Beginner’s Guide to Using Broad Match Keywords

Broad Match Keywords

Our question is, should businesses use broad match keywords in their paid search campaigns?

One of the key selling points for investing in paid search is the level of quality in which businesses can target their audience, if they know the concept of intent.

Paid search experts all have different approaches to launching campaigns, testing keywords and different match types. While opinions may be different this doesn’t necessarily make them wrong – ultimately, it’s the results of the campaign that really matters. But all paid search experts agree on one thing – selecting the right keywords is paramount for a campaign to achieve its goals.

When you choose keywords to your Google Ads or Bing Ads, you must specify a match type for each keyword.

What Are Match Types?

Broad Match: Your ad is eligible to appear whenever a user enters any word in your key phrase, which means your audience is rather broad. Your ad will automatically run on ‘relevant’ variations of your keywords, even if these terms are not featured in your list.

Modified Broad Match: Broad match modifiers will only run your ads in searches that include the words you have marked with a plus sign.

Phrase Match Type: Selecting phrase match type will ensure your ad can only appear when people search for your exact phrase. So, your ad will only run when a user enters your exact key phrase in the order you used them – but there could be words at either end of the phrase.

Exact Match Type: Exact match type will only allow your ads to run for searchers using your exact keyword, or alternatives of your exact keyword.

For more information, visit: Choosing the Right Keyword Matches For Your PPC Campaign

Do Broad Keywords Hinder Quality?

Broad Match is the default match type that all keywords are assigned to, unless another type is selected.

If you bid on the broad match term, “jewellery”, Google will match your ad to any user searching for anything related to jewellery. In this scenario, your ad could show for rings, bracelets, necklaces, charms and earrings.

This is an important concept for two reasons:

1. If you don’t sell bracelets, for example, you obviously don’t want to be paying for clicks on those searches.

2. If you do sell bracelets, your campaign performance could suffer if you’re directing all those clicks to the same landing page.

In paid search, quality is typically much more desired than quantity, but that doesn’t make quantity bad.

How Broad Match Keywords Can Help and Hinder Your Campaigns

Since broad match is the default, many beginners use it on their campaigns. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with broad match – it can help you increase the reach of your campaigns but, at the same time, businesses should be mindful that Google’s interpretations could display your ad to searches where it is not relevant.

Sometimes, someone looking for bracelets may be happy to browse a full line of jewellery and buy a necklace. In other scenarios, they’re looking specifically for a bracelet and part of your ad spend has been wasted on a pointless click.

Broad match can be a wise choice when you’re first starting your campaigns and you want to uncover what works best for you. After your campaign has come to an end, you can analyse which searches actually result in relevant clicks and the results may vary from what you expected.  This experiment could reveal new keywords that you hadn’t considered but should utilise in the future.

If your industry is niche and you’re selling a specific product or service and for your campaign to generate valuable clicks it needs to be highly targeted, broad match keywords may not be the best way. Phrase match or exact keywords may be better to generate the results you need.

Using Negative Keywords and Broad Match Keywords Together

One of the biggest issue’s businesses find with PPC advertising is wasting their money on irrelevant traffic. Using negative keywords in Google Ads can save businesses a lot of money, since they’re specifying which keywords and phrases that they do not want their ads appearing on.

To avoid your ad displaying to completely irrelevant search queries, you can use negative keywords to decrease the number of irrelevant searches your ads show on.

For example, if you sell a wide range of jewellery but no bracelets, select ‘bracelets’ as a negative keyword.

Negative keywords allow you to filter who sees your ad based on what they type in the search engine. You can use them to ensure that your ad does not appear for a specific keyword.

To read about building your own negative keyword list and the importance of them, check out our previous blog posts:

While broad match might be the default, it doesn’t make it the best keyword type for all campaigns. Keep a close eye on your campaigns and make sure you’re achieving the results that you expected.

Broad match keywords may help you to uncover quality keywords to target and might also help you build a good negative keyword list.

Wondering which keywords, you should target and how to run an effective paid search campaign? Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation:

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