This week the team at Google Adwords announced that they are rolling out a new AdWords Modified Broad Match keyword targeting feature for Adwords users.

Now, as well as using broad, phrase and exact match targeting on your keywords, they are offering a modified broad match feature.  This new keyword match feature gives you more control than a basic broad match, without limiting you to phrase or exact matching.

As a quick reminder for anyone who is new to Adwords, before this update you could bid for keywords based on three matching types – broad, match and exact.  Whether or not your advert was displayed for a certain search query, depended on the matching type you had selected.

Broad match would display your ad in the SERPs when synonyms of your keywords were used and if additional words were used.  Phrase match would display your ad if the keyword appeared as a phrase, but additional words could be used either before or after.  Exact match would only show your results if the user had typed in your keywords exactly as you did, with no additional words or variations.

The new Broad Match Modifier keyword targeting feature sits between the broad and phrase match types.

By adding a plus sign (+) directly in front of any or all of your keywords you specify that you only want to match your advert against variations of that term.  This means that your ad might show when the search terms includes misspellings, pluralisations and abbreviations of your modified keyword but it won’t be displayed if synonyms or related search terms are used.

To make this concept easier to understand, Google has provided an excellent graphic of how the different targeting features work:

Adwords Modified Broad March

Results from beta testing have been positive, showing this as a cost-effective way of improving your conversions.  However, so far the happy clients include Adwords customers who have only used Phrase and Exact matching types.

If you currently make use of broad matching, making sweeping changes to use the Modified Feature instead will most likely result in a drop in clicks, as less people will see your ad.  That would also lead to a decrease in conversions, so use this with caution.  It is far better to add Modified Broad Match keywords to your account and test to see if this feature works for you.

This new feature has the potential to generate really positive results with Pay Per Click and we’re looking forward to seeing how it impacts on future Adwords campaigns.  Let us know how you get on – does it help to improve your conversions?

Read the announcement on the Google Adwords blog.


Katie Saxon

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