Most SEA guys/girls managing medium to big Adwords accounts have encountered this problem: broad match keywords taking impressions and clicks away from more specific exact match keywords. Not only does this not make much sense from an advertisers point of view, it’s probably costing you money. If you are not aware of this problem you should probably check your Search Query Report to see if it’s happening to you. This short article will explain why this happens and how to fix it.
Broad match keyword used while exact match is available
In your campaign you have both an exact match and a broad match keyword for a Search Query. We’ll take “running shoes” as our example for this article. The broad match keyword is supposed to discover new keywords to add to your account. The exact match has already proven it converts, but not too well, and you’ve adjusted your bid accordingly.
So you have this:
Basicly this happens:
Google picks the broad match over the exact match. Argh. Why do I even bother adding exact matches?
Why does broad > exact happen? Google is a business
A lot of Adwords advertisers think Google has the same goals as them. This is wrong. Google is a business, they have their own goals. Google wants to make money. Just like you. You are looking for clients through Google Adwords, meanwhile YOU are a Google Adwords client. Their goal is getting your advertising euros.
By matching “running shoes” to [running shoes] Google will make at most € 0,15 (probably less, because of the QS10). By matching “running shoes” to +running +shoes google could make € 0,25. I know what I’d pick… € 0,25 earned beats € 0,15 earned hands down.
How do I stop Search Queries getting matched to broad instead of exact?
Stopping this behavior is quite simple:
- Split different match types into different Ad Groups.
- Add all [exact] keywords from the exact-Ad Group as [exact]-negative keywords to the broad Ad Group.
(this also sets you up for a QS10-trick I’ll share with you later)
Now Google can’t match an exact-match search query to the broad match keyword anymore. Because it’s a negative in that Ad Group. But it can still be matched to the exact keyword in the exact Ad Group. So it will be matched there instead.
Now your exact keywords are getting the impressions and clicks they deserve. And your wallet is getting hit for less. (The € 0,15 instead of the € 0,25 -> 20 clicks and a beer is won)
Sometimes it gets ridiculous…
The above example (‘Running shoes’), shouldn’t hurt your conversion rates too bad. You’re still getting matched to the same words. However the broad > exact matching sometimes takes on ridiculous proportions. A few examples:
|Search Query||Exact match keyword in campaign||Broad match keyword in campaign||Matched by Google|
|15 inch laptop||[15 inch laptop] | max. CPC € 0,20 | QS 10||+laptop | max. CPC € 0,35 | QS 7||+laptop|
|book flight to alanya||[book flight to alanya] | max. CPC € 0,50 | QS 10||+alanya | max. CPC € 0,35 | QS 4||+alanya|
|red laptop sleeve||[red laptop sleeve] | max. CPC € 0,14 | QS 7||+laptop +sleeve | max. CPC € 0,20 | QS 7||+laptop +sleeve|
Some of those examples might look odd at a first glance. Why bid € 0,14 for the more specific [red laptop sleeve] as opposed to the broad +laptop +sleeve? It sounds like common sense to bid more for the long tail, right? Nah. You might have only 1 red laptop sleeve for sale, while you have dozens of other laptop sleeves. The bid was lowered because people specifically looking for a red laptop sleeve didn’t convert as much as people looking for the more general ‘laptop sleeve’. Makes sense.
(The alanya example is a real odd-ball. I think it got matched like this because the lower QS actually made the CPC higher. But I’m out on a limb there…)
Google could make more money by matching it to the broad match. I, the Adwords advertiser, could make more money by having it matched to the exact match. Google went for broad: their money, not mine. I would probably have done the same…
Got your own examples of odd / blatantly wrong matching? Share in the comments!