A new study has just come out that demonstrates that Broadmatch is not as good as Google thinks it is. Now, you might turn around and say to me, that’s really obvious, but when you think about it, Google have been pushing Broadmatch really aggressively and a lot of advertisers are trialing it and some are getting great results.
I have clients right now getting fantastic results from Broad match. However, this new data from this study demonstrates the difference between the performance of exact match keywords and Broadmatch keywords and It goes really into detail looking at thousands of accounts to understand which keyword match types are actually driving conversions in these PPC accounts.
First we’re going to look into the overall premise of this study. What accounts did they look at, how many accounts were included and what was the conclusions Drawn from the data and once we get those conclusions by the end of this video You are going to know whether or not broad match is a good idea Generally speaking or a bad one So the study the data is coming from a PPC campaign optimization tool called optimizer and one of their consultants Navar Hopkins I saw on LinkedIn Published this study and I had a really good look at it because the data inside tells a very interesting story They have analyzed over 2, 600 PPC accounts currently being managed by their software and what they have done is looked at the conversions in all of those accounts to understand Which keyword match types are driving the conversions?
Just to reiterate, this study compared directly exact match keyword performance to broad match keyword performance. And the only accounts included in this study are using smart bidding, because obviously broad match is something Google says works really well with smart bidding. So if it didn’t include smart bidding in this study, then obviously broad match would be terrible without the smart bidding added on top.
So all accounts are using either a maximized conversion strategy with a target CPA or a maximized conversion value strategy with a target ROAS. So, the creme de la creme of bidding. This study also tried to avoid any outliers by including only campaigns with 90 days of consistent spend data. So now you understand the premise of this study, let’s really dive in and understand what the fundamental differences are in performance between exact match and broad match.
There are actually quite a few battles these two keyword match types need to do. It’s not all about conversion, because overall performance can be affected by a ton of metrics. So, let’s explore the difference in performance between exact match and broad match when it comes to the most important metrics in your account.
So starting off with which match type gets better CPCs. This study from Optimizer identified that 56 percent of accounts performed better with exact match and only 27 percent of accounts performed better with broad match. So as far as the first battle is concerned, this one is a big Red flag because everything out of Google says broad match keywords should be cheaper than exact match keywords.
They always say this. I’ve seen slide decks from Google showing this in studies showing that more focused match types are way more expensive than broad match keywords. And this data in this study contradicts that completely. Now, the reason for this could simply be down to the fact exact match keywords are very focused, very targeted, highly relevant to what the user’s searching, highly relevant to the ad that they’re served, highly relevant to the content on the page, leading to better quality scores, better user experience, and of course, the reward for that is cheaper click costs.
It could well be that. And that ties on nicely to the second battle between these two keyword match types, and again, we see that exact match outperforms broad match when it comes to the performance of CTR, your click through rate. 85 percent of accounts performed better with exact match in terms of click through rate, and only 13 percent of accounts performed better on broad match in terms of click through rate.
And again, that just ties back to what I said before, it’s all about that relevancy, and if you can stay highly relevant to what the person is searching, you’re going to get better click through rates. And now we get to the juicy part, now we get to the difference in CPA in this study between exact match and broad match keywords.
70 percent of accounts in this study performed better in terms of CPA with Exact Match, and only 27 percent of accounts performed better with Broad Match. So we can see here that Exact Match is giving cheaper conversions than Broad Match, and that’s kind of to be expected, because the whole way Google pitch Broad Match keywords is that you’re going to get more conversion volume, you’re going to find conversions that wouldn’t have necessarily come through before, and Google are going to find those by going broader and finding more potential customers.
on the signals they give out when they use Google. So it kind of makes sense that exact match gives you a better CPA than broad match because it’s much more focused and you’re not casting the net as wide. And the same story goes for ROAS as well. You can see here in the data, like CPA, that you can see that exact match outperforms broad every time with.
72 percent of accounts performing better with exact match in terms of ROAS, and only 26 percent of accounts performing better with broad match. So, again, a massive difference in performance. And I’m gonna guess you know the outcome of this next metric, which is all about conversion rate. You guessed it, exact match wins again.
When you look at the data. 56 percent of accounts performed better with exact and only 22 percent performed better with broad when it comes to the conversion rates performance of either keyword match type. It sounds like it’s an easy win for exact match over broad match when looking at it this way, but there is more to this story because as you know, exact match is a very focused way of getting cheaper conversions and better return on ad spend and making sure those conversions come in at the right cost.
When you talk about broad match, it’s all about volume. Even what Google says about broad match is about driving more volume by going further afield and finding potential customers outside of what you would normally get from your clicks from phrase and exact. So what about overall volume? What about which match type actually provides?
