Broaden your horizon with a new Google Ads keyword strategy in 2022
Traditionally, paid search marketers would structure their campaigns around exact & phrase (previously broad-match modified) keyword match types.
Keyword match types have changed over the last few years and ‘exact’ keywords are no longer ‘exact’, instead they also match to ‘close variants’ of the exact keyword.
So, for example, the exact match keyword of [vegetable delivery] could now match to searches such as ‘local vegetable delivery’ or ‘organic fruit & veg delivery’.
How does this differ from the traditional approach to keywords?
The evolution of match types means that a granular, single keyword ad group structure may not drive the best possible performance. Smart bidding opens up more opportunities for simpler structures by analysing thousands of signals in real time to define the optimal bid at the query level for each search.
Non-modified broad match keywords help cast a wider net beyond existing exact and phrase match keywords and can lead to gaining impressions for search terms not previously considered, which can in turn drive incremental conversions.
Broad match types, alongside a simpler account structure with fewer and larger ad groups, provide smart bidding with more data so that it can learn quicker and drive better results.
How can non-modified broad keywords be tested?
Google is now encouraging marketers to switch to the non-modified broad match type by including this as a prompt in the recommendations tab within the Google Ads interface.
This allows the recommendation to be set up as an experiment in a couple of clicks, which means you can test how broad match keywords perform over time rather than just switching existing keywords straight to broad match without any insight.
The time required to test depends on the search volume that goes through each campaign. If the campaign receives a lot of volume then the experiment can run for about a month.
However, if the volume is lower the experiment may take much longer to produce meaningful results. In this case, it is likely that experiments will drive conversions, but it won’t always be possible to see which search terms were responsible because Google doesn’t show every single search term, especially those that are low volume. However, this will change if these search terms increase in volume over time.
It is possible to run multiple experiments at the same time and then once all have ended, the results can be analysed before making a long term decision in regards to switching to non-modified broad match keywords on a permanent basis.
What this means in practice
Trying this on our client, Oddbox, we have seen an increase in seemingly irrelevant terms. However, these have driven additional conversions within the target CPA.
For the duration that the Oddbox test was live, it showed ads for 5,900 different search terms, compared to 3,100 for the control (despite the test budget being ⅓ of the control), meaning we cast a much wider net.
The test ‘cost-in’ extremely well with a CPA a few £s higher than the control, but with plenty of converted search terms (e.g. ‘juicing box’) which we would never have thought of and which we wouldn’t match to with the original keyword match types.
After a month-long testing period, each of the search generic campaigns in this account have now switched to non-modified broad match keywords.
As smart bidding solutions continue to improve, the keyword is becoming a less significant aspect of a paid search campaign. Instead, the meaning of a keyword has become more influential and utilising non-modified broad match keywords is seen as the key next step to helping drive growth by delivering incremental performance.
If you’d like any help or advice regarding non-modified broad match keywords, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org