Why it’s time to reevaluate your match type and bidding strategy


Advertisers have been encouraged to reevaluate their match type and bidding strategies to effectively optimize costs and maximize campaign performance.

The advice was published in a new report conducted by Optmyzr that investigated broad match type vs exact match type.

Although researcher and Optmyzr evangelist Navah Hopkins previously strongly supported broad match in favor of exact match type, the study found that exact match outperformed broad match for the majority of accounts in terms of:

  • Cost Per Click.
  • Click Through Rate.
  • Cost Per Acquisition.
  • Return On Ad Spend.
  • Conversion rate.

Why we care. For advertisers, it’s crucial to test new strategies in your campaigns before making decisions. This ensures enhanced performance. Evaluate costs and adjust your approach based on budget and targeting goals, exploring more cost-effective networks or top-of-funnel options to optimize spending.

The study. The Optmyzr report analyzed 2637 accounts to compare the effectiveness of broad match type versus exact match type. Additionally, we examined Maximize Conversions against Maximize Conversion Value in 1,334 accounts due to their close association with smart bidding.

The results. Key findings from the study reveal:

  • Broad vs. Exact Match:
    • In most cases, exact match performed better in terms of CPC, CTR, CPA, ROAS, and conversion rate.
    • Conversion-oriented metrics like CPA and ROAS also favored exact match.
    • If broad match is doing well, it’s advisable not to make major changes. However, testing for potential benefits is worth exploring.
  • Maximize Conversions vs. Maximize Conversion Value:
    • Maximize Conversion Value performed better in terms of CPC, CTR, CPA, and ROAS for most accounts.
    • Max Conversion Value had cheaper CPC, possibly due to bid caps and practical ROAS goals.
    • CPA was generally better with Max Conversion Value, challenging the belief that higher CPA can lead to higher-value customers.
    • The data also recommends using Max Conversion Value and determining conversion value based on customer value and channel conversion rates.

Key takeaways. The study concluded by advising advertisers to:

  • Test your assumptions and don’t just accept common wisdom without questioning it.
  • Make sure you’re always checking in on your accounts and tweaking your bidding strategies to get the most bang for your buck.
  • Ensure you’ve got your safety nets in place and budget set aside for data acquisition, if you’re going to give broad testing a shot.

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What has Optmyzr said? Navah Hopkins, Optmyzr Evangelist, said in a statement:

  • “The biggest takeaway from looking at the data is not taking anything for granted. Just because we’re told X is true, it’s important to test and prove whether it’s viable in our accounts before committing to it or discarding it.”
  • “Additionally, given that the conventional wisdom of Exact and Max Conversion Values are more expensive because they provide more value that didn’t play out at scale, it’s worth doing a deep dive into your accounts if they are driving up your costs.”
  • “Consider being more aggressive with negatives and exclusions, as well as owning whether you have the budget to go after desired transactional traffic or if you’d be better served leveraging your budgets on cheaper networks (Microsoft) or top of the funnel (PMax, social, video).”

Deep dive. Read the Optmyzr report in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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