Reaching the right customers on Search

Google Ads Best Practices for reaching more of the right customers with the right message using Search automation.


The best way to achieve better business outcomes is to work in strong partnership with automation. Google Ads is built to help you spend less time managing your ads, and more time managing your business. To do that, we recommend using a combination of broad match, Smart Bidding, and responsive search ads. In fact, advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, in campaigns that also use broad match and Smart Bidding, see an average of 20% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion.1

To get an under-the-hood look at how Search automation works, check out this guide.


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1. Align your keyword strategy with your bidding

Group your campaigns by your bidding objective, then choose your keyword match types.

Why: Your bidding objective will determine which keyword match types will work best for you. If you can accurately measure your conversions and use a conversion-based Smart Bidding strategy like Maximize conversions with a target CPA or Maximize conversion value with a target ROAS, broad match gives you the most reach and conversions within your goals. If you have other bidding goals, like Target impression share, you may want to consider using phrase match or exact match.

To learn more, check out page 15 of this guide.

Case Study

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Meetic Group (part of Match Group), a leading online dating service, was struggling to capture demand because this category is mostly comprised of long-tail searches. They tested broad match with Smart Bidding to reach all relevant searches with minimal management, and saw conversions increase by 70% while meeting their CPA targets. Audrey Rebelo, Head of Search, says “broad match has become one of our strategic tools for growing our Search activities.”


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2. Adopt Search automation for the best reach, relevance, and performance for your ads

Use broad match with Smart Bidding to reach more relevant searches for your business that are expected to perform within your goals. 

Why: Broad match is the only match type that uses all of the signals available in Google Ads to understand the intent of both the user’s search and your keyword, while having the flexibility to find the most relevant match that is expected to perform for you. Smart Bidding ensures that, for all of the relevant searches you could reach with broad match, you’re only competing in the right auctions, at the right bid, for the right user.

Advertisers that switch their exact match keywords to broad match in campaigns using a target CPA can see an average of 35% more conversions. And campaigns using a target ROAS can see an average of 20% more conversion value.2

To learn more, check out page 11 of this guide.

Easily test broad match keywords from your Recommendations page.

Why: Run a test to see if broad match improves the performance of your campaigns. If you’re using Smart Bidding, we’ll identify existing keywords that are likely to improve performance if you switch them to broad match, and automatically surface these opportunities to you on the Recommendations page in your account. You can also test the performance of these broad match keywords by creating an experiment directly in the recommendation.

To learn more, check out page 13 of this guide.

Use responsive search ads with broad match and Smart Bidding to show up for more people and adapt to shifts in consumer behavior.

Why: This combination helps you reach the right customers, with the right message, at the right price, no matter how they’re searching. Broad match reaches all searches that exact and phrase match can reach — plus more. Responsive search ads automatically create relevant ads for each of those searches. And Smart Bidding customizes bids for each and every query — not just every keyword.

To learn more, check out page 23 of this guide.

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Using the combination of broad match, Smart Bidding, and responsive search ads, UK-based increased sign-ups in Germany from its generic Search campaigns by 182%, while increasing clicks by 258%.

Watch their story:


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3. Simplify your account structure

Use Smart Bidding with broad match-only campaigns to help simplify your accounts.

Why: Smart Bidding works best when it can optimize against your goals with as much flexibility as possible. And because the Google Ads bidding algorithms learn at the query level rather than the keyword level, if a search query has already been matching to keywords in other parts of your campaigns, we simply apply what we’ve learned across your account. This means you can simplify your accounts by using broad match for performance-based keywords.

To learn more, check out page 16 of this guide.

 Group your keywords into ad groups and campaigns with similar themes

Why: This makes it easier for Google to understand your keywords, select the best one, and determine which ad should serve for each search query.

To learn more, check out page 22 of this guide.

To learn more about these best practices, check out this deep dive into Search automation.

1. Google internal data, Global, 6/3/2021 - 6/12/2021
2. Google internal data, July 2021

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