Broad Matching PPC: Good or Bad Idea?

written by BlogEx on June 16, 2008 in Internet Marketing with 2 comments

Most search engine has different matching types for their Pay Per Click (PPC) programs. Since Google has the largest market share of online searches, this article focuses exclusively on their keyword matching options.

Exact Match

Exact match is exactly as it reads; it will provide exact matches for the terms you type inside the brackets on your account. For example, the keyword you typed for the exact match should read [banana cake]. Ads that are related to this exact match will only appear for specific keywords; for example, it will appear for “banana cake” but not for “banana cake flour”.

Phrase Match

Phrase match is a little bit broader than exact match. You need to use quotes in your account if you want to take advantage of phrase matching. For example, [banana cake] in the exact match should look like “banana cake” for phrase matching as quotes need to be used. Phrase match will allow your ads to appear when searchers type in “banana cake bakery” or “best banana cake”.

The Extended Broad Match

Meanwhile, Google also made a third option available for webmasters: broad match. It is a little bit more complicated than the first two options but a lot of web masters use this option as well. With broad matching, you don’t need to use any special characters in your account when you type it. Google has a default response to these keywords; your ads will appear for search queries that contain “banana” and “cake”.

But over time, Google has introduced the concept of “extended broad match” as well. Now, for example, when searchers type in “dessert”, search results can show ads about “banana cake” and “fruit cake”. In its early stage, broad matching is a great way for your site to be exposed to its relevant audience. However, Google stretched this relationship that sometimes, it is difficult to see any logical connection between the searcher’s query and the displayed ads.

What Should You Choose?

Because of the problems associated with broad matching, many people recommend that you completely disregard the use of broad matching. On the other hand, if you decide to go ahead and use it, you should adopt a practice of using long tail terms (terms with several words in the phrase) to minimize the chances of ad misplacement. When there are fewer people competing for terms (as there are with broad matching), lower prices will often offer great opportunities for those that are able to master the tactic.