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Google Adwords Expanded Broad Match

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Be careful when using broad match keywords in a Google adWords campaign.

On the positive side, broad matching means that ads will run for variations of your keywords without the need to specify what all these variations might be. So in the example given in the adwords help file, the keyword web hosting might trigger ads for the search phrases web host or web hosting company.

However broad matching incorporates expanded matching so not only will ads show for variations in word order, and queries with additional words to the keywords, but ads will potentially show for synonyms and other related variations.

This might not be what you want and there may be times when the expanded matching can be much broader than you might expect. In a campaign I recently set up, a broad match on a generic product name triggered ads for search queries for a manufacturer name, very specific model numbers (not relevant to my client) and other products sold by the manufacturer.

There are two main ways to deal with it.

1. Build up a list of negative keywords and add them to the campaign

    • use the keyword tools (particularly the adwords keyword tool as this will indicate potential expanded matches); extract the words that are not relevant and including them as negatives in the campaign
    • run searches and seeing which words and phrases come up in the search listings and ads to uncover potential negatives
    • analyse your website logs to extract non-relevant search queries or words that can be input as negatives
    • run the new search query performance report to see which search queries triggered ads and what negatives are necessary in the campaign

2. Opt out of expanded match by using phrase and exact matching

By doing this you know when the ads will be triggered and you eliminate the instances of unwanted expanded matching.

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