Broad Match: The Hyperactive Match Type

By Tinuiti Team

As an internet marketer, most of my time optimizing campaigns is spent focusing on keywords that perform well, which are often measured by ROAS, Orders or Leads. Usually, the keywords with the best return are exact and phrase match. And since I get the best value for my marketing dollars here, I want to maximize their performance. However, by just focusing on keywords reaching my marketing goals, I could be missing out on potential opportunity from the other match type, broad match.

Often broad match is looked at as expensive, not targeted enough, and just not efficient. I constantly hear from clients things like “broad match doesn’t find my target customer”, “these people are too high in the funnel”, or “I don’t want to pay for keywords that don’t convert”. Yes, broad keywords can get matched up with some of the most random, and often, hilarious searches (check that search query report). And while these statements might be true strictly from a performance data viewpoint, we have to look beyond that data.

The truth is, almost 40% of searches are accessible only to broad match keywords, according to a Bing Ads study. 40%! That is a huge potential customer base to be not be going after. Additionally, close to 30% of the daily searches are new queries. This number increases even more during the holidays. What does this mean? By using just exact and phrase, you could be missing out on these new queries because new searches are too refined and precise for exact or phrase match to capture.

Broad match keyword campaigns are a very important part of search marketing. Since broad keywords can get matched to more queries, they help with expansion of keyword inventory. Use broad match campaigns as a test. After these have been running for a few weeks, dig and mine through the search query reports for converting keywords you are missing on exact and phrase. Then add these as exact and phrase and increase your reach even more.

To help make your broad campaigns as targeted as possible, while still offering value to the client, follow some of these tips:

  1. Create Broad match campaigns to get maximum reach without sacrificing quality of existing campaigns.
  2. Keep Broad match bids lower than phrase and exact match keywords. This will ensure proper funneling of traffic.
  3. To further enhance control, use negative keywords to block unwanted query mappings. Refine with additional negative keywords as needed.
  4. And add in Broad Matched Modified keywords to set restrictive limits, keeping in mind that the modifier can block up to 90% of broad match’s potential volume.


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