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Google Ads & PPC

Law Firm PPC: Why You Shouldn’t Use ”Broad Match” Keywords On Google Ads

When using Google Ads, the default settings for keywords is the “broad match”.

If you are running a “smart” campaign (post coming up on why you should never do this), the only option you get is to put broad match keywords.

However, this is often the most costly and least productive way to run your ads. Let me explain why.

Firstly, what is a “broad match” keyword?

Broad match is a match type that Google Ads gives you as a setting for your keywords. There are three in total:

  • Broad match
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

These match types allow you to set how closely the user’s search has to match your keyword in order to show your ad.

For example, if your keyword is “family lawyer” and your keyword was set to “exact match” then they would have to search your exact keyword in order to see your ad, so in this case “family lawyer”. If it was set to phrase match, it would likely show when someone searches “family lawyer in Sydney”.

It’s worth noting that over the years Google has been more and more loose with its match types, so what used to be exact match (literally had to exactly match your keyword) no longer exists and it’s closer to the old phrase match, but that’s a whole other topic I might cover in the future.

For now, I want to talk about why you shouldn’t use broad match when running Google Ads for your law firm.

The problem with broad match is that the criteria for it is so broad, that your ad will show for almost anything remotely related to your keyword.

So while you would think that if you put “family law” set to broad match that it would show for all searches on the topic of family law, in reality what you are likely to get is anything law related at all, or family related, and probably a whole load of other searches that are completely unrelated to either of these.

So what are broad match keywords actually useful for?

In my opinion, not much. I’ve been running Google Ads for about 10 years now and honestly I can’t name one situation where I used broad keywords and they worked well.

In theory, if you have grown your Google Ads account to the point where you are maxing out every single search possible, and now you are struggling to come up with ways to burn your money, then a broad match campaign might be the way to go, to try and pick up any loose searches that you might have missed.

But honestly, at that point you are probably better off focusing on another area marketing.

So if you are running your own Google Ads, one of the best things you can do to increase your results are to change your keywords from broad match to phrase or exact match (depending on the circumstance). You’re going to find that the clicks you get are far more likely to be interested in what you are offering, and as a result your conversion rate will go up significantly.

If you have any questions about this, or you have actually run a successful broad match campaign, do let me know.