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  • Writer's pictureAlfred Simon

Google Ads Broad match for Lead Gen

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

When it comes to Broad match, it proved itself this year that it can deliver a lot better performance than the other match types if it's used correctly.

Most of my success with Broad match was with eCommerce clients with a higher volume and a bigger budget to spend.

But it can also work nicely for lead generation clients if you ensure that the basis is set well for it to work. You need to keep an eye on a couple of things.

Before we go any further, let's see how broad match works.

How does Broad match work?

When we want to find out how it really works, there is no better source than the creator itself. So this is what Google says about it:

Broad match extends its reach beyond exact and phrase match by identifying related queries. This helps you attract more visitors to your website, spend less time building keyword lists, and focus your spending on keywords that work.

As we can see, Broad match matches our ad to search terms that are related to our keyword but do not necessarily match or contain our keyword.

This is an important thing to understand. When you optimize the campaign, you have to keep an eye on it. Some PPC managers might get scared of the search terms you find in a campaign using broad match.

You have to look further than that.

In addition to just matching your keywords to search terms, Broad match goes a lot further and uses other signals:

  • The content of your landing page

  • The user's recent search activities

  • Other keywords that you have in the ad group.

These extra signals make this match type a potent tool if you use it correctly.

How to use Broad match with Lead generation clients.

Many things are a lot easier when you work with eCommerce clients. That can be said about using Broad match.

But if you do it right, it can also deliver excellent results for your lead-gen clients.

There are 7 key things you must remember when you want to drive good leads using automation and Broad match.

1. Make sure you use smart bidding

This is key to success when you use Broad match keywords. Combining it with Smart Bidding unleashes the algorithm and gives it much more data to learn from. I saw accounts skyrocket after switching to Broad match and combining it with a Smart Bidding strategy.

Benefits of Google Ads broad match

Personally, I recommend using a value-based bid strategy (Maximize Conversion Value without or with a tROAS). Maximize Conversions is also good, but I had better results using value-based bidding.

2. Add a conversion value to your leads

As I mentioned earlier, using a value-based bid strategy can add an extra uplift to your account.

Make sure you attach a value to your conversions. For example, giving the highest value to your most important conversions. If we talk about lead gen, that would be your imported offline conversions. If you don't have that (make sure you will, you are missing out on a lot of value), then the most crucial lead action you have.

Start with Maximize Conversion Value bid strategy. Then, when you have enough data, add a tROAS to it and start scaling your campaign.

If it's a new account, then I recommend following the steps below:

Google Ads Broad Match for Lead gen

  • Start slowly with eCPC and build some data. Make sure you have a value attached to your conversions.

  • After you have enough conversions (25-30/month/campaign is the ideal number), switch to Maximize Conversions. Monitor the performance.

  • If performance is steady, switch to Maximize Conversion Value and add broad match keywords.

  • If conversion volume and lead quality are constant, add a tROAS and start scaling it further.

  • Start importing offline conversions back to the account and use that as the only conversion you focus on.

3. Use a consolidated structure

The days of using SKAGs are way behind us. You want to group your keywords by theme. As I mentioned earlier, when you use Broad match, it considers the other keywords you have in the ad group. Ensure you have all the relevant keywords from the same topic in the ad group.

Try to use as few campaigns as possible. If there is no real reason behind it (bid strategy, different location etc.) I would stick to one non-branded search campaign to keep all the data in the same place.

4. Add negative keywords

I think this one requires no explanation.

Exclude all the non-relevant search terms from your campaign. However, be careful what you consider not relevant. Getting overly enthusiastic and excluding a lot of keywords might hurt the performance.

Make sure you look at the data and exclude terms based on historical performance.

5. Import offline conversions back to Google

Even if you don't want to use Broad match, you need to use this one. You want to tell Google which leads ended up as actual sales.

If you take away one thing from this article, make sure it is this one!

This is a crucial thing to have a successful lead gen account. You can have a lot of leads if the quality is terrible. By importing the offline conversions (leads that ended up as a sale) back to Google, you will signal to the algorithm what type of audience is the ideal customer.

6. Use conversion value rules

This is also a great way to steer the algorithm in the desired direction. Using the conversion value rules, you can leverage your data and combine it with the algorithm's strength.

There are some things that Google doesn't always know about your business (exp: Customers from New York cost more due to shipping). You can use value rules to communicate this.

Combining value rules with Broad match opens up many more options to further scale your account.

7. Be patient and don't freak out from the search terms

This is the hardest part, but you need to give it some time to start seeing good results. Usually, I started to see things improve after the 2nd week.

In the first few days, monitor the search terms closely and try to not freak out :D. You will see a lot of sh*t in there.

Exclude all the crapy search terms and keep a close eye on them for the coming days.

Bonus: Make use of Google's privacy solutions and recover lost data

You have already heard about it, but if now, make sure you use Consent mode and Enhanced Conversions for Leads to recover lost data.

These things are quick wins and really make a difference in the long term.

P.S. Enhanced Conversions for Leads can be a "secondary" solution if offline conversion importing is not an option or is challenging to implement.


I think Broad match is an excellent way to improve the performance of your lead gen accounts' performance and increase the number of leads you receive.

If it's done right can even lower the CPA and drive a lot more quality leads. Make sure you use it correctly and feed the algorithm with the correct data.

I know it's not for everyone, but make sure you test it on all your clients because it will make a significant difference if it works.

Have a good one,


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