In Google Adwords, the match-type is something that people usually find fairly easy to use. In simple terms, it’s a way of controlling what type of search you want your ad to be considered for, and it allows you to control what query your ad should be displayed in response to.

If you use the broad match, your ad will be eligible for display when users search for any term that contains your keyword. On the surface, this seems like a great idea. In practice though, too many people overuse the broad match, with the consequence that your ad will be displayed for completely irrelevant searches, which means you’ll pay more, and more people will ignore your ad, or even worse, discover that it’s not what they’re looking for.

How Broad Is Broad?

Broad is very broad indeed. In fact, it’s so broad that the majority of keywords will have thousands of completely unrelated searches, most of which you probably don’t want your ad to display for.

When it comes to Adwords, broad match is the default match type for ads. And while they’ll certainly bring you traffic, it isn’t always the best traffic. Instead, like search results, they’ll bring you a mix of bad and good. And when it comes to Adwords, bad visitors are bad for your account.

Using the match types in Adwords is pretty easy. Using them effectively however, is a bit harder to get right.

Starting With Broad Match

When you first start using Adwords, it’s the most natural thing in the world to use the broad match. You might not know what kind of searches are bringing you visitors, and broad match is a great way of targeting everything, until you get a sense of the specific type of queries that are bringing you the right visitors.

As soon as you’ve got an idea though, you need to start moving away from broad match, and targeting your visitors more specifically.

Add some negative keywords, on searches that you can see are not what you’re looking for. Also, add some phrase and exact match based on what you’ve seen from the broad results, and see how those work for you. Then make sure that your bids are relevant to the relative importance of the various match types, based on the traffic they bring you.

Using The Right Match Type

If you’re using the right match type for your needs, it’ll help your campaign in a number of ways.

For a start, you won’t have so many clicks from the wrong type of visitor. (The wrong type, in this case, being visitors who aren’t really planning on buying anything.) With a more focused match type, you’ll get a higher proportion of valid queries, and should get better quality scores.

Improving Your Adwords Campaign

If you’re serious about running an effective Adwords campaign, then you should keep in mind that you should only use the broad match for as long as absolutely necessary. As soon as you have sufficient data to start controlling what type of queries you’re displaying for, start changing those broad matches to something else.