Navigating PPC Google Ads can be a headache. There are so many nuances and intricacies, but not to worry—we’re here to help break it all down. Today, we’re discussing Broad Match keywords and how to use them to your advantage while also avoiding common pitfalls.
Broad Match keywords generally allow you to reach a larger audience, according to Google. They work in conjunction with positive keyword targeting to bring your terms to those who are searching for similar terms but not the same ones.
While Broad Match might sound like it’s all positive, there are reasons why Google Ads users dislike using Broad Match and strategies that people use to get around the negatives. Let’s break it down to help score you a digital marketing win!
What Are the Different Keyword Match Types?
First and foremost, to better understand Broad Matches, let’s cover the different keyword match types that Google uses for Google Ads. There are three different Google Ads keyword match types—Exact, Phrase, and Broad.
Exact keyword matches are exactly what they sound like. They are a way to bring your advertisements to people who are searching for the exact keyword you are hoping to target. Google defines exact keyword matches as “A keyword match type that allows you to show your ads on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as your keyword.”
Phrase keyword matches are keyword matches that work with implied keyword matches. As long as the intended meaning is the same, the keywords will match together. Google defines Phrase keyword matches as “A keyword match type that allows you to show your ads on searches that include the meaning of your keyword.”
Finally, Broad keyword matches are defined by Google as “A keyword match type [that] allows your ad to show on searches that are related to the meaning of your keyword, which can include searches that don’t contain the keyword terms.”
Is Broad Match Too Broad?
Broad Match can be a great way of bringing new eyes to your paid search marketing campaigns. However, there is a common concern that Broad Match casts too wide of a net on the internet. Generally, when people are making a Google search, they are looking for a very particular result.
Broad Match is the default match type on Google Ads, and is often used by those who don’t have extensive experience with keyword research for their paid search campaigns. But depending on your starting keyword, Broad Match can associate your ads with very vaguely related search terms.
While your advertisement may be tempting enough to garner a click, the person searching may still be looking for something that better fits their original search keyword. This results in a wasted click—something you’ve paid for but seen little to no benefit from.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Broad Match?
In this section, we’ll break down the pros and cons of using Broad Match for paid search marketing.
As with most things in the growth marketing world, people remain divided on whether or not using Broad Match for PPC ads is positive or negative. It’s up to you and your interests to decide if Broad Match is right for you.
Advantages of Using Broad Match
No need to invest too much time in keyword research
Increased impressions on paid search ads
Potential for broadened audience and paid search campaign success
Broad match is generally less expensive than other search term types
Disadvantages of Using Broad Match
Potential for paid search ads to be wasted on disinterested users
Wasted time on a nonspecific ad campaign
Overusing ad budget without a return on investment
Examples of Audience Layering with Broad Match Keywords
One thing that proponents of Broad Match use to counterbalance some of the disadvantages of using Broad Match for paid search campaigns is audience layering. Audience layering or “Broadience” targeting is a strategy that combines Broad Match keywords with audience targeting to narrow down Broad Match results.
Doing so will allow you to pinpoint your ad campaign by using the audiences feature. For example, if your keyword is business shoes and you want to avoid Broad Match looping you in with irrelevant keyword searches such as children’s shoes, you can use the audiences tab to select audiences such as business professionals, investors, and other high-level professionals.
Additionally, you can use audience layering to narrow down a keyword term, such as healthy cookies, to include audience specifications in your target audience. Perhaps your customer research shows you that the people who are more likely to purchase your low-calorie sweet treats are teachers, lawyers, and mothers. Even if people are searching for high-sugar sweets, if they are in your target audience, they might be interested enough to click on your ad.
The Importance of Testing and Learning
Finally, it’s important to test, learn, and pivot in digital marketing. The most exciting aspect of digital marketing is that it can be different for any company, product, or website. Where one person finds success, another might find failure, and vice versa.
Personal development through digital marketing is best found by trying things out. Make changes to your PPC strategy based on common or even niche strategies and see how they work for you. Learn more about PPC and improve your own strategies to see a better return on your investment. In digital and growth marketing, the sky is the limit. You have to try and fail in order to succeed.
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