Conventional wisdom tells us that broad match keywords should be avoided like the plague or Donald Trump’s comb-over. This is a truism we follow ourselves. But is it necessarily always a best practice?

As most search marketers know on broad match search engines include plurals, misspellings and other close variants which can cause your ads to appear for search queries that are not even remotely relevant. This can drive up impressions without increasing clicks which can drive down your overall CTR – a prime piece of the ad rank formula, it can drive clicks that are completely irrelevant costing you money and driving up your bounce rate and driving down your other user experience metrics, and it can steal traffic from other ad groups that overlap.

However using broad match keywords in a carefully controlled environment can help you pinpoint search queries that your original keyword research may not have uncovered or which you may not have known was relevant. Google estimates that 10-20% of queries have never been seen before. So no matter how good your keyword research tools – and SpeedPPC has some very good ones – if a search query has never been seen before, they won’t be in the database. Testing broad match keywords can possibly help you reach consumers who may be interested in your products or services but are not searching on the terms within your account.

So the use of broad match can help you mine queries that may not already be in your account. But you need to keep a careful eye on to avoid the above mentioned hazards and take immediate action if you see anything spiraling out of control.