Broad Match – Does it Correlate with ROI?

money-down-arrowI’m just getting back from a number of client meetings both for new business as well as those focused on continued relationship building. In each meeting I was confronted with a similar question – “what’s up with broad match?” I had more than one client mention flirting with the idea of turning broad match off completely and focusing soley on keywords expansions based on phrase and exact match.

I wish I had a solid answer, but the reality is that each search engine is itself a business. With revenues declining they are looking to increase incoming cash flow as much as AIG, Wall Street and every other business looking to survive in one of the worst economic environments in decades. How do they do that? Implement ‘smart matching’ or ‘advanced match‘ or ‘expanded broad match’ essentially allowing your keywords to match to search queries that ‘might’ be relevent. The excuse is that ‘ads are being displayed based on user intent’. If that were truely the case then wouldn’t ROI for the above mentioned clients be through the roof?

Now that we’ve established that the search engines are only looking out for themselves, its time you and these clients start looking out for their best interests! Yes, moving toward a phrase / exact match strategy is an option however there are definitely optimization techniques to consider first. The most important of which is implementing negative keywords. For Adwords accounts specifically, make sure you are utilizing search query reports to research what searches are triggering your ads and expaned your negative keywords accordingly!

What other tips do you have? Are you seeing similar issues in your accounts? Leave them in the comments and I’ll gladly add them to the post!

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  2. […] These enhancements are expected to drive increased click volume for all advertisers currently using Broad Match. We have received some specific information on expectations of the change from our Yahoo […]