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10 Sep 2010

Broad Match Modifiers for Better Performance

September 10, 2010PPC Advertising

As we all know, broad match keywords will generate the most traffic and are good for picking up the miscellaneous search queries that are relevant to our offerings. Actually, one-third of Google’s clicks and conversions result from broad match terms, and supposedly their system will analyze global search trends and prevent your ads from showing for poor performing queries. If you’re on AdWords, broad match keywords are likely a necessary component for achieving your targets and marketing goals.

Most advertisers, however, find that the majority of their broad match keywords are too expensive and convert poorly compared to their phrase and exact match equivalents. This is true even after diligently monitoring search queries and adding negative keywords for that phrase. Well, instead of disabling your broad match terms and missing out on relevant traffic and conversions, you can now add a modifier that will improve their performance without severely limiting your search traffic.

The broad match modifier is a new targeting feature in AdWords that allows you to have more control over search queries but with a greater reach than phrase match. By modifying a broad match keyword by adding a plus symbol (+) to one or more words, you are requiring that word to be present in the search query in order for your ad to show. The word order does not have to be exact, as in phrase match, and misspellings, plurals, abbreviations, and stemmings (such as “cover” and “covering”) are still included.

For example, let’s look at the modified keyword +camping +equipment. This will show for queries such as “equipment for camping” and “buy camp equipment”. It will not, however, show ads for “hiking equipment” although the unmodified broad match keyword likely would. If you were to use the modifier for “camping” and not “equipment” (+camping equipment), your ad could show for queries such as: “supplies for camping” and “camp out gear”. As you can see, this is an effective strategy for improving the quality of clicks while still capturing relevant keyword variations.

Broad match modifiers help get costs under control and will likely improve CTRs and conversion rates if used correctly. They work especially well for keywords with brand names and can be used in replacement of broad match keywords (with cuts in traffic), or used along side. Not only will your ad groups be more concise and faster to setup, you will also help Google better route keywords and show ads that are most relevant. They will not, however, result in higher quality scores as explained here.

Try using broad match modifiers for yourself and compare your results before and after adding them in your campaigns. At Site Pro, we have already experienced improvements in a short amount of time after implementing. If you have more questions, Google has provided a broad match modifier FAQs page to get you started.