Let me start by saying that I love Google and its products.  Google Ads is an exceptional small business digital marketing tool.  However, we need to remember that Google is, above everything else, a business.  Google has been fantastically successful getting small businesses to try PPC advertising, but the education, guidance and help provided to novice advertisers has not been great.

I will try to keep this brief, here is how to save thousands on Google Ads.

Google offers three “match types” for keywords – broad, phrase and exact.  Here’s how it works:

Exact Match – Google only triggers your ad when a users searches for the EXACT keyword or key phrase.  So if your keyword is [gutter cleaning service] and someone searches “gutter cleaning service,”  Google would show your ad. Exact match keywords look like this: [keyword]

Phrase Match – your keyword is “gutter cleaning service” and the user searches “gutter cleaning service Boston,”  Google shows your ad as long as it includes the PHRASE “gutter cleaning service.” Phrase match keywords look like this: “keyword”

Broad Match – this is where Google makes it’s fortune off of naive advertisers.  Broad match means Google will serve your ad as long as the search is somewhat related to your keyword.  So if you keyword is “gutter cleaning service” (broad match), and a user searches for dry cleaning service, Google may show your ad.   Keyword looks like this: keyword (no quotes, no brackets)

By default, or unless you had a working knowledge of pay per click advertising, your keywords are all broad match.  Google is showing your ad whenever it decides that a user’s search is even tangentially related to your keyword; and it’s blowing your budget.

Need proof, it’s not hard to find:


Broad match keywords can be very helpful, but they can also create a significant amount of waste.  Not understanding the different match types in Google Ads leads to millions of dollar in wasted advertising spend.

If you are a novice advertiser, we strongly encourage you to turn off broad match.  You can turn off broad match a few different ways:

  1. Pause all broad match keywords (keywords with no “quotes” or [brackets] around them)
  2. Add quotes to your keywords, e.g. –  “keywords,” to turn broad match terms into phrase match terms.

If you’re worried about your advertising efforts, or simply need a fresh set of eyes on your paid advertising campaign, please get in touch.  Recipi offers a PPC tune-up where we can help make sure you aren’t wasting money.  

Our team has managed millions of dollars in PPC spend.  Our goal is not to get you to spend more money, it’s to add value by saving you money.  Please contact us today to see how Recipi can improve your advertising and grow your business.

About Recipi


Recipi is a free tool that gives recommendations, insights and resources to help small businesses improve their web marketing and grow.  We analyze your business website and other marketing touch points (social media, online reviews, etc) to give simple, understandable suggestions on how to improve your web presence.  Go to Recipi.com to get your business “recipi,” today.