In my experience it would seem recently that Google has become a lot more relaxed with what keywords they match your ads to. The broad keyword match would indeed seem VERY broad these days. You might go and create a bunch of tightly themed ad groups with laser targeted keywords and ads, but then have another ad in another ad group trigger on that keyword because they are closely themed. This is not an ideal situation when trying to write copy and ads that will convert for that particular phrase as highly as possible.
The other issue is that in the past Google didn’t provide the exact phrases that triggered your ads, they just showed the impressions and clicks in the row for the keyword you ‘think’ triggered the ad. The reality is however that something entirely different may have triggered that ad. Let’s take a look at a campaign to explore it a little closer…
So here’s a home bizopp campaign I’m running at moment. The adgroup is based around the keywords ‘work at home’ with 26 tight keywords and a respectable 15% conversion rate. There are a bunch of other ad groups but we’re just looking at the top spend. Spend the majority of your time optimizing the ones that matter.
Let’s take a deeper look and see what is/isn’t converting and take a sneak peek at what words are actually triggering the ads in this group.
Hit the keywords tab and lets take a peek.
You can see the broadmatch ‘work at home’ accounts for 10 times the search volume of the next highest word. However this does not at all mean that this is triggered by people searching work at home. It could be triggered by anything Google thinks is related, and a lot of the time these search terms Google thinks are related … AREN’T. Not when we are trying to optimize and get the highest possible conversion anyway. A lot of the phrases should be in their own ad groups with their own ads and landing pages. So let’s look at these. Hit the 4th buttom from the left, ‘see search terms’ to see what words really triggered your ads.
Ok now we can see in this image that it’s not until we get to the 8th ACTUAL searched keyword phrase down that we see one of our own added keywords in here. If we take a look up just two from there we can see ‘self employment’ in the mix. While Google is smart enough to see the relationship between ‘self employment’ and ‘work at home’ in this case it isn’t converting at the same rate. $11.56 compared to $5.19 for the phrase that the group is built around. So what can we do here? Let’s remove it from the ad group as a negative. Just check the keyword on the left and click the ‘Add as negative keyword’ button. We have effectively sliced some of the fat out of this ad group and the ads won’t be triggered for it anymore. An even better idea? Peel and stick it into its own ad group after this with ads and copy designed to bring about higher conversion for this phrase. Once you have excluded it, you will see a red ‘Excluded’ in red next to it in the ‘search terms’ list.
There you go, you now have a slightly leaner and meaner campaign. Do this with all your major ad groups, adding the relevant phrases, excluding the poor converters, and getting more keyword and ad group ideas along the way.