Google AdWords: How to Use the Broad Match Type

Google AdWords offers pay per click (PPC) advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text, banner, and rich-media advertisements. However, the AdWords broad match type is one of the keyword matching options offered by the popular pay per click (PPC) platform.  If you are a PPC marketer, it is critical to understand how the different match types work when it comes to Adwords. In the first and second part of this article, you will learn how broad match works, why it is useful, and how best to use it in your PPC marketing campaigns.

What is the broad match type?

Google and other search engines make decisions on which PPC ads to display in response to keyword searches based on keyword matching options, or match types. Broad match is the default option. It’s the most lenient of the options, meaning that it allows your ad to display in response to the greatest number of queries. According to Google:

If your ad group contained the keyword tennis shoes, your ad would be eligible to appear when a user’s search query contained tennis and shoes, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads could also show for singular/plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations. For example, your ad might show on tennis shoe or tennis snickers.

Basically, this option lets you pick a term related to your business, and attempts to discover other terms that are also relevant.

Why broad match keywords are important?

By default, the match type for new keywords is broad match, so you should understand the implications of this setting. The keyword you have selected will be automatically matched against a broad array of related queries thus providing two interesting ramifications:

  • It helps you discover new, useful broad matched keywords – Broad match provides a host of new phrases that the search engines deem relevant to your business – often long-tail keyword phrases you wouldn’t be able to come up with on your own.
  • You may be matched with completely irrelevant keywords – In addition to the good stuff this option will unearth, it will match your ad text to totally irrelevant terms. The search engines’ matching algorithms don’t always work perfectly, as anyone who’s ever gotten bad results from a Google search can attest.

Therefore, broad match simultaneously adds quality phrases to your PPC keyword list while spending some of your budget on unrelated clicks that won’t convert. For example, if your broad-match keyword is “tennis shoe”, Google might match your ad to keywords such as “women’s tennis shoes,” “converse tennis shoes,” and “discount tennis shoes.” These all seem pretty good.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of broad match, Google may also display your ads against keywords like “dress shoes,” “basketball shoes,” and “tennis racquets.” This is known as “expanded broad match,” which means that the algorithm more aggressively matches your ads against what it deems relevant variations of your keywords.

But these variations may not be all that relevant. What if:

  • We only sell tennis shoes – Dress shoes and other tennis equipment aren’t keywords we want our ad to show against, in that instance.
  • We only sell tennis equipment – Again, we don’t want our ad showing against dress shoes and basketball shoes.
  • We only sell shoes – We don’t want our ad to show for tennis equipment and rackets. Also, we won’t want our ad text and landing page talking about tennis shoes when our ad is appearing next to dress shoes.

However, if we choose a more restrictive matching option like exact match, we may miss out on valuable variations of tennis shoes, like “shoes for tennis” or specific brand names. We therefore need to find a means for implementing broad match without wasting money on irrelevant clicks. Read More.

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