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Broad Match Keywords Boost Advertising Results

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Targeted advertising

Broad match keywords in an online advertising account can increase the number of clicks to a site, but they also can bring undesirable visits as well.

A broad match keyword means a search engine visitor can enter that exact keyword or a variety of synonyms. In response, the search engine will display an ad that is tied to the parent keyword.

For example, the advertiser can select the keyword phrase “red widgets”. If the advertiser sets an exact match rule on that phrase, search engine visitors will see an ad only if they enter that phrase.

But if the advertisers sets a broad match rule, visitors may see the ad if they enter “red widgets”, “widgets that are red”, “new red widgets”, etc.

Go to a search engine marketing account such as Bing or Google and choose “high school football” as another example. Even if no other keywords are listed in the account, the search engines might display the ad even if they use a mixed up phrase such as “school high football”. (Surprisingly, it is an actual search term with high monthly volume.)

Advantages of Broad Match Keywords

An advertising account can easily grow into thousands of keywords that have to be manually entered by the account manager. It can become so massive that effectively controlling the performance of all keywords can chew up a significant amount of a day.

Broad match keywords are a way of helping with the workload. The account manager doesn’t have to dig up every relevant keyword and manually add it to the account list.

It is especially useful if the keyword has numerous synonyms. The broad match potentially will cover most if not all of them.

Finally, broad match keywords also respond to synonyms that an account manager may not know about because they are fewer in number or aren’t obvious.

Disadvantages of Broad Match

Some broad-matched keywords can trigger related but undesirable keywords as well. The keywords may not be entirely relevant. They may be so popular that their volume overcomes the listed and more desirable keywords.

It is not uncommon to see ads for a business at the top of the search results and the same business in the number one ranking spot in organic results. That’s a serious waste of money.

Broad match keywords are harder to analyze. Some of the synonyms may produce great results and others may have terrible results. But figuring out which ones are great and which ones are terrible is a challenge.

Broad matching may also produce poor results with contextual advertising such as AdSense.

In that case, the account manager can switch to exact match keywords. Depending on the ad platform, it simply requires that each exact match keyword is entered into the account with quotes or brackets, such as “high school football” or [high school football].

The ad will display only when that exact keyword phrase is entered into the search box.

Broad match keywords are an easy way to create and build an account. But in time any keyword list requires more careful fine tuning to get the best possible results.

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