Internet Marketing

Get Ready for Google AdWords Keyword Match Type Update – Phrase and Exact Match Close Variants

10. 05. 2012

In April, Google announced that in mid-May search terms will produce broader ad results than before. The previous method was “exact match,” which meant someone typing in “wooden picnic table” would generate ads utilizing the exact phrase “wooden picnic table.” The new changes, known as close variants of your exact match and phrase match keywords will also now produce ad results for “wooden picnic tables,” although the person performing the search typed in “wooden picnic table.” The reason for this change is due to the revelation that Google’s costs per click, or CPCs, were down 12% in the first quarter and still didn’t bounce back in the fourth quarter, as they showed a negative of 4%. The solution for CPCs that are slipping downward is to increase the number of clicks. The more clicks, the more revenue Google makes. So, what Google has done is update the keyword match types. Exact and Phrase match keywords will now show variants of the search term if the user chooses. This means that misspellings, plurals, stemmings, accents, abbreviations, and acronyms all count.

What Won’t Change?

First, there is no worry that Google will expand to synonyms. There is also no word reordering in phrase match or exact match. For those who will not benefit from the new Near Match or Broad Match feature, they can opt out. The benefits of opting out will depend upon the industry and the intentions behind using Adwords. The reason for this is, if you are searching for a black purse; you may be searching for a specific black purse. If you search “black purses,” you may want to see a variety of black purses. If you manage PPC campaigns and would like to opt-out, it is quite easy to establish whether or not you want to include plurals, misspellings, and other variants. Under “Advanced Settings,” you can make the adjustment under “Campaign Settings” and then choose “Keyword Matching Options” to make your choices.

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Using Google Analytics to Track the Impact of Phrase and Exact Match Close Variants Update

Google Analytics has an option called ValueTrack. ValueTrack is a URL-tagging feature that is easy-to-use. With this feature, you are given information about where your ad was when the user clicked it, which ad was shown, and what keyword caused the ad to appear. So if you use Near Match as opposed to Exact Match, you will be informed of what keyword was responsible for the ad generated for the user. If the user typed in “Blue shoes” and the keyword that generated it was “blue shoe” because that’s what you bid on for your ad, you will know what is generating your traffic and this can help you adjust your campaigns if you need to. If more people are specifically searching “blue shoes,” that may be what you want your keyword to be so you can also compete with the narrower exact match results while also having possible exposure to those users typing in “blue shoe.” You may want to adjust your campaign due to the fact the broader results means more ad competition, but your exposure increases at the same time.

Utilizing Negative Keywords to Improve Control over Close Variants Update

Negative keywords in AdWords are the words you designate within Ad groups that you don’t want to include in your keyword bidding. Your negative keywords can also be included in the clicks for which you don’t want to. pay.. With Near Match, you will need to put a lot of thought into selecting possible negative keywords, because you can have a lot of success with it. You can’t have every possible keyword in your account, so a combination of broad match keywords and negative keywords can filter out the traffic that you don’t want. If broader terms can bring in more relevant traffic, which they most likely will, use them. However, if certain close variants bring in untargeted traffic, rule them out.

Monitor your AdWords Campaign Closely after the Update

You need to carefully watch your key performance indicators after making updates to your campaigns. Because your ads will be showing up under keywords they did not normally show up for, your impressions are going to increase and so are your clicks. Of course you do want your ad seen as much as possible and you want more clicks that ultimately turn into sales. Nonetheless, you will need to monitor the fact that your impressions can increase at a rate that is much higher than your click rate. This could have a negative impact on your click-through rate. This is why you want to take a look at Google Analytics ValueTrack and see which keywords are bringing in the traffic as opposed to the ones you bid on. To make monitoring easier for you, you may want to set up alerts via Google so you know when your metrics hit above or below a specific number. Doing this will help you understand what needs to be changed in your ad campaigns so that you can have great success with Google’s new Phrase Match and Broad Match feature. The update will go live in mid-May, so get ready, as this will surely mean big changes for current AdWords campaigns. Let us know how the changes affected you and any tips and tricks you discovered to make your campaigns more successful!

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