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Is the new broad match the better broad?

Advertisers, please welcome a new match type to the well-established Google AdWords family of broad, phrase and exact. It answers to the rather clunky name “modified broad.” Technically, it’s just an operator represented through a plus symbol that you place in front of any term within a broad match keyword to further restrict its scope. Practically, however, it incorporates a completely new match type altogether.

While the broad match safari tour botswana might even recall an ad for a user’s search on “botswana trip” or “safari travel” occasionally, +safari tour +botswana will trigger neither one, but “safari trip bostwana” or “touring botswana safaris”. As you can already make out, applying the new modifier on your broad match keywords will make them significantly more precise.

How does it work exactly, though? If you haven’t heard of this modifier yet, you should first have a close look at this short but excellent introductory text on Google’s Ad Agency Solutions Blog.

You can settle the new broad match in between phrase match and a common broad match. While phrase won’t allow for any changes on the actual keyword terms, but only words to be added to the sequence (a phrase match house cape town would get a search on “holiday house cape town”), the modified broad will also recognize some variants of the actual keyword terms. These variations include misspellings (“capetown”), singular and plural (“houses”), abbreviations and acronyms (“ct”), and stemming (“housing”).

On the other hand, a modified broad won’t find synonyms and related terms (“holiday home” or “cape peninsula”), making it that much more manageable. Besides, a common broad might at times even drop entire terms off a query. You could advertise your south africa safari on broad and receive as unrelated searches as “south africa” and “african safari”. Picking up that your ads show for these terms is usually followed by frantic negative-matching.

The new broad match will not get you all the traffic the old broad can embrace, but will most likely send more relevant, precise and predictable search visits to your page – a smaller, slimmer broad match on steroids!

And you know that better click-throughs might mean higher quality scores that can improve your campaigns by lowering the cost of the clicks you receive. Besides, it will become easier for you to anticipate what your potential search visitors want.

Jan already pointed the low precision of a normal broad match out two years ago in his blog post “Broad – broader – totally unrelated”. The subsequent question is: is the new, modified broad match the better broad?

The answer is – it depends. For large campaigns that rely heavily on broad match keywords and need to capture all possible traffic, the slogan reads: keep the broad match, but a close eye on searches you show up for and your negative keyword list at the same time. For small campaigns or campaigns with limited budgets, you should consider replacing the common broad with its more focused brother.

Ad Words Agency Blog: New keyword feature rolling out globally
http://adwordsagency.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-keyword-targeting-feature-rolling.html

About Matthias Wobrock

Matthias is our Digital Analytics guru. It would be hard to find a more precise and thorough analytical mind than our “Mattalyics” – as he is fondly referred to around the office! Having run large scale global Google and Social Media campaigns, Matt has an in depth understanding of marketing data, optimisation and usability. He uses his acute analytical skills to summarise large volumes of data, identify trends in areas like consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions and offer actionable strategies. He not only speaks 5 languages (German, English, Spanish, French & Portuguese) but boasts degrees in Computational Linguistics and Information Science. Although he assures us it was the allure of working for Traffic Brand that encouraged him to stay in Cape Town, we think we may have been second in line to the enticing windsurfing prospects!

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