As anyone can tell you, building a successful Google Ads campaign takes many pieces to accomplish. Location, ad copy, budget – they all matter. However, it’s the selected keywords that really make it work. To target the right individual, you need to determine which queries to focus on.
It doesn’t end there.
Once you choose the right keywords, it’s time to move onto which match types to utilize: exact, broad modified, phrase, and broad. Each has their own benefits; however, it’s the latter that offers the widest range in advantages to disadvantages. Below is a snapshot of what to watch out for when using broad match keywords in your Google Ads campaign.
First Off … What Is Broad Match?
In a nutshell, broad match allows your keyword to be used to its fullest. The results could be near-exact, or quite abstract. For example, think of the keyword “Red Dress.” Using broad match, the search might come back as “Red Dress For Sale,” while another might be “How To Sew Dress Pants.” Google basically takes the keyword and allows it to hit any remotely-close query.
Broad Match Advantages
While there are numerous benefits to using broad match keywords in your Google Ads campaigns, two that are considered most important are:
- Expanding search terms
- Generally lower cost-per-click
Broaden Your Horizons
Based on the above example, one enticing reason to use broad match keywords would be the ability to find searches that one would not normally think of when setting up a campaign. While some keywords may bring in searches deemed irrelevant to your campaign’s overall goal, it’s a small price to pay for the ones that return leads and, ultimately, sales.
Let Your Budget Fly
Google Ads is an auction. It takes location, keywords, bids, and intent from multiple accounts and determines rank accordingly. The more specific one gets with their keyword and match type, the higher the competition, resulting in a higher cost for that click. With broad match, since the door is open to a wider array of keywords, the costs can be lower compared to phrase, broad modified, and exact match types. And the less you spend on each click, the farther the budget goes, leading more people to your site.
Broad Match Disadvantages
Naturally, where there are pros … here are cons. A couple deterrents from using broad match might be:
- Unwanted search terms
- A possible performance dip
I’ll Be Watching You
Right at the top of the list of advantages for a broad match approach is how many more search terms you can include under the “broad match umbrella.” While that can be a good thing, one potential downside is you would have to constantly monitor for irrelevant search terms and add to your negative keywords (when needed).
Yes, with a lower cost-per-click (CPC), broad match keywords bring more people to your site, which in most situations would be a good thing. However, broad match naturally brings irrelevant searches along with it, increasing the overall bounce rate and conversely lowering the conversions and conversion rate. If you’re willing to take the good (i.e.,more visits), you’ll need to also take the bad (e.g., potentially higher bounce rate or lower click-thru-rate).
Below is a comparison of certain match types, based on the average of three different accounts:
|Exact / Phrase
As you can see, while the broad match did in fact see a favorable CPC, the other and arguably more important metrics showed better in the exact/phrase match.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
There is no set “answer” as to what to use and when to use it. Every piece that Google Ads offers is an opportunity to improve your campaign. It’s how you utilize those pieces and work them to your advantage that is key.
For broad match keywords, a whole new world is opened up, which might scare some. However, if you put in the necessary work, which includes A LOT of monitoring, then the end result could mean a plethora of leads and sales for your business.