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Google Modifies Keyword Modifiers for Canada

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Exploring Google’s Keyword Match Types

We have just discovered that Google has just announced that they will allow a new way to modify keywords for your AdWords campaigns and would like to share some details with you.

Different Types of Matching With Google AdWords

Google AdWords allows marketers to target their keywords using four different matching types:

  1. Exact Match
  2. Phrase Match
  3. Broad Match
  4. Negative Keywords

Each matching choice will be a function of several factors:

  1. Your budget
  2. Your desire to maximize relevance
  3. Your objectives with respect to Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  4. Your objectives with respect to Audience reach

Examples of Match Type

Exact Match

Choosing Exact Match will display your ad only when the keyword or phrase that you have with your AdWords campaign matches exactly what they user typed into Google search.

So, if I’m selling ‘football helmets‘, my

ad will only appear when a user types in ‘football helmet’.

Exact Match is extremely well suited for clients that have a low budget or a long time-frame for a marketing campaign.   In other words, it’s a higher value, lower traffic proposition.

The low budget side of things kicks in because you’ll be spending significantly less compared to the other match types (although you may have to pay a premium for the CPC on the exact match phrase).  The long time-frame takes into account the fact that it will take substant

ially longer to get the traffic you’re after if you’re only using Broad Match.

Broad Match also helps marketers maximize their CTR, as the relevance with the ad compared to what a user searches is near perfect.  If you follow this through

with relevant content on your landing page, you should be able to generate a lot of reasonable leads with a very reasonable marketing investment.

Phrase Match

Phrase Match allows ‘padding’ on each end of t

he phrase that you want to target.

Using the example above, let’s say you want to target anyone that types in something related to ‘football helmets‘, including the following:

  • CSA Approved football helmets
  • football helmets that don’t break
  • kids football helmets

The idea is to give yourself some extra latitude with your search campaign without

Broad Match

It’s Broad Match that has changed with Google.  As the chart above shows, there are now two different variations on broad match:

  1. Broad match
  2. Modified broad match

Broad Match

Broad match captures related terms and phrases to searches.  For example, Google might even show our ‘football helmets’ ad for searches related to sporting gear, so long as our landing page and other content speak to that audience and what they’re after.

Broad match results in the widest possible reach with search campaigns.  It also results in low CTR, as the range of relevance is much lower compared to exact match.  This is OK in most cases because lower CTR is balanced with lower average Cost-Per-Click rates as there is less competition with an expanded lexicon of phrases and terms.

‘Broad match’ compares well to the term ‘drinking from the fire hose’.  When you use broad match, you’re getting a lot more than you may have bargained for.  Again, the good news in using broad match is that you’ll also get an understanding of variations or unique terms that people might be using to find your site (an objective for almost everybody in the digital world).

Modified Broad Match

After all this background material, we finally bring you to the update with AdWords:  Google’s option to allow the use of modified broad match.

With modified broad match, AdWords advertisers not have the ability to obtain greater reach than phrase match and more control than broad match.

Implementation is easy:  simply add the plus (“+”) sign to any keywords that you currently use as broad match keywords or phrases. Each word preceded by a + has to appear in your potential customer’s search exactly or as a close variant. Close variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms, and stemmings (like “floor” and “flooring”). Synonyms (like “quick” and “fast”) and related searches (like “flowers” and “tulips”) aren’t considered close variants.

As you can see with the graphic above, modified broad match keywords match more searches than the equivalent phrase match keyword, but fewer searches than the equivalent broad match keyword. Match behavior also depends on the specific words you modify. For example, the keyword formal +shoes will match the search “evening shoes,” but the keyword +formal +shoes will not.

Negative Keywords

Negative Keywords are the final matching strategy that you can use, but because of the complexity of the subject and strategy, we’ll cover this in a different blog post.

Our Take on Modified Broad Match

Our sense is that Google is trying to help marketers prevent the ‘broad match’ fire hose from drowning out your AdWords search campaigns while still giving marketers the flexibility they need to maximize reach, minimize average CPC and gain new insights with their campaigns.

We’ve tested modified broad match and found that we saw an increase in clicks and conversions.  However, the biggest impact was that the terms started to mimic what might be seen with phrase matching:  steep declines in overall traffic.

The best way to avoid these declines is to maintain your existing list of broad match terms and layer in new terms using modified broad match.

That said, Google continues to force its AdWords product to evolve and the expansion of options with Broad Match are welcome changes for us and our clients.

If you would like to know more about ways to use Google AdWords, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Bill Wittur
Managing Director
Bottree Digital Services – “Get Found”
bill AT bottree DOT com