Why you should not choose broad match keyword targeting on Google Ads

DSM Digital School of Marketing - keywords

PPC experts may not agree on the best strategies as well as the exact techniques which they prefer to use in order to get the best results. However digital marketers and PPC fundis all agree on one thing: choosing the correct keywords is required if you want your campaigns to be successful.

One of the reasons why search is such an efficient marketing channel is because of the level of granularity with which it is possible for you to target your audience members. However, you will only be successful in this endeavour if you fully understand the notion of intent. This is the same reason you should never make use of broad match keywords when you are putting together PPC advertising campaigns.

What are broad match keywords?

Whenever you include keywords to AdWords or Bing Ads, you establish a match type for each and every single keyword. Both platforms have four different match types. These are the following:

  • Broad,
  • Phrase,
  • Exact, as well as
  • Broad match modifier.

So, for example, if you bid on the broad match term, “shoes,” Google will match your ad to anyone who is searching for anything related to shoes.

You need to keep at the top of your mind that with broad match, you’re going to get matched with search terms which the algorithms think are even sort of related to shoes. You’ll pay for those clicks, which will drive up your costs. In many cases, this can be quite significant.

Broad match is too broad

The power of search is that you can specifically target who you want to be selling to. However with using broad match keywords, you could be encompassing people – in your campaigns – who are not interested, in any shape or form, in what you’re offering.  You also need to be mindful of the fact that sometimes Google’s interpretations may end up showing your ad in searches that aren’t all that relevant to your business.

The term ‘broad match keywords’ is the default match type in Google AdWords. Google’s own employees often promote the use of broad match terms. As a result it’s quite easy to get pushed into using these types of keywords by default. With a broad match keyword match type, you can input the keywords that you want to target. After this, Google or Bing (or any other search engine that you prefer using) will fill in the blanks for you.

Don’t disregard broad match entirely

Although some may feel that broad match keywords must not be used, this doesn’t mean you should never make use of broad match. This section in your PPC does have one worthwhile use: Finding novel keyword ideas.

As broad match will signal to Google that it needs to match your ad to related searches, you can utilise it to collect data on search queries that you may not have thought of. Then, you can use that data to improve your campaigns.

However, as we said before, you have to be incredibly mindful with this approach as broad match can consume a lot of budget. However the good news is that when using broad match keywords as part of the research in your content marketing campaign you don’t really need to spend a lot to get good data out of it.

So although, when used carefully, broad match can be beneficial for discovering new keywords to bid on but it’s not a great idea to rely on broad match in order to drive leads or sales.

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