More overall conversions or more overall revenue for your business. The details involved around the conversion volumes and revenue volumes is super interesting. But before we dive into that, if you haven’t subscribed to the channel, please hit the subscribe button below because there’s tons more content like this coming your way.
And if you like this video so far, Hit like, take care of that. When we look at the clicks in the account, to look at this first battle in terms of volume, overall clicks, you would expect it to be that broad match generally gets more clicks than exact match because it’s a much more open match type. But when we look in the data, it tells a bit of a different story.
51 percent of the accounts performed better with exact match. match in terms of clicks and 48 percent of accounts performed better with broad match in terms of clicks. Now, if you take into consideration any variances or any kind of proportional differences, this is basically a 50 50 split. It’s basically a draw.
Therefore meaning that exact match and broad match essentially generate the same number of clicks. clicks in terms of click volume in PPC accounts. But when you think about the way broad match is supposed to work, it should actually look like a loss for broad match because it’s supposed to get more clicks.
It’s meant to be more open, but the fact that more customers are getting more clicks from exact match and getting more volume from exact match, that’s a problem. And now for the most important part, we are going to look at conversions, which keyword match type gets the most overall. conversion volume. Now, this is incredibly crucial that Broadmatch has to win this battle.
Let’s take a look at the data. 50 percent of the accounts performed better with exact match in terms of overall conversion volume and only 47 percent of accounts performed better with Broadmatch in terms of overall conversion volume. And again, it’s a defeat for Broadmatch because Broadmatch is supposed to give you more conversion volume and the fact this study shows it’s 50 50 in this many accounts being managed, it shows you that actually.
The volume from broad match people are getting from conversions isn’t actually as high. And finally, the conversion value. Which keyword match type, exact match or broad provides more money? Which one drives more conversion value in your Google Ads account? The study shows this, 52 percent of accounts performed better with exact match in terms of overall conversion volume and 47 percent of accounts performed better with broad match.
Again, a defeat for broad match, and a narrow one at that, but again, broad match is all about volume and the fact it can’t even win the volume battle is a bit worrying, and it happens less often than not. This study is super interesting. There are tons of insights I’ve not included in this video, so I’ve linked the study in the description below so you can take a look at your own leisure.
But the main thing I want to answer here is, why should you use broad match if it’s showing in all of this data that exact match outperforms broad match in the majority of cases? Well, isn’t it obvious? This study wasn’t 100 percent Exact Match 1 and 0 percent Broad Match 1. This was literally a balance.
There are tons, thousands of advertisers getting better results using Broad Match than Exact Match. Now, what this data reinforces is, you’re going to be better off with Exact Match more often than you’ll be better off with Broad Match. And, if you’re using Broad Match and getting results, you should continue to do so.
Yes, victories with Broad Match are less frequent. The data is showing that. Google doesn’t share this data. So I’m thankful for this study, and it does show that. But ultimately, there are cohorts of people getting good results from Broadmatch. And interestingly enough, the ratio of customers getting better results from Broadmatch than they do ExactMatch is quite similar to accounts I’ve seen.
A majority of accounts will not get better results from Broadmatch. There will be some that absolutely fly with Broadmatch. The secret is… Finding out which one you are, and the only way to find that out is through testing. If you’re not testing broad match to see if you are one of the lucky ones where broad match really works and gets you loads more conversions, then you’re wasting time in order to test whether broad match is going to work for you or not.
You don’t just convert all your keywords to broad match using one of those many handy little tools Google gives you to automatically add broad match to everything. No, you don’t want to do that. What you want to do is test a small, tested, focused group of keywords to turn into Broad match, see how they perform, see if you get any more increase in conversions overall in the account, make sure your cost per conversion stays exactly where you need it to be, and then that is the best way to test Broad match.
You don’t want to just change it all in your entire account, you need to make sure you’re testing a small group of keywords to kind of see how that performs. And finally, my closing thought is this. Google really wants you to use Broadmatch. They push it everywhere in the platform. They have their terrible reps call you and tell you to use Broadmatch.
I’ve seen some horrendous setups when I’m auditing accounts, where Google have built campaigns with advertisers trying to get them to use Broad match, and they are awful. There are no negative keywords in some of them. Do what’s right for you. Google will never share this type of data. The most they will ever do is show you estimations of potential uplifts.
You might get in your account if you do decide to use Broadmatch. They will never say to you, Hey, guess what? X number of advertisers are getting better results with Broadmatch, you should too. All they say is, you could get better results, or you might get 5 percent more conversions that cost you three times as much.
So do what’s right for you, and let me know in the comments if you think this study kind of reveals what you already knew, or whether you thought to yourself, actually, Broad match probably did a bit better than I actually thought, and I’m gonna be honest. I’m one of those people. Like this video if you like it, don’t forget to subscribe, check out the other content on the channel, and I’ll see you guys on my next video.
Hire me as your Google Ads Consultant