by Kara O.
On an average day, performing a search on a keyword research tool like KeywordSpy for a PPC competitor can sometimes yield surprising results.
Imagine searching for an advertiser that mainly sells wedding rings and bands and finding a keyword "wedding musician" on the list. Though it may look odd, appearance of the advertiser’s ad under such a keyword is a common phenomenon in the world of PPC.
This type of keyword, of course, is known as a broad match keyword. Broad match keywords are related terms and phrases to keywords triggering an ad campaign or group. If the keywords for your ads are, for example, “rental cars in New York”, your ads may also appear for search results for "New York auto rentals".
The advantage of broad match keywords are basically being able to reach more markets through related keywords for a given ad campaign. Since there could be related keywords that were not initially included in your ad group, this saves the advertiser the time of finding related keywords for his website.
The disadvantage of broad match keywords is also quite obvious, with advertisements showing for broad match keywords on search engine results, there is also the possibility that those keywords are significantly unrelated to the actual ad. Google Adwords, as an example, implement an Expanded Broad Match system that relates a keyword with other keywords that looks even remotely similar (flower deliver express = chinese takeout express).
As a result, advertisers may be paying for clicks with minimal conversions due to the fact that consumers clicking were not really looking for these types of products to begin with.
The solution for this, as provided by Google Adwords, is placing these unrelated keywords under your campaign’s negative broad match settings to prevent your ads from showing on searches where it shouldn't. But as attested by the search engine itself, the negative broad match settings is not as perfect as they would hope it to be, with still unrelated keywords getting by once in a while.
By the time you find out your ads are getting clicks and showing at all the wrong places, it could be too late for your ad budget altogether.
The reverse keyword research tool in KeywordSpy, would you believe it, does not just allow keyword research for a specific industry to empower ad campaigns. A closer analysis of keyword results indexed by the database would also show the broad match terms attributed to advertisers, may they be related or not.
For keyword research pros, it’s just a matter of filtering out the unrelated material from the useful ones. After all, keyword research is also about finding keywords that would best suit your own campaign.
But it comes as an added tool for the seasoned advertiser to stay updated on keywords and ads within his campaign. Detecting expanded broad match keywords at the earliest means and stopping them in their tracks by including them in their campaign’s negative broad match keyword list can also do a great deal of good.