They say we should avoid broad match keywords in our Google Ads campaigns. But is this always the case? Are there situations where broad match keywords are useful? Let’s see together when to avoid and use them.

First of all, what is a broad match keyword?

To fully understand when to avoid and use broad match keywords, you need to understand the 3 types of keywords offered by Google Ads:

  1. Exact match
  2. Phrase match
  3. Broad Match

Understanding the 3 types of keywords offered in Google Ads

Type of keywordKeyword selected for the adExamples of searches showing the adDetails
Exact match[Landscaping]



This type includes the exact keyword and its variations such as misspellings, abbreviations, acronyms, accents, and plural.

By choosing this type, your ad will normally not appear on “Landscaping service,” for example. Since Google has recently relaxed its rules, however, it is still important to consult the search terms report when checking the performance of your ads.

Phrase match“Landscaping”

Landscaping in St-Hyacinthe

Residential landscaping service

This type includes the exact phrase and other words inserted before or after.

By choosing this type, your ad will not normally appear on “Outdoor design in St-Hyacinthe” or “Land development plan,” for example. Since Google has recently relaxed its rules, however, it is still important to consult the search terms report when checking the performance of your ads.

Broad MatchLandscaping

Residential landscaping


Exterior Renovation Ideas

Commercial landscaper

This type includes your keyword, synonym queries, and variations deemed relevant by Google (but not always relevant to you).

By choosing this type, your ad always appears. That’s why you have to be so careful!

Prior to summer 2021, there was a fourth type of keyword: broad match modifier keywords. If you had created such keywords before the update, they are still functional. If you create keywords now, they will be saved as exact phrases.

Broad match keywords could be costing you… with no results

In a previous article, we said that using broad match keywords is one of the costliest errors in Google Ads.

And indeed, broad match keywords span so wide that there is a real danger of your ad being shown to people who aren’t actually interested in your service. As we explained, you would not want your ad to appear on the keywords “garden store in St-Hyacinthe” if you offer landscaping services! Yet, that is what broad match does. The latter is therefore generally to be avoided, unless you meet some very important conditions.

Use broad match keywords if you lack inspiration, under certain conditions

However, broad match keywords are not just to be avoided: they are very useful for finding new keyword ideas.

This type of keyword gives us access to a larger audience and a lot of data. The cost per click (CPC) is also generally lower. However, several criteria must be considered.

1. Make sure you have a solid and mature advertising account

Before you jump into broad match, your ad account should be well structured. It should be in place for a long time, and have a good campaign history.

2. Choose your audience wisely

To avoid showing your ad on irrelevant queries and unnecessarily melting your advertising investment, it is essential to properly configure your conversions and your audience. A technique we would recommend? Use broad match keywords in combination with remarketing or in-market audience targeting.

3. Create an isolated broad match campaign

Speaking of investment, we suggest running your broad match campaign in isolation. This makes it much easier to manage your budget, and ensure that the return on investment provided by the keywords carefully selected in the Exact match and Phrase match types is not diminished.

4. Continue to use more precise keywords

Broad match campaigns should only be an exploratory portion of your ad account, not the whole thing. Keep launching more campaigns that use Exact match and Phrase match!

Despite the risk of broad match keywords, these could offer you a high potential for conversions

Broad match keyword campaigns may be a good strategy for your ad account or your client’s ad account. Consult us to find out!

In addition to advising you on the most appropriate types of keywords, we can set up tools that block false clicks and Google Ads fraud, tell you about the best types of advertising campaigns according to your business objectives, and so much more for your web media purchase.

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