You Should Add Broad Match Keywords In Your Google Ads Account

For a long time, Google’s default match type, broad match, was taboo in PPC advertising. Google’s algorithm with broad match keywords was undeniably weak. Broad match used to take your keywords and match it to any related words that were thrown into the search engine. The resulting messy traffic caused advertisers to stick to Phrase Match Keywords and Exact Match Keywords to have more control over their traffic.

Recently, Google has been pushing marketers to test broad match keywords within their campaigns, especially when using automated bidding strategies. Although it’s hard to admit, their Google’s has drastically improved how broad keywords work, making testing broad match keywords an important step to any search campaign. This holds true to most eCommerce stores that already receive a lot of traffic (and have a lot of data), as long as you keep your eye on the search term report. 

In this article, I will discuss how to take advantage of broad match keywords, and why recently it’s been working for PPC ads search campaigns.

The Initial Search Campaign Setup:

When you initially launch your PPC Campaign, it’s important to only use Phrase and Exact Match Keywords in the account, organized into Single Theme Ad Groups, or STAGs, where similar keywords are grouped together (you’ll see why later). It’s also important to set your bid strategy at Manual CPC at the bid you have decided based on the keyword research you have done.

Using the phrase and exact keywords allow your campaign to gather data from predictable, and relevant, search terms. This is the most important phase of your campaign, as this data will help you later when you decide to add broad match types into the mix. Setting your campaign to Manual CPC also makes sure you have the most control over your bids, and allows Google to gather as much data as possible so that it could perform with an automated bidding strategy. After a few months of data (and at least 30 conversions), you can test an automated bidding strategy. 

Adding Broad Keywords & Testing Smart Bidding

Once your phrase and exact match campaign has enough data, and has a substantial search volume, it’s time to add some broad keywords. Add broad keywords into the ad group to test their performance. Also, run an experiment for a smart bidding strategy. I recommend starting with Maximize Clicks if you want your cost-per-click to stay low, or you can test Maximize Conversions if you’re looking for more conversions. Starting off with those bidding strategies will gather enough data for you to successfully use Maximize Conversion Value later on (if a higher average order value is what you’re going after).

However, if you’re running a brand campaign and your goal is real estate on your brand’s search term, i.e. showing up first when someone searches your keyword, the bidding strategy you want to use is Target Impression Share. With Target Impression Share, it does not make sense for your brand to add your keywords as broad. This would work best with only exact and phrase keywords.

Why Do Broad Match Types Work Now?

Although the algorithm is smarter than ever, and uses way more signals now (such as your landing page and other keywords in your ad group) than it used to, it’s important to still keep an eye out for irrelevant search terms with this match type. Frankly, while using any of Google’s keyword match types, it’s important to look through your search term report regularly to clean up any irrelevant search queries (or add any relevant searches that are converting). Adding negative keywords is an important step in gaining control of where your ad appears when relying on Google’s algorithms to push your ad.

The tricky part comes when you’re dealing with a lead generation campaign. Google doesn’t differentiate between a high quality or low quality lead. The risk is that Google notices that certain keywords convert easily (yet produce low quality leads), so Google may optimize for more similar keywords. Google ultimately prioritizes the conversion rather than the quality. In this case, using longer tail keywords would work best.

Google is in the midst of building out ways that force us to give the algorithm more control, with its release of campaign types such as Performance Max, and its push to use automated bidding strategies. Playing into its increased automation may be a way for you to take advantage of what Google has to offer and increase your ROI. It’s always a good idea to run an experiment to test things before you make changes in the campaign itself.

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