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Understanding match types in 2021

Changes in the Facebook & General Consumer Landscape

Introduction to the phasing out of Broad Modified Match (BMM)

As we approach Google’s official sunset of the broad modified match type, it’s important to understand the remaining three match types and best practices with each. Earlier this year, Google announced that Broad Modified Match will be discontinued, leaving Broad, Phrase and Exact match types. Existing broad modified keywords are starting to appear with new phrase rules.

In theory, this change should not hinder performance. However, it is important to understand the best practices for keywords, ad groups, and campaign structure. With all best practices, each account can behave differently and it is important to test what works best, case by case. This blog contains conclusions from test structures with new broad modifier type and structure recommendations from our digital marketing agency.

Google Ads Match Types and How They Work

With the BMM phasing out, there are now three remaining match types: wide, sentence and exact. The names of these different match types are very familiar to Google Ads services. However, the way Google now treats each match type has changed enormously from previous years. We’ve seen this before with the introduction of “close variants,” but it seems we’ve drifted further away from what these match types used to be.

Google now describes broad match as “loose matching”, phrase as “moderate matching” and exactly as “close matching.” In 2021, keyword types must be matched in this sense, as the old meaning of “exact” or “phrase” is no longer relevant. Advertisers should now focus on Google’s intentions about these changes rather than what keywords they may be reaching for. The biggest change across all of these match types is that Google relies on AI to understand meaning and intent, rather than the earlier, more linear keyword matching where keywords were keywords.

More details on how each keyword type has changed below:

Exact match:

Exact match type used to be relatively straightforward – users needed to search for the exact keyword or a close spelling mistake to trigger the ad. Google now defines this as “Ads may appear on searches that have the same meaning or purpose as the keyword.” For example, exact matching keywords [lawn mowing service] can now also trigger keywords such as “grass cutting service” because the purpose of the search is the same. Exact is no longer accurate in any way and should be considered “tight matching”.

Sentence match:

Phrase type previously meant that the user needed to include your keyword. Eg. Can “shoes for men” trigger searches like “tennis shoes for men”, “buy shoes for men online”, etc. Similar to the exact match change, sentence temperature is loosened and Google says that “ads may appear on searches that include the meaning of Your keyword. The meaning of the keyword can be hinted at, and user searches can be a more specific form of meaning. ”

Similar to exact matching, the search no longer needs to contain the keywords you target, as long as Google identifies that intent or meaning is the same. Eg. Can the keyword “lawn mower service” trigger a search for “lawn mower rental company” because the implication between the two keywords is the same.

Wide match:

On the surface, Google’s current definition of Broad Match does not differ much from what advertisers are used to, as Google says, “Ads may appear on searches related to your keyword, which may include searches that do not contain the keyword. However, Google also mentions that to help deliver relevant matches, the system also takes into account the user’s recent search activity, landing page content, and other keywords in the ad group – all of which go hand in hand with Google’s transition to focus on user intent rather than keywords. .

The example is that the flexible keyword “lawn mower service” can trigger a search for “lawn aeration rates”. Although this search is related to the keyword, it may not be very profitable for a company that does not offer aeration services, so as always, search terms with flexible keywords need to be closely monitored to ensure high quality traffic.

Account structure recommendations: When to use each match type

It is important to know the differences between match types to implement the right ones for your goals as they deliver different results throughout your search query. With Google’s match type update and increased reliance on smart bidding, it’s good to use broad match type whenever possible, but it should certainly not be used in all cases.

Broad match type should ideally be used with exact match for branded keywords, as long as your brand is not a generic, commonly used word, such as “Dress Shop” or “Equipment”. When you want to scale your budget and search volume, you can start with a small number of flexible keywords in your non-branded campaign, but you should monitor your search term report daily or several times a week and include a comprehensive list of negative keywords. Flexible match keywords typically start with poor performance in the first 2-4 weeks until Google finds out which variations of the word are getting the results you want. If you’re willing to go through that dip in performance, Broad can come out on the other side and surprise you with its performance when used with smart bidding.

Types of match types should be what you start with for non-brand campaigns. This way, you have more control without wasting money on an influx of irrelevant searches. Phrase sees significantly less volume than broad match. You will still want to monitor the search term report, as you may appear for searches that contain the words in your keyword phrase but have a different meaning.

Precise match types should be used whenever possible, as Google prioritizes these terms over other match types and will be ranked higher in the auction. These are good to use for tags and non-tags. They should also be added continuously for high-performing search terms that come through.

If your brand campaigns generate more than 50 conversions per month, you should consider grouping phrases with phrase and / or flexible match in the same ad group, but in a separate campaign rather than exact match keywords. This way, you can bid higher on the exact match of your brand, which typically gives the best performance. Consolidation is key, especially for lower conversion keywords. For non-branded campaigns, consider grouping exact, phrase, and / or broad-matched keywords into the same ad group (broken down by keyword theme) to give Google more data to learn, and let it choose the type of match it finds best. each query.

Moves forward without wide modified combat

The BMM phasing out has drastically changed the way advertisers structure accounts. As with many changes from Google, open-minded testing, as success will vary between industries, budgets, placements, and settings within the Google Ads platform that works for one account, may not work for another.

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