Posted by & filed under Google Ads Tips, Keywords.

Broad match keywords can open avenues for business if they are not certain of which search queries are driving traffic to the website. This match type has an extensive reach as there are no criterion for not letting your ad show. If a keyword has been added as broad match type it will display the ad if the keyword or any other variation of it is present in the search query. Some might see it as an opportunity and other might think of it as draining out the budget.

Why You Should Use Broad Match?


Though many businesses might think of not carrying the broad match keyword approach thinking it drives volumes but not relevant traffic. Here are couple of reasons that make using broad match an essential component of your pay-per-click strategy.

Broad Match Type Reach


1. Discover new keywords not yet bidded for

As of March 2013, Google received more than 3 Billion search queries every day. About 15% of search queries are completely new and many of them might not get captured by the current set of keywords. Using broad match makes sure that you don’t miss out on those potential search queries

2. Increase your traffic

Of course, the more queries your ad shows for, the more are the chances for you to attract visits to your business. But using broad match goes with the caution which is knowing about negative keywords to control the traffic inflow . If you don’t control the broad match responses, you might shell out too much of your budget unwillingly.

3. To not miss voice search users

Mobile is the chosen medium for convenient searches and with voice search the trend has changed. As voice searches are more contextual in nature, it is possible that your current set of keywords might not be able to reach them. So, to make sure your ad shows for such queries broad match fills into the picture.

A post on ‘How Voice Search Is Shaking Up the Marketing Landscape‘ shared:

According to a Google survey of 1,400 Americans, 55% of teens and 41% of adults said that they are now using voice search more than once a day. The convenience, it seems, is just too good to pass up.

Voice Search Survey

4. To break the clutter

There are some set of keywords which are high on competition and you have to raise your bid excessively to be able to show your ad for those search queries. To let your ad still be ready to show for other related terms you can use broad match keywords and make sure keywords with low as well as high competition are getting covered with the keyword bidded for.

5. Capture All Variations and intent

If a keyword has been added as broad match type it will display the ad if the keyword or any other variation of it is present in the search query. Your ads will also be shown for search that are related to your keywords, but not necessarily contain the terms in the keyword. For example, if your broad match keyword is “kashmiri shawl” (without quotes), your ads may get shown for search queries like “gifts for mom”.


How To Use Broad Match Keywords

It is easier to use broad match keywords but it is feasible to use it correctly.

1. Don’t Cannibalize Existing Campaigns

While using broad match keywords for your campaign you want to make sure than none of your existing campaigns as a result get affected by it. If you have been running campaigns with phrase and exact math keywords you might be cannibalizing them with your broad match campaign. A sensible way to deal with this scenario is to add all phrase match campaign keywords and exact match campaign keywords as negative keywords in your broad match campaign. This will ensure that you in no way block the existing campaign’s performance in any way.

2. Broad Match is Default Match Type

Remember AdWords by default assigns broad match type to a keyword. So, if you wish to add a keyword as broad match you can write it as it is. For instance if a car manufacturer wants to bid on the keywords ‘car accessories’ it must add the keyword as ‘car accessories’ (without quotes)

3. Negative Broad Match Keywords Behave Differently

Negative keywords role is to stop an ad from being displayed for irrelevant keywords. How a broad match negative keyword works is different from (positive) broad match keyword. Where (positive) broad match expands your reach, negative broad match limits your reach the maximum, So, while choosing negative keyword be doubly sure that you wish to block the keyword. Read our post on Using Broad Match Negative Keywords Correctly to make sure you use the match type in the correct fashion.


Caution You Need To Take

There are a couple of things to keep in mind while using broad match keywords and here are they:

  1. Do a scrutiny of the search queries that are triggering your ad. You might be attracting some irrelevant traffic which need to be tapped immediately. The same can be done by adding such irrelevant terms as negative keywords.
  2. If you wish to further control the excess volume you are getting from your broad match keywords you can use broad match modifier instead. The broad match modifier match type gets you more volume than your phrase or exact match type but more targeted than your broad match keyword. If you are certain that you wish to show you ad when a keyword is necessarily there then you can add a ‘+’ sign before it.
  3. The new keywords that you find from your broad match campaign can be added to your exact or phrase match campaigns subsequently and you must then exclude it from the broad match campaign. What this does is drives all focus on finding more new keywords on one hand and let the newly found keywords drive traffic through a dedicated ad from a different campaign.
  4. Your broad match keywords must atleast have 3-4 words instead of bidding for a single term. What a long tail keyword does is helps you carve your reach in a better manner. If you use a single word keyword then the possibility is that the user intent might not meet your business deliverable.  For instance in the following example, the search query ‘shoes’ derives the following ad results. Whether the user wishes to buy a casual shoe or sports shoes is not clear. What is further not clear is who is this audience, male or female? Hence it is better to not show for such search queries where the user intent might not meet your expectation, so you must prefer bidding for long tail keywords while using broad match to reach to your intended audience.Shoes Search Query

As discussed, broad match necessarily requires businesses to add negative keywords to stop any irrelevant clicks. However, larger accounts might make it difficult to discover negative keywords if done manually. Using an automated tool saves you from spending too much time and seamlessly lists down negative keywords. Not to mention, this will also save the wasted ad spend on AdWords.  Give our negative keywords tool a try.

Note: Now, our Negative Keywords Tool is Free for accounts with ad spend less than $10,000 per month. Save 10-20% of your search ad spend for free.


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