I've noticed a few close variants performing well in my AdWords campaign lately. Would it be beneficial to add these close variant keywords to an ad group (for example, as exact matches)? In particular, would doing so increase the CTR on those particular close variant keywords, since it seems that Google would prefer to use keywords identical to search queries?
I'm also wondering if, by not adding close variants as exact matches in an ad group, I am losing out on potential traffic for those keywords. In other words, does Google show ads for close variants that are not a part of an ad group at the same rate that they would be shown if they were exact match keywords in an ad group? I'd appreciate any insight on this issue.
Hi. To answer your first question, if you have search terms performing well, then I would add them as an exact match to the most relevant ad group. Create a new group if an existing one is not extremely relevant.
Adding it as an exact match does not automatically mean it will have a higher CTR. What it does do for you is if you add it to very tightly themed group, then you can write ads that directly speak to that searcher. That would be what increases your CTR.
As far as not adding and whether do you miss a portion of those potential impressions. The idea behind close variants is you don't have to add every variant to your account. I've never seen anything about whether it would actually enter you into every auction, although Google seems to lead you down that path of thinking.
My opinion is if it's receiving enough impression volume to not receive the "low search volume" status, add the keyword because why leave it to whether or not Google will enter you into the auction or not. Plus, the whole being able to write ads specifically for it.
I would also add it as an exact match negative to the other group/campaign where it is currently receiving impressions.
Best of luck.
Great reply by @David G
>>" does Google show ads for close variants that are not a part of an ad group at the same rate that they would be shown if they were exact match keywords in an ad group?
The keyword or its close variant will take part in the auction. As David mentioned the whole point is to avoid an endless list of keywords, 80% of which are variants of the other 20%....
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High volume and high value exact match search terms are the "premium" terms for your account. Ideally, you want to identify, isolate, and optimize those terms. Especially if you have a very limited budget, a single high volume, high value exact term may be all you "need" to get the best bang for your buck.