. A positive +YY% difference (red) means the segment is YY% more expensive (worse) than the average/target. A light pink ZZ% difference means that the segment's CPA is roughly in line (+/- 0%) with the average/target.


Note that this profit metric isn't really going to reflect your actual, real-life profit. Instead, it's a blend of CPA and conversion volume designed to help you quickly gauge the "importance" of a segment.

"Profit" is calculated with the following formula: (Target CPA - Segment CPA) * Segment Conversions. "Profit" is a measure of how much money you're earning/losing in a segment. 

For a true Profit/Loss measurement, set your Target CPA to your break-even point. Your break-even point is the amount per conversion when you make a $0 profit. So if you sell widgets for $50 and after costs of $30, you make $20 per widget, your break-even point is $20. If you pay Google Ads $20 per widget sale, you make $0.
You can modify campaign groups and target CPA(s) at any time in your Campaign Groups.

To illustrate how profit/loss works:

Q: Which is better given a target CPA / break-even point of $50: 10 conversions at $40 CPA, or 6 conversions at $30 CPA? 

It's hard to tell right? You can tell by calculating "profit":

10 conversions at $40 CPA: profit = ($50 - $40) * 10 = $100
6 conversions at $30 CPA: profit = ($50 - $30) * 6 = $120.

A: So 6 conversions at $30 CPA is better.

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