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Why PPC Marketers Should Fall in Love with Broad Match

Make broad match work for you by minimizing its risk while maximizing reach with audiences. Here's how you can do it right.

Why PPC Marketers Should Fall in Love with Broad Match

Some of my favorite things to read on social media are the posts asking people to share their unpopular opinions.

It’s practically guaranteed entertainment.

Mine is that I think butterflies are terrifying – they’re just creepy crawlies disguised with pretty wings!

While I’m likely in the minority on this opinion, there is one unpopular opinion in PPC that has a strong chance of getting the majority to agree:

You can fall in love with broad match.

Sounds implausible, right?

Especially when most of us want to run screaming for the hills when we hear the words “broad match.”

After all, we were once young, innocent PPC marketers with stars in our eyes.

Then we let broad match run free, maybe accidentally spent a ton of money, and were scarred forever.

But it’s time to re-think things.

Here’s Why We Should Fall in Love With Broad Match

The reality is that with the constantly evolving search landscape, our campaigns aren’t likely to reach their full potential using only exact or phrase match.

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Did you know that every day on the Bing network (owned by Microsoft, my employer) roughly 20% of searches are from completely new queries?

Google has reported similar numbers, saying that 15% of their searches each month are new. Can you really be sure your keyword coverage will capture these emerging keyword trends?

And it’s not just new keywords.

With natural language becoming more common, we’re also seeing typed queries getting longer. On the Bing network, approximately 31% of search queries have five or more grams (or words.)

People, helped by the auto-complete and suggested queries features that both Google and Bing offer, are increasingly comfortable typing in longer, more precise searches.

Spotting the rise of new trending queries can give a keyword strategy a big boost.

Remember, the goal with broad match is not conversions, it’s discovery.

By excluding broad match, you’re likely leaving potential new clicks on the table.

Why miss out when you can get a leg up over the competition?

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If you’re still worried about the risks – or your agency/client won’t let you implement straight broad match – a much lower risk way to get started is Broadience.

What’s Broadience?

Broadience = Broad Match + Audience Targeting.

It’s a way of bundling broad match (pure broad, no modifiers) with remarketing to take advantage of the powerful reach of broad match, while controlling and limiting its scope to a set of highly desirable audiences.

Audience campaigns are already carving out a particular niche segment of the market – if we’re not on broad match, then we’re not hitting that whole audience.

This is where Broadience shines. With the audience as the control lever, the full exploratory power of broad match is curtailed.

Essentially, targeting highly qualified traffic enables you to strategically broaden keyword lists.

For example, if I were a shoe seller, I would probably hesitate to bid on the word “shoe” in my regular campaigns.

But I could add it to a remarketing campaign much more safely since that audience has already shown a high intent to purchase, reducing my risk while still allowing me additional opportunities to engage with past site visitors.

Broadience is ideal for marketers who have identified valuable audiences and are looking to expand the opportunities to engage and maximize their exposure to the audience.

By capturing new queries and those that the advertiser may not have considered, Broadience maximizes the opportunities to engage or reengage with valuable audiences identified by advertisers.

A Broad Match + Remarketing Case Study

Running campaigns using Broadience can help yield better performance results than when just using “exact match,” as Flipkey discovered.

Part of the TripAdvisor family, FlipKey is a challenger in the vacation rental sector. Its marketing is U.S.-focused, with international rental opportunities.

The FlipKey marketing team had lofty goals for its latest Microsoft Advertising campaign:

  • Grow brand awareness and win market share from competition, including a category leader.
  • With a long customer decision journey, cut down the amount of time it takes to convert a customer.
  • Make campaign management more effective by finding an easier and less time-consuming approach in handling its huge number of keywords.

Based on this, Broadience was chosen as a solution to test, since:

  • Broad match would:
    • Make it easier to manage huge keyword lists.
    • Help increase search term coverage.
    • Help boost brand awareness.
    • Cover keywords along multiple points of the customer decision journey.
  • With remarketing, FlipKey could target searchers who were more likely to convert, reengaging them at multiples points of their journey.
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Without any campaign optimizations, the results exceeded all expectations:

  • Broad match was 50% of total impressions and 36% of total clicks.
  • Most importantly, it was 35% of total revenue.

The conversion rates for broad aligned with exact and mod broad, and while the CPA for broad match was higher than exact it was still within FlipKey’s targets.

That’s the power of Broadience.

Putting Broadience to the Test

Want to put Broadience to the test?

Follow these four simple steps:

1. Pull a search query report from one of your priority campaigns and review it to get ideas for potential broad match keywords.

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Increase your chances of success by using high-performing keywords with low-funnel audiences.

2. Based on the keywords you choose, select a related Remarketing “Target & Bid” campaign (or create one if none exist.) Keep in mind:

  • It should be a remarketing campaign and not a regular campaign.
  • It needs to be target and bid.

3. Add these keywords as pure broad match (no modifiers) to the chosen remarketing campaign, and monitor over the next few weeks.

4. Check performance regularly and farm performing search queries captured by the broad keywords and add as Exact or Phrase. Remember:

  • Even if they are longtail keywords, add them to your account.
  • For anything irrelevant, continue to add them as negative keywords.
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Make broad match work for you by minimizing its risk while maximizing reach with audiences. It’s as simple as that.

Are you ready to fall in love?

More Resources:

CategoryPaid Search

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Purna Virji

Senior Manager, Global Engagement at Microsoft Advertising

Named by PPC Hero in 2016 as the #1 most influential PPC Expert in the world, Purna specializes in digital ... [Read full bio]

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