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Is Broadmatch really bad?

11:01 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I keep hearing that you should stick quotes around phrases and use [keyword]. But how can you be sure you are covering all your keyword phrases? Who knows what searchers might be entering.

Sure, you get a list off Wordtracker, you look at your log files. But what about the other keywords that they will use?

I ask this because recently I switched from Broadmatch to ""/[] and now have 1/8th of the traffic.

Somethings amiss her!

Anyone here use broadmatch? Are there specific circumstances where it is better to use broadmatch?

What about if you have keyword1 keyword2 keyword3? Do longer keyword phrases mean that you are more likely to be targetting the right traffic and therefore 3 keywords or more are find for broadmatch?

Just thought I would throw some points and ideas in there.

Any comments?


11:58 am on Sept 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have recently changed my campaign from broad match to "phrase" and [exact match]. I used my knowledge of the market, Google Keyword Tool and natural searches to come up with a list of keyword "phrases" and - negative keywords. My aim is to increase CTR and serve more targeted ads. It does take some time though and I am still tweaking one month in. I am finding that "phrase" match is preferable to [exact]. Overall I have reduced impressions (by stopping use of broad match and adding a huge list of negative keywords) and increased CTR. This has also reduced my CPC as my improved CTR gives me the same rank for less outlay. Worth the effort in my opinion.
3:24 pm on Sept 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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it's a tricky area. Personally, I use all matching types in a kind of pyramid.

I use exact matches (for which I bid most for) very exact terms I know that a minority will use to search with. Generally they are at least two keyword phrases, often more.

Next comes phrase matches, sharing many of the exact phrases. I bid less for these.

Next is broad matches. I never bid on keywords with less than two words however. I have a prodigious number of negs too. I add new ones all of the time too. I bid much less for these.

problem with only using exact matches is that there are a lot of searches done which nobody has done before. why should I miss out on those?

I split the above so that lower CTR won't make me pay extra for my exact matches.

4:51 pm on Sept 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I ask this because recently I switched from Broadmatch to ""/[] and now have 1/8th of the traffic.

Depends on what you're after, Jon12345, quality, or volume of traffic...

If, because you've done away with broadmatch, your return on investment (ROI) has suffered dramatically too, then you should seriously reconsider what you've done.

If, on the other hand, the better defined "key words" and [exact matches] are bringing better qualified visitors or buyers to your site then you are possibly saving as much as 7/8ths of your budget... In this instance what you need to do is to find more of these "" [] keywords in order to both increase volume of quality traffic and thus the returns.


5:09 pm on Sept 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Very well said, Syzygy!


12:32 am on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It's not about broad match vs. exact match vs. phrase match. It's about what matching system matches best between your offer and what people are searching for.

For example, "red fire engine" and "fire engine red" mean different things. It's a job for phrase match.

Broad match? You better have good keyword research that shows about any search containing the term will be relevant, and are using negative match to weed out the inappropriate terms.

Exact match? There are a number of good reasons to use it, unfortunately, in practice, the best one is that you haven't done thorough keyword research.

2:22 am on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Broad match and phrase match are very useful and should be used for all of your keywords. HOWEVER, you must analyze your web logs and add campaign negatives as needed. Also, use Google's term suggestion tool to find negatives.

Track everything at the keyword level. If ROI is positive then keep them. If it is not, perhaps you are missing some negatives.

11:24 am on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I do sometimes see broad matches that are "wrong", the algorithm is pretty clever, but it does make mistakes.

As an example the search:

Electrical contractor <location> NICEIC

matchs the broad match keyword

<location> Corgi

This is in the UK. Corgi is the National Watchdog for Gas Safety in the United Kingdom, nothing to do with Electrical contracting, as far as I know. I've put in an extra negative keyword, but it's difficult to forsee this kind of thing in advance, and until someone clicks and you find it in a log, you probably won't be aware of the problem.


11:59 am on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Personally I use broad match 95% of the time. By building and constantly adding to a large list of keywords you should be able to cut out a large number of the searches you don't want.

I have found that some of my best converting keywords would never have been used if I had used exact or phrase match from the start.


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