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Does Google Broad Match Work for Everyone?

Google offers marketers a number of keyword matching options through its PPC AdWords centre. Broad match is the default option and it allows you to appear in results when any single word from your keyword phrase appears, but does it work for everyone?

Recently I saw a good example of positive broad matching when searching for ‘Manchester digital.’ Appearing top in the sponsored links was Jet2. As many of its services operate out of Manchester airport it is likely to have chosen to broad match with a possible key phrase of ‘Manchester Flights’.

You might point out that people searching for Manchester Digital are not looking for flights. But we know that searching for a city nearly always indicates proximity. We also know that people love to fly and love to fly cheaply – so Jet2 are reminding us that they fly from Manchester and by placing the text ‘Flights start at £19.99’ in the ad it offers at the very least a mental note for the next time we need a cheap flight.

Because of the lack of relevance to the full search term the likelihood of people clicking on the link without the intention to find flights is negligible. So those who click are interested and those who don’t are contributing to brand awareness and cost nothing. And because they are appearing in another subject arena there is no competition for the click so it’s cost effective too.

But does this work because Jet2 offers a service that every consumer wants? Would companies with more niche products find success with broad match. Google claims that broad match can work for anyone but I’d like to hear your stories on this topic. In my mind it is quite tailored to those with a large consumer base which counts out a vast number of businesses.

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