In the first step of a move that some may feel has been a long time coming, Google Adwords recently announced that they’ve started making a modification to the way their broad match targeting works.
According to the Adwords blog, the new feature will allow greater control over broad keywords, giving them better reach than phrase matches currently have.
At present, the new keyword modifier for broad searches is only available in the UK and Canada, but initial trials have proven successful. Both clicks and conversions have increased over traditional broad match statistics, and the traffic potential has been rated as similar to traditional phrase matches.
Google hasn’t yet said that they’ll be adding this modifier for other countries, but if the feedback continues to be positive, we should see it becoming available in other locations too before long.
How The Broad Match Modifier Works
Simply put, all you need to do to use the broad match modifier (when it’s available to you) is add a “+” symbol in front of the broad keyword that you want modified. If your campaign uses mainly exact of phrase matches, then modifying these broad terms can have a positive effect. If you already use mainly broad targeting, you may find your CTR and conversion rate drops however.
Essentially, adding the “+” modifier to a broad keyword will allow close variants of your keyword to trigger your ad. For Google’s purposes, a close variant includes singular and plural forms, misspelling, acronyms and “stemming” (floors and flooring for example), but not synonyms and related searches.
Modified broad searches target more terms than phrase searches do, but less than the existing broad search does. Each modified word (or a close variant) must appear in the users search. The matches will also depend on which words in your keyword terms are modified.
For example, (taken from the Adwords blog), the keyword formal +shoes will match “evening shoes”, but the keyword +formal +shoes won’t. It will however match “formal shoes,” “formal evening shoes” and similar.
Coming Soon We Hope
At the moment, this merely counts as interesting to know for us in South Africa, since you won’t be able to modify your pay per click campaign along these lines just yet. However, we’re sure that it’s only a matter of time before this functionality becomes available across all Adwords locations.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the issue, and let you know as soon as this great new feature is available here as well.