It’s tempting to use Google AdWords—especially since there is no minimum you have to spend, you pay only for clicks, and you can set a maximum spend per day. Those are important money-savers, but it’s easier than you might imagine to overspend with Google AdWords as well.
One way you might quickly overspend is by having your keywords set to something called “broad match.” Check your AdWords account or ask your AdWords firm about how they are handling broad match. Yes, this is a detail that you may not know about that could be costing you A LOT of money. We all know AdWords can be a very effective method of obtaining relevant traffic and leads for your business. But it also tends to be a very costly method for customer acquisition, and as such, it is important to understand the details in order to optimize your results.
The reason I’m writing about this is that all AdWords campaigns are automatically defaulted to “broad match.” What this means is that if you selected the term “email marketing” to be one of your search terms, your ad will show on Google’s paid results for keywords that include both “email” or “marketing.” This means that your keyword will be displayed in a lot of search results that are not very relevant, and any clicks are likely to be a waste of money.
To turn off “broad match” you click on the checkbox to the left of a particular keyword. Then you click on “edit” which is on the grey menu bar just above the keywords. Then you select “edit in table” where you can change it to “exact match.” You need to manually perform this operation for every keyword in your campaign. While having your keyword on “exact match” will decrease your clicks, it will increase your quality and therefore your cost per acquisition.
Now, why does Google require you to manually turn on exact match for every keyword? It’s clearly a way for them to make more money and provide you with more clicks, but not necessarily the right choice for your business. For some companies with very large budgets, the broad match may make sense, but it would still need to be evaluated on a keyword-by-keyword basis.