First of all, what exactly is Broad Match? In general, broad match refers to a search term match type that Google uses to determine which ads match your search terms. Broad keywords allow your ad to match the widest variety of keywords that are still somewhat related to what you’re advertising.

Google defines it as:

This is the default option. If your ad group contained the keyword tennis shoes, your ad would be eligible to appear when a user’s search query contained tennis and shoes, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads could also show for singular/plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations. For example, your ad might show on tennis shoe or tennis sneakers.

How Broad Match Works

Broad match keywords allow your ads to appear on searches related to your keyword, including searches that don’t even include your keyword terms. Using this method, you can reach a wider audience than you could with an exact or phrase match. 

Broad match utilises all available signals in order to determine the intent and keywords of both the user and your keyword, while having the flexibility to find the most relevant match expected to perform well for you. Due to additional matching requirements, exact matches and phrase matches cannot use these additional signals.

These match types may also take into account the following to deliver relevant matches:

  • Recent searches carried out by the user
  • A landing page’s content
  • To better understand keyword intent, use other keywords within an ad group

When to Use Broad Match 

When it comes to reaching as many people as possible with your ads and driving traffic to your website, broad match can be an ideal option. Also, broad match is great for finding long-tail keywords that users are searching for that you can then add to your keyword list. Additionally, broad match has now become the default option by Google, which normally means that Google will favour this match type over others when competing in auctions.

A potential downside is that you may attract a lot of irrelevant searches. It’s often unsuitable for campaigns just getting started or those with a limited budget. With broad match, you’ll get more traffic, and your budget will run out faster. It can, however, be very effective if you have a highly restrictive and comprehensive negative keyword list.

Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding with broad match can drive  quality conversions. Every search query is unique, and bids should reflect the unique context present at auction. In order to optimise performance across platforms and users, Smart Bidding takes into account signals such as a user’s operating system, web browser, language settings, time of day, and presence on a remarketing list. As well as using data from across your account, Smart Bidding combines data from multiple keywords and campaigns to predict performance.

Using this additional context, Smart Bidding is able to predict conversion likelihood more accurately and set the optimal bid for each auction. With Smart Bidding, you make sure that you are only competing in the right auctions for the right users for all of the relevant searches you could reach with broad match. In other words, Smart Bidding not only helps you get more conversions within your goals, but also increases the quality and revenue of those conversions. 

To Conclude…

No matter how you feel about broad match, it isn’t going anywhere. Google is only going to be more forceful with its use, and it is likely that at some point, broad match will be the only match type available within Google Ads. If used correctly with concise keywords, an extensive negative keyword list, and the correct smart bidding strategy, broad match definitely has a place in any account.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we get the best out of broad match Keywords, don’t hesitate to get in touch.