Learning Hub | Paid Search Advertising

Farewell, Broad Match Modifier

July 21, 2021 | Jon Teodoro

farewell broad match modifier

In the ever-changing world of keywords, we’ve arrived at another shift. This July, broad match modifier bids farewell. It’s been a good run!  

Now, all of your modified broad match search terms will migrate over to phrase match.

The immediate ramifications don’t seem to be all that big. But it may be that you want to adjust all of your match types to ensure you’re making the right spend and getting the right kind of traffic.

How should you respond to the change? Here’s a handful of things to keep in mind.

Order Matters

With modified broad match terms (BMM for short) transitioning to phrase match, some search queries will no longer make the cut for your ads. Order may not have mattered for BMM, but it does for phrase match.  

Google cites the following example:

“Moving services NYC to Boston” vs “Moving Services Boston to NYC.” These two queries will bring up different results.

Your brand may not feel the impact here. It’s just something to be aware of in your overall ad mix.  

Negative Keywords Are More Important Than Ever

Weeding out keywords that you DON’T want to trigger your ads has always been crucial. But with the sunsetting of BMM, you’ll want to be especially attuned to your negative keywords. You may want to add more negative keywords to get higher quality traffic.  

Because we can’t anticipate all of the impact from the July sunsetting, it will be wise to closely monitor every aspect of your campaigns. Which leads us to budgeting.  

Scrutinize Your Spend

With BMM keywords migrating over, some phrase match keywords will see a big spike. Is your campaign budget prepared to cover that? If not, consider adjustments so that you don’t miss out on impressions and CTRs.

Using Smart Bidding? Obviously you’ll want to keep the integrity of your performance targets, but converting BMM and phrase keywords to broad match will help expand your reach.    

Understand The Intent

One of the ways brands are trying to open the aperture a bit while getting high-quality traffic is  Intent-Based Ad Groups. These are ads that combine keywords with the intent behind the search. They allow for some variance in the wording of search queries, knowing that the intent of users who type in phrasing with subtle differences is very similar if not the same.  

When you can see this intent, you can create ads that essentially reflect your user’s mindset the moment they begin searching, whether they’re in product comparison mode, gifting mode, a wholesaler, or just an individual consumer. And so on.

However you respond to this latest shift, make sure you’re in a good position to test, learn, and adapt your campaigns. Keywords evolve in tandem with consumers, so while the exit of BMM may feel like a setback, it’s also an opportunity to reevaluate how you can reach the right people.