Google posted today that 20% of the queries they receive have not been seen in the past 90 days, and this is a reason to utilize broad match. I agree, but with a severe caveat. Your broad match keywords need to have bouncers, or fences built around it. Think of an ideal setup like a game of Skeeball where the query is the bowl itself.
Google Adwords always goes with the most restrictive match. If you have multiple keywords in your list, and include all the match types, you can be sure to cover all the bases, in sequence. The ideal match-type setup does all of the following well
- Catches unpredictable keyword searches
- Allows dynamic keyword insertion or headline tweaking
- Allows custom text presentation on landing pages.
So, if you use this as your keyword setup, you get the benefits of broad match as your fall through, the tight control of exact match, and the medium ground of phrase match
[lexington convention space] (exact match)
….Dynamic Keyword Insertion Heaven -> Tight Landing Page
“lexington convention space” (phrase match)
… Adgroup-controlled ad text -> Moderately Tight Landing Page
lexington convention space (broad match)
… No Dynamic Keyword Insertion -> Basic Landing page
-Massachusetts (negative broad)
-“Lexington MA” (negative phrase)
-[Lexington MA Convention Space] (negative exact)
Of course negative keywords are critical for each type, as well
If you let Google use broad or automatic match, you give up two big layers of control. Yes, it’s a hassle to create the campaigns and adgroups with so much in them, but it’s a big savings down the line. This is why when we are in the advanced Adwords sessions at conference and someone asks how many keywords people have in a given campaign, you’ll hear numbers well into the thousands.
What about discovering new keywords?
Google broad/automatic match have some interesting discovery capabilities especially if you are able to write very specific exclusionary ad text headlines as well as stuff your negative keywords list to the hilt. I think that you should isolate your automatic match campaigns in your account and just keep using them as disposable “research” type expenses. But there seems to me plenty of ways to discover keywords you should have in your account.
Skeeball Pic by Benny Mazur and Used Under Creative Commons Licens