Broad Modified Match Types – The Pros and Cons

Broad Modified Match Types – The Pros and Cons

It is not surprising that Google decided to relax its tight rules on match types recently. This move was not only relieving for internet marketing firms and companies, but also for local business owners as well. If you have no clue what match types are, you are in luck, I would be writing a full blog about it next week, however, for now, you need to have a basic understand of the three match types (exact, phrase and broad) and how they work to increase or decrease ad traffic.

The modified broad match type is an interesting add to Google Adwords. While the broad match type allows your ad to be triggered as long as any of your keywords show up in a searcher’s query, the modifies broad match gives you a little more control, in order to reduce the risk of triggering ads for unwanted search queries. this means that every time you append a modifier (+) to a broad keyword, only search queries containing that word will trigger your ads. The table below demonstrates how the modified broad matching is setup, as compared to phrase, broad and exact.

Match Type Punctuation Function (how ads will be triggered..) Example
Broad Match none synonyms, relevant variations of keywords web design company in atlanta
Phrase Match “keyword” your keyword phrase including misspellings and plurals “web design company in atlanta”
Exact Match [keyword] the exact keyword listed [web design company in atlanta]
Broad Modified Match +keyword close variations, no synonyms, but plurals included +web +design +company +in +atlanta


The Pros

  • Reduce Negative Keyword List – Think about it, if you can target specific audiences or search queries by using the (+) modifier, would this not reduce the amount of negative keywords you have to add? It makes sense. For most broad match keywords, a lot of negative keywords have to be added in order to block out irrelevant search queries that might trigger your ads, but with the modified broad match, you can specify the terms you want your ad triggered for, while eliminating the amount of risk associated with broad matching.
  • Ad Traffic Relevancy Increase – Adding broad modified keywords to your list ultimately increases the relevancy of your ads and allows you to target a specific market. In a way, you have the combined power of the broad and phrase match, thereby being able to target a wide audience whiles restricting unwanted queries. The biggest gain from this is the probable increase in click through rates, which in turn increases conversion rates.

The Cons

  • Less Impressions – This is by far the biggest drawback I have noticed. Now like with all good ideas, there is always a trade off. Whiles modified broad matching increases the quality of your keywords, and relevancy of your impressions/traffic, it also tends to reduce the impression volume. Simple reason – when you modify your broad keywords, you eliminate synonyms and negative keywords, which most often than not, have high volume searches, so as you reduce you scope and fine tune your targeting, your impression volume reduces too. This is not all bad, because when the quality of your keywords increase, it could go a long way to increase your Quality Score and Ad Rank.

The long and short, modified broad matching is very powerful if utilized well and can increase ad traffic relevancy and the quality of keywords. Personally, I have found that it can dramatically change the direction of an ad campaign and in most cases increase click through rates.

By: Kwasi

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