Broad Match Modifier – Explained

If you are new to AdWords or simply looking for ways to improve the performance of your campaigns, fully understanding the broad match modifier is important.

The broad match modifier is one of five keyword match types available to you within Google AdWords, the others being; broad, phrase, exact and negative. One could argue that there are actually more than five match types given that negative keywords can be implemented in different formats, however, just for now, let’s agree that there are five match types.

In order to fully explain the broad match modifier, it’s probably worth giving you an overview of the other match types too.

Broad None Buy Car Synonyms, related searches and all relevant variations Van Repairs Glasgow Wedding Hats
Modified Broad +Keyword +Buy +Car Searches which include all keywords with a + symbol (or close variants of those keywords) Buy Cars Glasgow Cars Glasgow
Phrase * “Keyword” “Buy Car” Searches which include the keyword/s (and close variants) within the quotation symbols with no other words separating them Buy Cars Glasgow Buy Used Car
Exact * [Keyword] [Buy Car] Searches exactly matching the keyword/s with the brackets Buy Car Buy Car Glasgow
Negative ** See Comments -Repairs Prevents ads from appearing N/A Any Search Including The Word Repairs


*Google recently introduced “close variant” matching to exact and phrase match keywords, which means that your exact and phrase match terms may trigger for pluralisation’s or spelling mistake variations of your keywords. This is not necessarily a bad thing given that around 7% of Google searches are performed with a spelling error or typo.

**Negative keywords can be added at adgroup, campaign or account level (with the use of negative keyword lists in the shared library). Negative keywords can also be added as broad, phrase or exact matched negative – check out our blog on negative keywords for more info [link]


So, when should you use the BMM?

Broad match modifier is a great way to expose your ads to high levels of targeted impressions whilst cutting out a lot of poorly targeted ad views which would typically be generated by the standard broad match type. When looking for a direct response from your ads, rather than focussing on brand building etc, BMM is quite often the only recommended variation of the broad term options that you would use. Please do note that the standard broad term can be good for generating keyword ideas though your search query reports, however, you need to understand what you are doing and have an intensive negative keyword strategy running alongside this.

Along with negative keywords, the use of Broad Match Modifier allows you to effectively filter traffic in to the most targeted adgroup with your campaign in relation to a search query; which in turn promotes healthy click through rates and good quality scores – all great for reducing your CPC’s .

As you may have gathered from the table above, there will be many instances whereby multiple match type variations will be eligible to show for the same search query. Don’t worry about this, as having multiple math type variations that are eligible is not an issue and Google will show the match type that has the highest quality score. You do, however, need to avoid conflicting or duplicated keywords, as this will be detrimental to your efforts.

Within the infographic below we have detailed where each of the match types would typically sit in terms of ad exposure – please not that it is not to scale and is only indicative of common account trends.

Important: If your campaigns and adgroups are currently heavily expanded with broad match keywords, converting these all to BMM will likely cause a big drop in impressions. Be sure to analyse your search query reports to include any targeted synonym variations that may not otherwise be picked up by the BMM keywords.

*Within each section the keywords displayed would also be eligible to show for keywords included within the smaller sections.

If you have any questions or would like to chat this through with a Google Certified Professional, feel free to comment below or get in touch with our team.

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