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Testing AdWords Modified Broad Match Keywords – Initial Findings

As you have probably heard, Google released a new feature (Modified Broad Match) recently that allows you to have more control over your Broad Match keywords.  Below are the details of my first test using Modified Broad Match.

How I Setup the Test

I chose an existing three-word Broad Match keyword that has historically performed well in my account and created the various versions of modified broad match.  All of the versions had the same bid.

Existing Broad Match Keyword

word1 word2 word3

Modified Broad Match Versions

+word1 +word2 +word3

word1 +word2 +word3

word1 word2 +word3

+word1 +word2 word3

+word1 word2 word3

word1 +word2 word3

+word1 word2 +word3

You can use this free Excel Modified Broad Match Keyword Builder to create your own variations.

The test ran for two weeks and had 5036 impressions, 308 clicks, and 146 conversions

Here are the results:

modified broad match keyword test

modified broad match keyword test

I was happy to see a majority of my impressions coming from the most targeted keyword version, but overall all versions were meeting performance goals.

How I Plan on Using Modified Broad Match Next

I see no need to add every variation of Modified Broad Match for every Broad Match keyword in my account, because I actively query mine for negatives, and I don’t want to make my account bloated with low-volume keyword variations.

However, for my higher-volume Broad Match keywords, I will be adding the different versions of Modified Broad Match, because there will be enough activity to warrant the increased visibility and control.  Also, having multiple Modified Broad Match variations does make it easier to find Negative keywords when drilling into the different versions of the Modified Broad Match keywords (in the AdWords interface), and I will be able to bid on each variation.

Of course, I’m sure there will be other ways to use Modified Broad Match and now that it’s in the tool box I will continue to test this useful new feature.

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5 Responses to “Testing AdWords Modified Broad Match Keywords – Initial Findings”

  1. John Lavin August 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    So far I have had some strange things happen since I started: Specifically, one of my accounts had a higher impression count than in a similar time period. I know that search patterns change and could account for it, but it was too significant to be just that. Also, in some accounts, there have been virtually no change in impressions or clicks. I expected some movement and got none.

  2. Chad Summerhill August 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi John, thanks for stopping by! You caught me reading your blog over at Dragon Search.

    Interesting results. I’m still testing as we speak.

  3. John Lavin August 31, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Yeah, I sit next to Andy and saw your comment. Thanks for visiting! Its definitely too early to really say anything, but interesting findings so far…

  4. Alan Mitchell October 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Hi Chad,

    Some good analysis on modified broad match, which I’ve found to be particularly rare. I recently did some similar analysis, and like yourself, found that modified broad match keywords tended to exhibit higher CTRs than keywords without broad match modification.


    I also found CPCs were typically lower for broad match modified keywords, although Quality Scores were relatively indifferent. Longer keywords, especially those with more plus signs, also tended to perform better than shorter variations.

    Guess it’s still early days, but glad to see both of us are getting similar results.


  5. Chad Summerhill October 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Hi Alan,

    Yeah, I read your post earlier today–great stuff! Thanks for going into so much detail. Keep up the good work.



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