Overcoming common challenges with Broad Match keywords
Magali Kajingu Enciso
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Overcoming common challenges with Broad Match keywords

As Google recently shook up the PPC world by putting a progressive but sure end to the use of Broad Match Modifier, we wanted to seize the occasion to reflect on the different keyword matching options and their uses.

More specifically, we wanted to start with the basics and focus on Broad Match to help you ensure you’re making adequate use of this crucial keyword match type and to help you solve some of the biggest pitfalls you might encounter in your day-to-day use of it. Keep reading to find out the key to optimizing your broad match keywords!

What exactly is Broad Match? 

Let’s start by defining Broad Match type. According to Google’s official documentation, Broad Match is defined as A keyword option that allows your ad to show when someone searches for that keyword, variations of it, as well as other related topics.” 

To make it short, using this type of keywords triggers your ad not only for that specific search term but also for any close variations or similar query. An example is maybe the best way to understand it: let’s imagine you set up a campaign to promote dresses using Broad Match type keywords. If you select “summer dress” as your main keyword, your campaign might be triggered by a wide range of searches going from “summer vintage dress” or “summer long dresses” to “summer wedding dresses” or even “dress kids in summer”. 

Everything is actually in the name: it encloses a broad range of words considered to be related to your target keyword and thus to your ad. 

Why use Broad Match type keywords?

Using Broad Match type keywords can actually be quite useful when you need to generate awareness, reaching an extended audience, or when your campaigns and ads don’t require any kind of specificities. 

It is also very helpful to use this matching type to discover new relevant keywords. As search engines identify search terms corresponding to your ad and ultimately to your business, it gives you insights on possible terms you hadn’t thought about and that you might want to use to nurture your keyword lists. 

While using Broad Match keywords has its perks, it can also lead to many drawbacks that you might be looking to offset. We’re getting a closer look at 3 of the main obstacles (and their solutions!) one might encounter when using this keyword matching option. 

Tackling the most common issues with Broad Match

  • Many keywords, same traffic

As we said earlier, Broad Match takes into account a wide range of terms related to your ad when comes the time to trigger it. Thus in some cases, multiple search terms can be eligible for the same keywords, meaning that traffic could be entering through any of them. This can be problematic, as not all keywords perform the same way. In other words, if you’re facing a “duplicated traffic” situation, it means that your campaigns are not running in the most efficient way, as it would be preferable to have users interacting with your ads through a specific keyword, one that is the most relevant, and effective for a determined objective.  

To counteract - or at least reduce - these issues, you need to be able to spot them in the first place. And that’s where most SEM Managers hit the first hurdle. Currently, there’s a lack of visibility of "duplicated traffic", making it hard to see the different origins and metrics related to a same search term. Analyzing duplicated traffic entails downloading a whole search term report and then looking one by one for those that come from several sources. In light of the workload it represents, we decided to look into the problem and came up with a quite helpful feature to tackle the previously described situation. We created what we call a Watcher, allowing campaign managers to see the duplicated search terms and the KPIs of each of their origins, giving them the possibility to take action on those that are not performing well. 

  • Double-bidding or when you compete against… yourself 

If you work with a match type structure, another possible obstacle you might be facing is “double-bidding”. When using Broad Match type, there might be cases where the same keyword is reflected in 2 different ad groups pursuing the same objective. This ultimately means that the bidding system can lead 2 of your keywords to compete against each other in a bid. In other words, it can lead you to compete against yourself… And that’s something you really want to avoid. How? Well, you need to empower your negative keywords strategy to ensure you’re not paying for the same search term twice. Google offers some assistance in that process, helping you prioritize correct keywords, but the fastest and most efficient solution will always be to “negativize” them. And if you’re managing accounts of a considerable size, as you can imagine, this represents a whole lot of work. 

Luckily, you can ease this task by relying on adequate tools to help you process amounts of words you couldn't manage on your own. Take our Keyword Traffic Driver for example, it allows you to identify the exact terms that don’t have a corresponding negative, but also to add cross negative keywords. If you add a certain number of new keywords to an ad group, you’ll be able to instantly “negativize” all these same keywords in your other remaining ad groups. That way, you ensure that entering traffic has the greatest relevance and that you’re optimally investing in every search term.

  • Traffic or trash?

We’ve said it and repeated it enough: with this matching type option, you’re dealing with a wide range of words related to your ad. Thus whether you like it or not, at some point you’re might end up attracting traffic totally irrelevant to your business. Let’s go back to our initial example: if your target keyword for a certain campaign is “summer dresses”, many searches might fall under this category without necessarily being relevant to your objective. Are you selling standard summer dresses? Summer dresses to attend a wedding? Maternity summer dresses? Well, guess what? In Broad Match world, none of these searches make a difference, they’re all eligible to land in your ad. And if you were trying to sell evening gowns and you attracted more of a “light summer picnic dresses” audience, you probably just missed your target there. And lost some money too. 

How could you prevent the flow of “toxic” traffic? To avoid irrelevant traffic entering your ads, it’s essential to ensure your keywords - even if they’re quite generic - are well oriented and serve the main objective of the campaign. A way to do it is through one of our platform’s features, the Search Term Booster, that allows you to establish a set of rules (in line with determined KPIs). Based on those rules, the algorithm detects all search terms that are not complying with previously established objectives, and directly sets them as negative exact keywords. That way, you avoid wasting budget on terms that don’t meet your KPIs and you continuously optimize the performance of your account. 

As you can see, while using Broad Match type can come in handy, it also can raise many key issues that need to be tackled, especially since this match type option is the default  in Google Ads. We hope this brief recap has helped you overcome some common challenges you may be facing. If you’re interested in knowing more about how technology can help you in your keyword management processes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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