Expanded Broad Match - Learn About the Expanded Broad Matching Option

Expanded broad match refers to a more aggressive version of the Google AdWords broad match type. In this tutorial, you'll learn:

  • How expanded broad match has grown from the original broad match AdWords match type.
  • Why expanded broad match is important to you and to your PPC campaign when you advertise on Google.
  • How to minimize the risks of irrelevant clicks and unnecessary spending associated with broad matching.

so what is expanded broad match, anyway?

Expanded broad match is a keyword matching option that represents a Google AdWords' broad match type by matching your ad against any or all keywords in your phrase, as well as synonyms and related terms. In 2006, Google introduced this aggressive matching algorithm in an attempt to help discover related terms and long-tail keywords that can display your ad for maximum exposure. Broad match is Google Adwords' default option, and expanded broad matching is now inherent to AdWords broad match.

Are You Paying for Irrelevant Clicks with Expanded Broad Matching?

Let's say that you are a small office supply store and the key phrase that you would like to advertise on is "printer ink." With broad match, you can expect your ad to display when a user types a phrase containing any or all of your keywords. For example, your ad would display when someone searched for "printer ink," "laser printer," and "ink cartridge," but it would also display for something unrelated like "pen and ink." Here we can see what Google deems relevant to "printer ink," and the results are pretty accurate so far.

AdWords broad match relevant results

Expanded broad match takes this a step further by expanding the search queries that will display your ad to include synonyms and related terms that don't actually use your keywords. For example, with expanded broad match, your ad would display when a user searched for "HP 720c 51645A black cartridge." This can be very helpful to you in that you won't have to bid on every keyword permutation possible for every specific item in your inventory. However, what if you don't carry that specific cartridge? You will have just wasted money displaying an ad to someone who won't be able to buy from you.

Here we can see some other "relevant terms" that Google suggests:

Expanded broad match irrelevant results

We don't want any of these terms showing our ad in search results. Showing the ad when a user searches for "printer drivers" will cause unwanted spending because your ad is being displayed to an irrelevant audience.

Why Ignoring Expanded Broad Matching Will Cost You

Why do you need to know about the level of expansion that results from expanded broad match? Broad match is the default matching option employed by Google when you create a campaign. If you leave broad match enabled as you upload your keywords, you need to be aware of the potential impact this AdWords match type can have on your budget and conversion rates.

The keywords you've selected are now being matched against a broad array of seemingly related queries that Google deems relevant. But "Google" in this case is an algorithm. Sophisticated though it may be, it can't fully understand what is relevant to your business: it's merely running calculations based on data surrounding your keywords. This both positively and negatively impacts your PPC campaign:

  • New, relevant broad matched keywords to bid on - You can find more opportunities for your ad through broad match than you would ever be able to come up with by yourself. This gives you more opportunity for your ad to reach targeted users and to make a sale.
  • Completely irrelevant broad matched keywords to bid on - Unfortunately, broad match will also match your ad text to completely irrelevant keywords and uninterested searchers. The control is out of your hands and you are stuck paying for unqualified traffic that has little hope of converting.

You need a solution that will give you the opportunities for keyword discovery that broad match provides, with a heightened level of control and restriction so you don't end up bidding on irrelevant terms.

How Negative Keywords can be a Positive For Your Broad Match Results

Using negative keywords in your account is the only way to achieve the best of both broad match worlds. With negative keywords, you are telling Google "don't show me any terms that contain this word." Unfortunately, this process can be just as laborious as your keyword research. How will you possibly be able to isolate every irrelevant term when Google is expanding your keywords and supplying them to you faster than you can keep up?

WordStream's Expanded Broad Match Solution

WordStream offers a unique solution to making expanded broad match work to your advantage with your search engine marketing efforts. The software utilizes search analytic tools to make it quickly and easily apparent to you which keywords the search engines are matching your ads against. WordStream's keyword grouping and analytics tools make this possible.

Here we can see an example of the power of keyword grouping. When you import your keywords into WordStream, you can segment them into groups:

Using WordStream allows you to create keyword groups.

You can then see which keywords your ads are being matched against.

View your segmented keyword groups and see what keywords are being matched in WordStream.

You can start using WordStream's negative keyword tools to make the most of the expanded broad matching option today.  To learn more about WordStream, you can: