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Broad Match Modified Keywords
Bye Bye Broad Match Modified: How Upcoming Keyword Match Type Changes Will Impact Your Ads

Whether you’re laying claim to a single noun or an entire cluster of adjectives, choosing the right keywords for your ads is no small task. Predicting which phrases a user will plug into their search engine is a form of digital telepathy, requiring your team to read the minds of potential customers and anticipate how they’ll condense their wants and needs into a handful of words.

But with so many words on the menu, how can you be sure that you’ve chosen the right ones? Keeping in mind that over a quarter of all internet users will click on the first search result that’s presented to them, choosing the right keywords for your ads can feel like grasping at digital straws. 

Well, as it turns out, Google is working on an update that’ll consolidate keyword match types and pair search terms with results that are more accurate and predictable than before, making your job that much easier.

So what can you do to prepare your ads for a keyword match shift like this?

Back to Basics: Keyword Match Types

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re no doubt familiar with the four types of keyword matches that are used to put your ads in front of users:

  • Exact Match: A specific word or phrase that must perfectly match a user’s search to show an ad. Google has noted that close to 15% of all user searches are so unique that they would be close to impossible to predict with an exact match keyword.
  • Phrase Match: A key phrase that allows for a bit more ambiguity during a search than exact match, showing results relevant to the specific phrase as well as other words before or after the phrase.
  • Broad Match: The default and farthest-reaching match type, broad match ensures that your ad will appear whenever a user searches for any of your key words or phrases, no matter the sequence.
  • Broad Match Modifier (BMM): Bridging the gap between broad match and the other match types, the broad match modifier keyword type allows for more control over which keywords in a phrase can lead to your ad. By adding a plus sign (+) to a keyword, you’re ensuring that any search containing that word will put your ad on a user’s radar, even if it’s part of a longer string of search terms.
Keyword Match Types

So how will these match types behave after the update? That ultimately comes down to the relationship between phrase match and BMM match traffic.

The Terms, They are A-Changin’

Long story short, Broad Match Modifier is going away, never to be seen again.

Well, maybe “going away” isn’t the right phrasing. Rather, Phrase Match keywords have begun to adopt BMM behavior, appending all keywords with the plus sign (+) modifier. This gives you the best of both worlds, combining the expansive reach of broad match modifier keywords with the more focused but flexible search criteria of your standard phrase match keywords.

This BMM/phrase match hybrid, when combined with the latest and greatest in SEM practices from your friends at Lever Interactive, will allow for more predictable keyword matching and leverage existing broad match signals to uncover new and exciting possibilities for your ads.

This change also allows for a more streamlined, automated approach to focused user queries. The additional signals streams that phrase match keywords can connect to ensure that landing pages and ad group keywords will be more easily incorporated into the match types, making every query linked to your ads that much more holistic. 

In short, Google wants to have its search engine act less like a prism, splitting and refracting results based on the phrasing and sequence of a user’s search terms, and more like a lens, focusing on a consistent set of results based on the underlying meaning of your keywords.

Turning Keywords into Skeleton Keys

As SEM experts and keen observers of the latest slate of Google updates, the Lever Interactive team is in a unique position to help companies of all shapes and sizes best prepare for this new ad behavior.

By enlisting our help in updating your keywords, you can rest easy knowing that we’ll be there to cut through the digital clutter and improve your clickthrough rates by:

  • Closely monitoring ad performance and analyzing baseline metrics between match types in your account
  • Shifting ad budgets as required to make efficient use of the modified keyword behaviors
  • Carefully curating your existing keywords to reap the advantages of their streamlined behavior while avoiding the pitfalls of outdated match types

As with any large-scale update, there’s an inherent unpredictability to what sort of reaction you’ll start to see from your ads. After spending valuable time on choosing the right keywords for your ads, it can be dispiriting to think about. 

But don’t let initial volume and performance fluctuations rattle you; we’ll be here to make sure that your keywords and ad revenue remain intact after the dust settles.

So don’t break into a keyword-induced sweat just yet.

Instead, sit back, kick your feet up, and let the experts at Lever Interactive take it from here.

Contact us for help with your digital marketing needs.

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