Modified Broad Matching in Google Adwords. How to use it.

Something I haven’t seen a ton of people writing about is the Google Adwords Modified Broad Match.  I’m not sure if they just didn’t push it out hard enough or if people just don’t get what the modified broad match is, so I wanted to do a post about what it is and how to use it.  Modified broad match is basically a fourth matching type that helps to make your broad match a bit more relevant but not as restrictive as a phrase match.

How to use the modified broad match in AdWords.

Suppose you are bidding on the term medical supplies.  You don’t want to limit your traffic because you have a ton of budget to burn, but you also need to keep your conversion rates regular or at least profitable.  The thing about the term medical supplies is that it will show for people looking to buy medical supplies, people looking for medical supplies sales jobs, medical supplies wholesale companies, distributors, disposal companies, etc…  There are a ton of variations of this term.  You could always build an extensive negative keyword list to negate the bad searches, but now there is an easier option.

By including a +jobs or a +distribution +center, this keyword or keyword phrase will now only show if the +terms are in the search query.  This makes it so that if you are only selling surgical grade medical supplies, your ad will now show up for other terms that don’t include +Surgical +Grade.  You could show up for used medical supplies and medical supplies dealer, but you won’t show up for distribution or other terms that aren’t as relevant by properly using the modified broad match and a solid negative keyword list.  The modified broad match is basically a great way to help further target your audience on broad matches and can help make your negative keyword list a bit more effective.  Here are a few more examples that may be more relevant to you.

You have a clothing site and sell little black dresses.  Your little black dresses are for plus sized women only so you need a solid negative list that doesn’t effect normal traffic.  You could always include the sizes in your negatives and terms like red or pink since you only carry black dresses.  You probably still have other terms that you cannot add to your negative list because it could effect the keywords you are bidding on.  This is where the modified broad match comes in.

You may want to try +Plus +Sized black dress.  This covers you for plus sized black dress sale, plus sized black dresses for weddings, formal plus sized black dresses, plus sized black dresses for funerals, plus sized black dresses for clubbing, etc…  You can basically better target your traffic while keeping the root terms in tact and not limiting your ads from showing to much.  Lets use one more example.  The product for this is a flat screen tv.

For this example, you only sell one brand, XYZ.  You carry everything flat screen from XYZ including refurbished and new.  You even wholesale it to sports bars and other companies who need large amounts of flat screen tvs.  You have a large budget so everything is on broad match and you don’t want to limit yourself to much with negative keywords.  I would include customer service and other terms in the negatives list, but for your modified, you may want to go as simple as +xyz flat screens or +refurbished +xyz tvs.  You could also think about using xyz tvs and adding in +plasma or in +lcd to help make sure that people aren’t finding older tvs that aren’t flat screen.  By doing this you can still get a lot of traffic but also narrow down the searches by better targeting your ads.

The bottom line is that if you have the budget and want to try to better target your broad matches, in addition to a solid negative keyword list, modified broad match is an excellent option.  The one thing to remember is that it may not work all the time.  Keep a close eye on your campaigns until you know how they will act and react to adding in modified broad matching.  It could turn out to be that extra thing you needed to help get your ROI from broad match campaigns back on track.

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