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What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey everyone,


I've posted in the public forums, but will repost here because I'm likely speaking to a different crowd within the Partners forums.

I've recently read about the new Close Variants to exact match keywords, and it made me wonder.. it's the same thing as broad match modifier keywords?

 

Let's compare:

Broad Match Modifier keyword: +running +shoes +men

 

vs.

 

Exact Match Close Variant keyword: [running shoes men]

If someone's search query is: "running shoes for men" .. then.. both of the above-mentioned match types are doing the same thing! If anything, I still feel like the Broad Match Modifier is a better option because it allows you to discover new queries, and doesn't limit you.

Looking to hear arguments and thoughts.

Cheers,

Michal

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Michal B
August

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Michal B,

 

 

In the example you give the two matches of the keyword would both qualify for the search query. I agree. But there are instances when some search queries would match the Broad Match Modified (BMM) keyword, and would not match the Exact Match Close Variant keyword. So yeah, if your purpose is to capture more, the BMM is a better choice. But if your purpose is to capture just a tad more than previously, but still stay quite close to the exact match, then your Exact Match Close Variant keyword is a better choice.

 

A ppc manager who spends a lot of time deciding what search queries they want and don't want to qualify for would vote for the Exact Match Close Variant keyword. Me thinks. On the contrary, a PPC manager, who wants to capture all the possibilities out there however much they may deviate from their keyword, would go for the BMM.

 

Both approaches are valid depending on the end goal. My personal preference would be the Exact Match Close Variant keyword. But that's because I mainly work in a vertical with strict budgets and heavily 'controlled' accounts.

 

Hope this helps,

-Julia


Julia Muller,
AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Michal B
August

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Michal B,

 

 

In the example you give the two matches of the keyword would both qualify for the search query. I agree. But there are instances when some search queries would match the Broad Match Modified (BMM) keyword, and would not match the Exact Match Close Variant keyword. So yeah, if your purpose is to capture more, the BMM is a better choice. But if your purpose is to capture just a tad more than previously, but still stay quite close to the exact match, then your Exact Match Close Variant keyword is a better choice.

 

A ppc manager who spends a lot of time deciding what search queries they want and don't want to qualify for would vote for the Exact Match Close Variant keyword. Me thinks. On the contrary, a PPC manager, who wants to capture all the possibilities out there however much they may deviate from their keyword, would go for the BMM.

 

Both approaches are valid depending on the end goal. My personal preference would be the Exact Match Close Variant keyword. But that's because I mainly work in a vertical with strict budgets and heavily 'controlled' accounts.

 

Hope this helps,

-Julia


Julia Muller,
AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Very well said, thank you for the insights.

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

In our campaigns, we use exact match, along with modified broad in the same ad group, bidding higher on exact match, and lower on modified broad.

 

However, since implementing the close variants for exact match, we have noticed that in many of our campaigns, where keywords were generating impressions for modified broad, they are now generating impressions from the exact match keyword, whereas before that wasn't the case.

 

Still, we don't change this strategy, just to be on the safe side.  Exact match is still more specific than modified broad, and by using both, you are assured that all bases are covered.  Of course, it's preferable to place these two match types in a single keyword only ad group (sure lots here do that on these forums) if you take this strategy.

 

I'd be interested to hear more people chime in on this.  Great question.  

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for the reply Jared. Would you argue that it's even more efficient to split the exact match and modified broad match into separate single keyword ad groups? Because you can tailor the ad for BMM vs. Exact (where BMM can attract a broader range of queries).

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

We don't do that at our agency for the following reasons:

 

a) We use crossed negative keywords, which can sometimes be mind bending when you have a lot of ad groups.  This really makes things even nastier and more complicated if you got that granular to the extreme.

b) We just bid higher on the exact match over the modified broad match.  Since we have skags with two match types, this means that Google will match the keywords with the exact match first (another words, the keyword will "go" to the right ad group, and if it fits the exact match term, it will generate an impression via the exact match keyword), and if it doesn't match with exact match, then it would go into the auction via the modified broad match.

c) I'm wondering what you mean by tailoring the ad?  Of course, you can use the keyword insertion, but we are not particularly fond of it, as we hate losing control of what the user sees, and we also had lower CTR with it in most A/B tests.  It's a nice shortcut, but for me it's a bit dangerous.  We use it mostly only for competitor's brand keywords (to avoid trademark violations).

d) We have so many keywords as is, that most of the queries will be covered by exact match

 

This keeps things simpler and cleaner.  Since we have this setup, it doesn't seem to have much benefit to go ahead and stick each match type in its own ad group, and further complicates the already complicated crossed negative keyword structure.  When you already have 500 ad groups as it is, this is just too much.  As far as ad relevance goes, I doubt it will help you much to have a custom ad just for broad match in that respect.  It could possibly help with CTR I suppose, but how much?  My guess is the gains would be minimal that you would get for further complicating things.  

If you weren't aware, the engine decides upon which keyword it would enter into the auction with based on which one has the higher bid.  Example:  if I have two keywords in the same ad group:

 

[free art classes]

+free +art +classes

 

Between these two, the one with the higher bid would generate an impression if someone googled [free art classes].

 

We used to also use phrase match, but since Google changed it, it became too much like broad match, so we cut that out as well.

 

Hope that helps!

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey thanks for the back to back replies.

I'd argue that splitting the match types into 2 skags would be most beneficial for splitting bidding and budget strategies between the two. But of course I do understand that it's likely a complicated process to manually map negatives in relation to one another. Yet again, build out ads for all that -- I feel you.

And this is why I'm building a startup that solves everything you outlined. You can message me on Twitter @michalbirecki Smiley Happy

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

I think @Jared B is touching on a very important point here. "Over-optimization" can definitely hurt a campaign.  

 

We still use phrase match, but the changes to the exact match to include close variants seem to have changed the game enough to reconsider the setup. 


Julia Muller,
AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

What's the difference between Broad Match Modifier and Exact Close Variant keywords?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 9
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Thanks @Julia_Muller for the helpful answer