Avoiding Dangers of Adwords Broad Match

Are you using Adwords with broad match (the default match type)?  Do you know what search terms are you actually showing up for?

Adwords makes these search terms easy to see, which lets you refine your campaign, which we’ll look at in a bit.

Start by going into an ad group, picking a keyword then clicking on Keyword Details which brings you a menu of options:


Now you get to see some of the search terms that Google actually showed your ad on.



Google doesn’t show you all the search terms – sometimes with good reason, as they claim to not show search terms that contain personal information about their users.


Note that it’s pretty common to have a huge number of your impressions under the Other search terms

How to Use this info?

1. Negative Keywords

When using Broad match, Google will match your keyword to queries that you don’t want. When you see what you are getting clicks on, you will most likely start by adding some keywords as negatives.


Note that if you use the Add as negative keyword button, it defaults to use the [keyword] as your negative, which means just that exact keyword is negative. In the example above, you might want to change the [real estate tools] to just tools, so it won’t appear in any combination of keywords.

2. New ads

Now that you’ve looked at your list of queries, you might be wondering why some users would click on your ad, when their search wasn’t related to your keyword.  For example, say you saw shredding chicken in your search terms report, and you’re a paper shredding company advertising the keyword shredding paper.  Before you yell out WTF, let’s look at your ads – Are they too generic?



shred-ad shred-ad-new


In this case, if you were the user doing a search on Google, the ad title is vague enough that you might click, but if the title were Paper Shredding Expert there isn’t  a problem. Now’s a good time to review your ads and make sure they have a clear message.

3. New Keywords

The good part about using broad match is that Google may match your ad to keywords you hadn’t thought of originally when you set up the account.  In this case, you can select the keywords that you want to add through the check boxes beside each keyword to add them, or create a new add group with more targeted ads.

4. Change Match Type

Using Modified match often makes sense to use when you aren’t happy with the results from broad match.  All you need is to add the + before each keyword, and then Google will display variants on that word like plural/singular, but that word is required in order to match the user’s search term.

So for my keyword +real +estate +software the search terms are much closer to my clients service (notice the CTR improvement):