Broad Match vs Exact Match Keywords


When setting up your Google Ads, you’ll have to consider whether your strategy will include Broad Match keywords or Exact Match keywords. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types and deciding which to use will depend on the goals of your business. Proper keyword research is only the first step, as you have to know how to best use those keywords.

Broad Match keywords involve setting up a strategy that allows Google Ads to select keywords that it thinks are related to your chosen keyword. Exact Match keywords use a format like +best+SEO+company+ so that Google stays within the precise parameters of your chosen keywords.

Depending on how competitive your keyword is, the Cost per Click (CPC) could be quite high. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your Google Ads Budget from the start, and be confident that your Google Ads campaign is properly optimized. Otherwise, you could be throwing away money on an ineffective ad campaign.

Broad Match Keywords

As previously mentioned, Broad Match keywords give Google a larger role in determining related keywords. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, so let us break it down for you.

Broad Match Pros

If you’re starting a new campaign and plan to monitor it closely, Broad Match keywords may be a good starting point. This can create keyword ideas that you may have never considered. This can be especially relevant to finding keywords that may have a lower CPC.

This method can also help give you a better understanding of potential “negative keywords.” Negative keywords are those that prevent your ad from being shown. These are a useful tool when you’re trying to maximize your budget. By having a better understanding of these negative keywords, you can start optimizing the campaign and make sure you are targetting the most relevant keywords, instead of wasting money on keywords you don’t want to bid on.

Broad Match Cons

While there are some positives to Broad Match keywords, there are also some downsides that you should be aware of. The first is that Google wants to spend your money. This is why we mentioned above that these should be used on a campaign that will be closely monitored. A campaign that is left unchecked could be bidding on completely unrelated search terms and waste a significant amount of your budget. Another potential consequence of Broad Match keywords is that your site could end up getting a lot of terrible traffic. If this happens, it could skyrocket your bounce rates. Your bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. A high bounce rate can hurt your site and negatively impact your Google Ads Quality Score.

Exact Match Keywords

While Broad Match keywords give Google a larger role in your campaign, Exact Match keywords give you all the control and keep your campaign within the exact parameters that you set. Once again though, this strategy comes with its own unique set of positives and negatives.

Exact Match Pros

As mentioned above, Google wants to spend your money. So, one of the top advantages of this method is that you don’t have to worry about Google going rogue and adding in a bunch of unrelated keywords. If you are only going after a few search terms that you know convert for you, it won’t waste your money. Essentially, if you already have a crystal clear picture of what you want your Google Ads campaign to look like, Exact Match keywords can keep things simple and ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget.

Exact Match Cons

Unfortunately, more often than not, a business does NOT have that crystal clear picture of how their campaign should go. One of the downsides to this strategy is that you won’t get as many keyword ideas. That means you may miss out on keywords you didn’t think about and potentially ones with a lower CPC. In addition, without Broad Match keywords, you won’t have any negative keywords to add to the campaign. Generally, this type of campaign is better suited to those who have some experience running campaigns; otherwise, you could end up getting minimal impressions.

Keywords Summary

As Google Ads experts, we generally believe that it’s a good idea to start with Broad Match keywords and keep a close eye on your campaign. Once you do this, you can then begin to add in Exact Match keywords to your campaign. A well-oiled campaign will have a mix of both Broad Match and Exact Match keywords. This will minimize the disadvantages of both types, and leave you with the best of both worlds. In order to accomplish this though, you will have to look at your campaign daily while also using tools to help with machine learning. At Local Blitz, we know that this process can get pretty complex. It’s easy to waste money on a poorly optimized ad campaign, or lean too far the other way and end up getting no clicks to your site. If you’d rather avoid the headache and leave your Google Adwords management to the experts, Local Blitz is ready to help. Contact us today.

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