All Blogs,Digital Marketing, - September 18, 2020

Should I Use Broad Match or Phrase Match on Google Ads?

Expert Tips For Use Broad Match or Phrase Match on Google Ads

While it’s very easy to add keywords to your pay per click (PPC) campaigns – you simply type them in – it’s important that you are properly keyword targeting on Google Ads. As a pay per click agency who has helped several brands create and manage Google Ads campaigns, we’re here to give you some tips and tricks on how to best create your list of keywords for your PPC ads.

The Importance of Keyword Targeting on Google Ads

You likely already know the basics of Google Ads. Your PPC campaigns include a series of keywords related to your products and services that you bid on. When you win a bid, your PPC ad is displayed in the bid position it has won when a Google user types in a search query that includes your keywords. If the user is intrigued by your ad, he or she may click it to be directed to your landing page. And of course, you’re charged for every click your Google Ads generate.

However, there is an important aspect about keyword targeting on Google ads that will not only help you generate more qualified clicks who hopefully turn into leads but also save you money by preventing your ads from appearing on searches that aren’t likely to generate leads. This aspect of Google Ads is making sure you have the best match selected for your keywords. Below we will discuss the top three match options for keywords: broad match keywords, phrase match keywords, and exact match keywords.

What are Broad Match Keywords?

Did you know that by default, Google sets all its PPC keywords to broad match keywords? Broad match increases your number of impressions, but as you’ll see below, that’s not necessarily a good thing. 

You see, broad match keywords ensure that your keywords trigger lots of ad traffic, which means your ads are likely to get more clicks. However, these ads aren’t necessarily as targeted as you want your keywords to be.

For example, let’s say you’re a professional roofing company and you enter the keyword “roof repair” into your Google Ads campaign. Obviously, your intention is for this keyword to trigger ads for people searching for professional roof repair. 

However, with Google’s broad match keywords function turned on by default, your ad about your professional roof repair services may be seen by anyone whose search query includes “roof repair” or a search term close to that keyword including:

  • Tips to repairing roofs yourself
  • Does my roof need to be repaired professionally?
  • How to repair the roof of the mouth

As you can see, the top two search queries aren’t likely being performed by people actively searching for – or even remotely interested in – your professional roof repair services. And in some cases, like with the last potential search term, the broad match keyword isn’t at all even related to your product or service!

Because of this, we recommend that you turn off broad match keywords and instead select phrase match for most of your keywords. As a pay per click agency, we ourselves typically only use broad match keywords for our clients’ PPC campaigns if we’re starting out by creating a campaign that has a very limited list of keywords (in which case broad match may help you identify additional keywords to add). When we use broad match keywords, we always set a low budget so we don’t spend a lot of our clients’ money on ads in which the ad clicker has no intent on purchasing our clients’ products or services. Our goal is to provide you with the best quality clicks who are likely to turn into leads or customers, not the highest quantity of clicks.

What are Phrase Match Keywords?

We generally set our clients’ PPC campaigns to use phrase match. The reason – this PPC option typically provides our clients with the most qualified clicks who are more likely to become leads or customers.

In Google Ads, phrase match changes your keywords from broadly matching remotely related search terms to making sure that your keywords are only displayed if they match the phrase that a searcher entered into Google. Still, Phrase match allows for some variants in keywords, including:

  • Misspellings
  • Singular or plural forms
  • Stemming
  • Abbreviations
  • Accents

Phrase match is a great way to ensure your Google Ads show up for searchers who are intending to find content like your landing pages, which of course, require you to pay for a click in order for a Google user to discover. 

What are Exact Match Keywords?

Exact match is the most restrictive match option you can choose when keyword targeting on Google Ads. With exact match turned on, your ads will only display if a Google user enters in the exact keyword you have in your PPC campaign, in the order those words appear. 

While the exact match is restrictive, it can be a useful option for brands who have a keyword that typically generates a lot of impressions – so many so that the brand’s campaign budget is eaten up in the first few days of the month.

How Negative Match Impacts your Google Ads Campaigns

Sometimes, brands want to make sure that their ads never appear in searches that contain negative words. Google Ads calls this negative match. One of the most popular negative match keywords that PPC advertisers use is free. For example, if you sell anti-malware software, you likely want to make sure your ad doesn’t display – and isn’t clicked – if someone searched “free anti-malware software.”

There is one downside to Google’s negative match option that you will want to consider if you are running Display Ads. Because Google Ads wants to follow your wishes, your Display ad is less likely to run on a website that includes your negative keywords.

Call Us for Google Ads and PPC Campaign Creation and Management Help

Whether you don’t have the internal resources to manage PPC campaigns on your own or you want to work with a pay per click agency to ensure you’re getting the most out of Google Ads, we can help. If you need help creating or managing PPC campaigns, call us today at (214) 295-5845. 

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