Is it the End of Keyword Match Types?

It’s no secret that Google has been planting a few broad match keyword seeds recently, and while it hasn’t always gone down well with advertisers, we can’t help but speculate what the future could look like.

Before we delve into the latest Google update on broad match, let’s recap exactly what keyword match types are.

Keyword Match Types

There are three different keyword match types:

  • Broad Match: searches related to your keyword, for example, winter coat. This keyword relates to broader searches and looser match types, including ‘waterproof coat for kids’ or ‘winter clothing’.
  • Phrase Match: searches that include the meaning of your keyword and are relevant. This keyword is more refined and moderately relates to the term, offering more relevant search listings, including ‘winter coat for women’ or ‘winter coat trends 2022’.
  • Exact Match: searches that are the same meaning as your target keyword. This keyword type provides a more precise match type, including ‘winter coat’ and ‘warm coat’.

A benefit to paid media is the option to include the different keyword match types in the ad campaigns to understand search behaviour while testing which method performs better. When creating and managing paid media campaigns, it’s important to utilise the spending budget accordingly and not put all your eggs in one basket.

We understand that every client has different needs and audiences and that keyword match types aren’t a one size fits all. For example, a broad match might work on an online clothing site, but it might not perform as well for a business that relies on specific searches due to the niche product range.

Broad Match Updates

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of keyword match types, making advertisers feel a little nervous.

Google has launched a new beta feature in Google Ads, permitting advertisers to switch on the broad match type and turn off keyword match types at the campaign level. Please note that this option isn’t available for everyone and is something Google is testing.

We know that once the broad match is turned on, it’s used for the whole campaign, and when it’s switched off, you’re back to using keyword match types.

Smart Bidding

There is a lot of talk about using broad matches with smart bidding to achieve campaign objectives.

But, before using broad match and smart bidding, it’s important to build the account up first to gather a significant amount of conversion data. It’s not something to activate straight away. You would still need to identify the negative keywords (search terms to exclude from the account) and regularly analyse search queries to gain more insight into search behaviour, helping to maximise campaign performance.

Also, review the quality of the leads or traffic your website is getting, as sometimes it’s quality over quantity – think about the end goal and achieving KPIs. Like with any new campaign or for A/B testing, restrict some of the budgets to see how the campaign performs, then decide whether to increase spending or stop the ads.

What Our Paid Media Team Thinks

Google’s new broad match offering has ruffled a few feathers, and we wanted to know our paid media team’s thoughts on this. We asked our paid media specialist Mel about her thoughts, and here’s what she had to say.

“In order to target different levels of intent (here at PushON we use the See, Think, Do, Care strategy), I think it’s vital to be able to use different keyword match types. Of course, Broad Match definitely plays its part in targeting more top of the funnel, but to not have the support of other keyword match types to move users down the funnel – this is something I’d have to test before wanting to implement it to any PPC strategy.”

We’ll keep you posted for more updates about Google’s latest broad match update, so keep checking our blog and social media. Contact our team today if you have any questions about paid media, whether it’s PPC ads, Display Advertising, paid social, or keyword match types.

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