Adwords Broad Match Keywords

Using broad match keywords in your Google Adwords account allows your ads to be shown to a vast number of user search queries and is the easiest way to maximize click volume. The downside is that you may have been over-spending on some irrelevant search queries that could never convert.

Understand How Broad Match Works

If your ad group contains the keyword ‘tennis shoes’, your ad will appear for Google’s user search queries that contain either or both words (‘tennis’ and ‘shoes’) in any order, and that is of singular or plural forms, synonyms, and other variations including:

  • Tennis
  • Shoes
  • Buy Tennis Shoes
  • Tennis Shoe Photos
  • Running Shoes
  • Tennis Sneakers

Install Adwords Conversion Tracking

Activate Google Adwords Conversion Tracking, and insert the Javascript codes onto the “thank you” or “purchased confirmation” page on your website.

Start your campaigns and collect the conversion data alongside all the other Adwords data.

Review Search Query Performance Report

If you have Adwords Conversion Tracking correctly installed, your conversion data will be shown in most of the Adwords built-in reports. Run Adwords Search Query Performance Report on a regular basis.

Identify the search queries that have triggered your broad match keywords but have made no conversions. Review the group of keywords and decide if they should be added to your ad groups or campaigns as negative keywords.

Identify the search queries that have triggered your broad match keywords and have made conversions. Add these keywords to new ad groups or new campaigns as exact match keywords.

The non-converting clicks to your broad match keywords will gradually decrease.

Problems with Expanded Broad Match Keywords

Google’s broad match qualifies as Expanded Broad Match as it allows your ads to appear on extremely vast number of related user search queries and sometimes even on many unrelated search queries. The unrelated search queries are mostly some synonyms that are not entirely applicable to your business which reduce your keyword CTR and increase your non-converting clicks.

Google’s matching algorithm combines the search queries from two successive searches when serving up ads. When a Google visitor makes a search and then uses the search box on the first search’s results page again, the first query and the second query are both used to determine what ad to display.

To get the spending under control, Clix Marketing replaced all broad match keywords with the two phrase match variations of two-word-keywords.

To provide transparency, Google updated the Search Query Performance Report by identifying session-based broad match under the “Search Query Match Type” column. SEOptimise tested and revealed that session-based broad match keywords have lower conversion rates than broad match keywords.

If you still have big problems controlling your ROI because of receiving way to many non-converting clicks, you should discard the majority of your broad match keywords and only use phrase match and exact match keywords.

What Google Should Do

Google should allow all Adwords advertisers to either:

  • Add Expanded Broad Match as a new match type
  • Allow the ability to exclude from appearing on Expanded Broad Match search queries


2 Responses to “Adwords Broad Match Keywords”

  1. on June 28th, 2009 1:59 pm

    [eng] Strategia parole chiave estese…

    Come ottimizzare le tue campagne a partire dalla corrispondenza generica delle parole chiave….

  2. Abhishek on June 30th, 2009 4:50 am

    Thanks for your insight, I was a in a split about the keywords’ match type for my new campaigns but after reading your blog I guess I’m doing what is the best practice.
    Hope it gives conversion the way I think it should give. If it works I’ll surely let you know.

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