Sean Donahue

Is Broad-Match Undercutting Your Holiday PPC Ads?

December 29th, 2008

Some search marketers have been complaining for a while that Google’s expanded broad-match program is sometimes *too* broad. They’re seeing ads matched to irrelevant terms, which drives up costs without boosting conversions.

But if you’re currently running special holiday-themed PPC ad groups, it’s particularly important to see whether broad-match miscues might be affecting your traffic.

I just spoke with a paid search manager at an SEM agency who was experiencing broad-match headaches with one of his client’s holiday-themed ads. The team had created a new ad group with special copy for keywords related to Christmas fruit baskets. But they noticed that, thanks to broad-match, Google was matching their regular fruit basket ads to the Christmas-related keywords.

So much for serving up that relevant holiday ad copy.

The team went into their AdWords account and added Christmas-related terms to the negative keyword list of their non-holiday themed ad groups. So, check your Search Query reports carefully to see if there are terms that might be undercutting the targeting you planned for holiday-themed ad groups. You can use negative match and optimize for the last few shopping days before Christmas.

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