You’ve Got a Match
Google is always tinkering with their PPC platform. The newest tweak to Google Ads is that they will now be allowing their Broad Match option to: “begin matching to words within the search query that share the same meaning as the keyword”. But what does that actually mean?
Hand Me a Thesaurus
Previously Broad Match modifiers would find keyword that included the same keyword, or a close variant. For example if your keyword was ‘potato’, you might also see your ad showing up in searches for ‘sweet potato’. Google sees that the word potato is included in both, and guesses there is a link between the two terms.However, now if you’re running ads using ‘potato’ as a keyword, you might find your ads showing up in searches for ‘yams’ or ‘spuds’ too.
How Does Google Know?
Over the last decade Google has gradually rolled out machine learning across the SERP and Google Ads. Tools like RankBrain use association to build up an idea of searcher’s intent.
Taking the potato example further. Google may see that a number of searches carried out for potato also include the word yam. Google’s AI learns that these searchers who have looked for potato return to the SERP and instead search for yams. Over time the AI tool will build up an understanding between the two words (yam and potato) and ‘learn’ that they are linked.
These connections and background information helps Google understand the context of searches, and put them into a bigger picture so it can make assumptive leaps.
What Do Broad Match Modifiers 2.0 Mean For You?
Expanding Broad Match’s reach to include a word’s meaning is a big change for advertisers. If you’ve had a fairly hands-off approach to your campaigns, we suggest checking on them more often until you’re sure that Broad Match is functioning as you expect for your business/results
You’re likely to see an increase in clicks (and in ad spend) initially at first, as the Broad Match will be less selective than before. But if you’re carefully monitoring your campaigns, excluding terms that you think aren’t helpful, the new Broad Match should be a useful addition to your campaigns.
4 Tips for Using the New Broad Match
Below are our 4 tips on making the most out of the new Broad Match:
- Build a few robust lists of negative keywords in advance to avoid wasting money on any irrelevant searches.
- Check the search term report regularly. Pull a list of high performance terms as your new potential keywords for testing. Also, exclude any unwanted terms that pop up in the report once you see them.
- Take advantage of Dynamic Search Ads and keyword insertion to improve ad relevance – note that having robust lists of negative keywords is particularly important for these tactics to work well.
- While click-through-rate (CTR) and conversions are important, don’t forget to pay attention to the conversion rate and cost per acquisition (CPA, a.k.a. cost per conversion) of your broad match keywords. A keyword that gets a lot of traffic into your door may not necessarily convert well.
We think that the new Broad Match modifiers are going to be a useful tool for all PPC advertisers. In addition to helping your ads perform better, it can also suggest keywords that you haven’t previously considered. So if you’re not running campaigns with Broad Match modifiers already, it’s time to set some up!