Are Broad Keywords a Waste of Money?

Estimated Reading Time 5 minutes

Often those who are experienced or experts in PPC will advise against ever using standard Broad match keywords, however you may be surprised to find there could well be a place for them within your account.

meme broad match keywords

There is no doubt that one of the most common mistakes made by someone who doesn’t understand PPC or that is new to PPC is to run all keywords on standard Broad match. I have lost count on how many accounts I have been handed that have been setup this way. The reasons behind this approach is mainly down to a lack of understanding of how to setup the account to best practice and a lack of knowledge on the different targeting options such as keyword match types.

 

The negatives of using broad match

 

  • Wasted spend – By running all or the majority of keywords on Broad you will be throwing a lot of money down the drain on your PPC spend, this is particularly true if you are running these Broad keywords without the use of negatives, as your keywords will be matching to a huge number of irrelevant terms.

 

  • Poorer Conversion Rates – Due to the nature of Broad keywords matching with more obscure or less relevant terms you can expect conversion rates from these keywords to be lower than Exact or Phrase match keywords.

 

  • Less control – You will have far less control on what types of search terms your ads will appear for and the user who lands on your site may not necessarily fit into your ideal target audience.

 

  • Quality of leads is lower – If you are running PPC in order to generate leads and enquiries for your business you may find the quality of those leads drop when using standard Broad match due to the nature of Broad match pulling in some less relevant search terms.

 

Reasons to use broad match

 

Despite all the negativity around using standard Broad match, there are benefits to using Broad keywords such as:

 

  • More traffic – This is pretty straightforward but utilising Broad match keywords will mean you generate a higher volume of impressions, clicks and potentially more sales.

 

  • Cheaper traffic – In most cases Broad match keywords tend to be a lot cheaper than your exact keywords, essentially getting more quantity over quality.

 

  • New keyword opportunities – This is perhaps the most important benefit of utilising broad match keywords. The benefit of discovering potential new keywords that you wouldn’t have thought of targeting. These new keyword opportunities could prove to be extremely valuable in growing your PPC account.

 

Should you be using broad match keywords?

 

Every PPC account is different with different objectives and aims. Some accounts are focused around a tight CPA target whereas others have more flexibility and are geared more towards raising awareness and building interest, it is important to consider your objectives and determine whether you have some additional spend to be able to play with before deciding to test Broad keywords .

 

In a lot of cases using Broad match keywords under a carefully controlled budget and with negative keywords can freshen up an account with potential new keyword opportunities as well as driving some extra sales and revenue through PPC. Sure, Broad keywords are a risk but sometimes the risk can pay out.

Alessandro De Marco
Alessandro De Marco is a Paid Search (PPC) specialist with 5 years’ experience in both client and agency side. Alessandro’s experience includes digital specialty in Google AdWords, Google Shopping, Conversion Rate Optimisation as well as Google Analytics and Mobile Search. This experience has been garnered through hands on work at previous digital agencies, as well as brands such as travel giant Tui, broadcaster ITV and banking group NatWest. In his past time Alessandro is an avid footballer and enjoys running and keeping fit.
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