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Plural and singular variations

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Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi All

 

What's the general recommendation on using plural and singular versions of a keyword within an ad group? I see it suggested in various places, but whenever I try it, I find the singular often performs poorly in terms of CTR and QS and drags down the ad group's performance. 

 

For example, say I have an ad group for Widget Frames.

 

Here's the ad...

 

Buy Widget Frames

Widget Frames Now Available

Free Delivery on All Orders!

www.widgetframes.com

 

(^^ EDIT: sorry, can't seem to stop Google turning that into an actual link!)

 

And here are the (only) two keywords in the ad group, with some stats...

 

"widget frames"          10% CTR         QS 4/10          AvgPos. 1.3

"widget frame"            5% CTR          QS 3/10          AvgPos.1.3

 

Questions:

 

1) All other things (such as conversion rate) being equal, would you drop the singular?

 

2) Also, while on the subject of variations, is it generally good practise to include an [exact match] of each keyword you've used as a "phrase match"?

 

TIA.

 

 

4 Expert replyverified_user
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Plural and singular variations

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi swebber;

AdWords has introduced the modified broad match, to offer a simple solution to singular /plural variants of keywords,

 

-Moshe


Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Plural and singular variations

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

You don't have the singular version, frame, of the keyword in the ad text.  I'd split them into two ad groups.  Run one for singular and the other for plural with the ad text customized to match the right sort of keyword.  That will help your QS.  Also, put the opposite version in as a negative if you have any broad matches.  Adding to what Moshe has said, you could use the broad match modifier, so the singular ad group keyword list might start out looking like this:

 

+widget +frame

[widget frame]

-frames

 

Also, you'll find that it's a good idea to set the CPC bid higher for the exact match, since you know exactly what you're bidding on.  For the modified broad match, set the bid lower and watch the underlying search queries on a regular basis.  If you find some worth adding as an exact match, do so at an appropriate bid.

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Plural and singular variations

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi swebber;

AdWords has introduced the modified broad match, to offer a simple solution to singular /plural variants of keywords,

 

-Moshe


Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Plural and singular variations

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

You don't have the singular version, frame, of the keyword in the ad text.  I'd split them into two ad groups.  Run one for singular and the other for plural with the ad text customized to match the right sort of keyword.  That will help your QS.  Also, put the opposite version in as a negative if you have any broad matches.  Adding to what Moshe has said, you could use the broad match modifier, so the singular ad group keyword list might start out looking like this:

 

+widget +frame

[widget frame]

-frames

 

Also, you'll find that it's a good idea to set the CPC bid higher for the exact match, since you know exactly what you're bidding on.  For the modified broad match, set the bid lower and watch the underlying search queries on a regular basis.  If you find some worth adding as an exact match, do so at an appropriate bid.

Re: Plural and singular variations

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Wow, a separate ad group for singular? I'm surprised at that. I always assumed Google would have picked out the singular from the plural in the text. That's interesting. It would certainly explain my "Keyword relevance Poor" on the singular keyword, which had been baffling me for a while. Thanks Richard, I'll give that a go.

 

Also thanks Moshe for the broad match modifier suggestion.

Re: Plural and singular variations

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 5
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Just a quick follow-up question... is it advisable to have both singular and plural versions of the display and destination URLs too? Or would you say that was overkill?

 

e.g.

myframes.com/widgetframe

myframes.com/widgetframes

Re: Plural and singular variations

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi swebber, I'd be amazed if a change to the URL would make any difference to your QS (the name, not the landing page itself!!).

 

To follow up on what Richard and Moshe have said, while this is all good advice, if your QSs really are 3 and 4 out of 10 I doubt the plurals issue will make a lot of difference.  I'd suspect you have a larger problem elsewhere - for example, it's not that Google thinks you don't sell a widget because you haven't got the singular, it's that it doesn't think you sell any widget(s) at all, or that people are seeing (and clicking) on your ad(s) who aren't actually looking for widgets, or when they land on your site they can't find widgets, etc.

 

In your quoted stats you've shown your plural with a better QS and asked about dropping the singular.  I'd be looking more at the difference in CTR which, in my opinion, is far more likely to be the difference between 3 and 4.

 

Some of this does really depend upon what the "widget" actually is as for some products the difference between singular and plural in a search term might indicate a different type of customer.  For example, for some products it may be appropriate to look out for search terms including "bulk" or "suppliers" which may indicate a customer looking to buy a lot, rather than one.  For example, a search for "strawberry preserve" may well be someone just looking for something to put on their toast, whereas "preserve suppliers" could be a store looking to buy 500 jars a month.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Plural and singular variations

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Jon, thanks for posting your thoughts.

 

That's an excellent point about different types of customer looking for singular and plural. Yes I would say in terms of the widgets (sorry for not being transparent about what they actually are) they do indeed vary - the consumer market would go for a single widget, B2B would go for bulk orders. Definitely something there for me to think about when it comes to customising the ad text, landing page and obviously the choice of keywords themselves.

 

All my QS are hopping around a lot right now! I've just this minute checked, and it's gone up to 6 and 4 for the plural and singular versions of the keyword respectively. Also, the plural version's CTR is 13% from 8 clicks/60 impr, and the singular's is 4% from 4 clicks/92 impr. Obviously not enough data there to draw any conclusions just yet, but this ad group has only been up 5 days so I'll be following it with interest. I might leave the singular and plural as it is for the rest of this week, then make the change over the weekend depending on how it goes.

 

Thanks again.

Re: Plural and singular variations

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi swebber,

 

Be sure to look at the conversion data when you analyze this--a 4% click-through with 50% converstion rate is better than an 8% click-through with 25% conversion rate.

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Plural and singular variations

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Hi swebber, with 5 days data and fewer than 100 impressions, as you say, I'd definitely take the data with a large pinch of salt - there simply isn't enough there to make decent (or even vague) decisions.

 

There's no rule of thumb (of course - it's Adwords!) and (of course - it's Adwords) there's no "one size fits all", but I'd be looking for a lot more time/data before making important decisions.

 

Once again, it comes down to what the widget is.  If I started a campaign for hotel accommodation in London and got 10 impressions and 1 click on my first day, I'd know something was seriously wrong.  If I started a campaign for fan-belts for a 1972 classic car and got 10 impressions and 1 click on my first day I'd be delighted (assuming the impressions and click were from people looking for a 1972 fan-belt!).

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Plural and singular variations

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

1) theres one point you might want to consider: what is the total number of clicks you get if have both keywords vs having only one keyword

 

Take two scenarios:

 

Scenario 1: Only plural keyword

200 clicks/day, 3% conversion rate, 10% CTR

6 Conversions

 

Scenario 2: Both singular and plural keywords

400 clicks/day, 2.5% Conv. Rate, 8% CTR

10 Conversions

 

You might prefer the second scenario, even though it has a lower conversion rate and CTR, if you're looking to maximise the number of conversions