Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(312) 884-9017
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing How Google’s New Match Types Can Actually Help You

How Google’s New Match Types Can Actually Help You

Google recently announced that in May they will be adding certain queries to your current phrase and exact match keywords labeled "near phrase" and [near exact]. A lot of debate and frankly hysteria has ensued about what this will mean for advertisers. While each case is different, here’s a specific scenario in which Google’s new match types can actually help you and your account:

Broad Match Reduction

Advertisers have long struggled with the limitations of phrase and exact match vs. the unpredictability of broad match. While exact match is always the advertiser’s goal match type, broad match was a necessary evil, fishing for keywords that weren’t known to us yet but that could be potential gold mines. Along the way, though, a lot of money was wasted on trying to find these hidden gems. Modified broad match came along and has been able to take away some of the power of old broad match.

And now, by taking queries that are closely related to our phrase and exact match keywords out of the broad match realm, we can reduce the budget for broad match and re-invest it.

Currently, your account might look like this:

Match Type

Budget

Clicks

CPC

Conversion Rate

Conversions

Broad

$ 1,000.00

500

$ 2.00

2%

10

Phrase

$ 1,000.00

333

$ 3.00

5%

17

Exact

$ 1,000.00

250

$ 4.00

10%

25

Re-Invest in Exact Match

So then, if your account is structured in a way that you’re bidding most for exact match, second most for phrase and least for broad, then these new match types can really help you. By re-routing these near phrase and near exact queries to actual phrase and actual exact match types, an advertiser will be able to utilize a higher bid and attain traffic for possibly better converting keywords than if they showed up under broad match. Think about it this way: prior to the change, if you bid $2 on broad, $3 on phrase and $4 on exact, the $2 bid would be used for the near match type queries. Now those queries would fall under either a $3 or $4 bid giving you an opportunity for a higher ad position and more impression share.

Again this could lead to a reduction in your broad match strategy and expansion into your exact match, which is what you really want!

Here is what your account could look like when moving budget away from broad match:

Match Type

Budget

Clicks

CPC

Conversion Rate

Conversions

Broad

$ 500.00

250

$ 2.00

2%

5

Phrase

$ 1,000.00

333

$ 3.00

5%

17

Exact

$ 1,500.00

375

$ 4.00

10%

38

The same $3000 budget garnered 7 more conversions by investing more into exact match!

Tying It All Together

It is very possible that you have accounts where showing your ad for a simple misspell or plural version of a keyword could be very detrimental. In my experience, however, misspellings most often convert pretty well especially if it is a brand term. And if a plural or singular version could hurt you that much you could always negative match it out. The rest of the additions, including stemmings, accents and abbreviations, I would want to test anyway.

That aside, imagine your account with a lot less reliance on broad match and a ton more emphasis on phrase and exact match due to these changes. Bidding would be a lot more straightforward. Ad to keyword relevance would be a lot easier to attain which equals higher initial Quality Score and should lead to a higher CTR and a secondary bump in QS. This causes a rise in Ad Position and reduction in CPC’s. Profits should then increase as well as number of conversions. Just imagine!

This is a guest post by John Ucciferri, Search Engine Marketing Manager at The CollegeBound Network. John has worked in the PPC industry for over 7 years, specializing in lead generation in the education space. You can follow him on Twitter @johnucciferri.

 
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily bgTheory. If you would like to write for Certified Knowledge, please let us know.
 
Related Entries: Google launches near match, should you use it?
 

No Comments

  1. Martin Roettgerding
    May 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm · Reply

    Hey,
    I don’t think this is a good idea. Exact match isn’t just the most valuable source of traffic. It also gives you the most control over your bids and gets you the most reliable data on the keyword level. Mix exact with near exact and you will dilute this precious data. Unless you use Google’s Conversion Optimizer, this will lower the quality of your bids as well. Where previously you were able to tune your bid to the conversion rate of an exact query you will then have to use a bid that works for the average conversion rates of all the near exact queries combined.

    However, there is a middle way that leaves the exact match campaign intact: Copy your exact match campaign and opt the copy into near match types. Then exclude all the exact keywords from the new near exact campaign. Since negative keywords aren’t affected by the new matching behaviour, this effectivly lets you target near matches only.

  2. johnucciferri
    May 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm · Reply

    Martin,

    I agree exact match is the solution to everything. As PPC marketers, that is always our end goal.

    Your solution, in effect, is the same as mine because you’re still not bidding on these queries on exact. Yet! That’s step 2 to the process. Mining search queries and extracting the near matches that are converting and bidding on them on exact match.

    I think we’re both on the same page (getting to only exact match) just taking two different paths to get there.

  3. tdwhalen
    May 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm · Reply

    Broad match can be a good match type. Even if it does tend to have lower CTRs and lower conversion rates, you can still bid it so that CPA is reasonably in line with target CPA.

    I also think there are a lot of accounts where – by the nature of the account – you will always have unique queries coming in – unique enough that they might not be captured by phrase or BMM. My sense is that the more important thing than what percent of an account is comprised of broad match keywords is whether or not the PPC manager is running that cohort of broad match keywords at an appropriate efficiency metric (CPA, ROAS, whatever). It may be reasonable to have broad match keywords running at 10-15% higher CPA, but maybe not 20%+. If you are bidding your broad match cohort to a reasonable CPA and you are diligently mining the search query data associated with those broad match keywords, you’re good.

    In the above example, your broad/phrase/exact CPAs are $100/$59/$40. You point out that this allocation is silly, but this doesn’t have anything to do with near-exact match, necessarily. It’s silly in the context of PPC, period. If broad conversion rate was really 80% lower than exact conversion rate, you should never be paying $2.00 CPCs. Also, conversion rates should/would never be this disparate – if they were, the PPC manager is not using negative keywords.

    I do agree with your main premise – that if, in fact, the near-match keywords are not already in your exact-match keyword list, and if they tend to perform similarly to your exact-match keywords, then it could be a good thing to keep near-match enabled. At the end of the day, look at query data, and act on the data. This was true before this Google change, and it’s still true. Thoughts?

  4. olafpijl
    May 11, 2012 at 5:01 am · Reply

    I don’t agree with the math in the examples given above. They assume that prior tot the change, a broad match has a conversion rate of 2%. After the change, Google will allocate them to exact match. I agree with that. However, you can’t assume that the conversion rate will suddenly jump 10% as well – the keyword and the intention of the searcher haven’t changed.

    Besides, I miss modified broad match in the picture. And I agree with tdwhalen: this exmple account would need a lot of bidmanagement, negatives and love!

Leave a Reply