Broad Match Modifier – One Of The Four Match Types In The Mix!


In this blog post I’m going to highlight the reasons why Broad Match Modifier (BMM) should be given some attention! It may not be appropriate for your campaign, or particular areas within your campaign, but you should be aware of its distinction from Broad Match, the benefits it can encompass, and some useful tips for using it.

The diagram below segments keyword targeting in terms of match type and displays Broad Match Modifier’s position within the match type spectrum. You can see from this that Broad Match modifier sits in the middle of Phrase and Broad. Therefore, it reaches a larger audience than Phrase match but has more control than Broad Match.

Match type diagram


The Difference Between Broad Match And Broad Match Modifier

Let’s look at the difference between the two in more depth:


Match Type Special Symbol Example Keywords Ads may show on searches that Example searches
Broad Match



None women’s bags



Include misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations buy ladies bags


a mongoose-like viverrine of South Africa


Broad Match Modifier


+{keyword} +women’s +bags



Contain the modified term (or close variant, but not synonyms) in any order bags for women


meerkat costumes


Broad Match Modifier allows a high level of reach, while maintaining a level of control in terms of relevancy. The word proceeding the + sign must appear (or a close variant such as a misspelling, singular/plural, abbreviation, acronym or stemming) in the search query. In comparison to Broad match, synonyms and related searches will not cause the ad to show. So, like Phrase and Exact Match types, Broad Match Modifier requires the keyword to be present in the search term for the ad to show, whereas Broad Match doesn’t. For Broad Match, a synonym or related keyword can cause the ad to show.


Why You Should Use BMM

  • It will generate more traffic, but traffic with high relevance, so there is greater potential for conversions (compared to Broad Match). If you want to maximise your traffic whilst ensuring your traffic is high-quality, BMM is for you.
  • It will increase brand exposure and awareness, but at the same time it will keep a level of control over relevancy.
  • If you have long-tail keywords (which is where a lot of search queries are moving towards) you can just modify some of your more specific words that you already know convert well and are highly relevant. For example, with the term ‘women’s quilted leather bags’ you could modify the keyword term like this ‘+women’s quilted leather +bags’. This will ensure that the ad shows when ‘women’s’ and ‘bags’ appear as they are. However, ‘quilted’ and ‘leather’ don’t have to appear in the search term for the ad to show. Additionally, a synonym or related word to quilted or leather can cause the ad to show.
  • A less extensive list of negative keywords is required. Unlike Broad Match keywords, synonyms and related searches are excluded, so less time is wasted with negative keyword research. Negative keyword research is still very important, but it is not as necessary as it is for Broad Match keywords.
  • When moving from Broad Match to BMM, Broad Match Modifier has been seen to exert a positive effect on quality score. This may be due to increased relevancy and therefore an increased CTR.
  • It is extremely easy to use. In AdWords Editor just use the ‘Replace Text’ function, where you can find a ‘keyword’ and replace it with ‘+keyword’. There can be some formatting issues in Excel when using ‘+’, so take advantage of Editor. Here are some additional tools which you may find useful:

Keywords Toaster:

PPC Keyword Concatenation Tool:


How To Utilise BMM Effectively

  • Use BMM as an opportunity to find new keywords. By using BMM rather than Phrase Match, you can explore Search Query Reports more granularly and obtain more insightful data. You can then add these keywords to your campaigns. Additionally, this can give you the opportunity to find negative keywords that you can add to your campaigns.
  • Take advantage of the flexibility that BMM permits. You can use the ‘+’ on some of the words within the keyword term to ensure that the word with the ‘+’ definitely appears. Words without the ‘+’ will have more flexibility (acting as a broad match) and can be matched to synonyms or related terms. For example, ‘women’s +bags’ holds the premise that the word ‘women’s’ can match to synonyms or related terms such as ‘ladies’, but the word ‘bag’ has to appear how it is. It will not be matched to any variant or synonyms, such as ‘tote’ or ‘purse’.
  • If this information has convinced you that BMM is worth a go and you would like to change your Broad Match keywords to Broad Match Modifier, you should be prepared to lose some traffic. As synonyms and related searches will be excluded, you will lose impression volume, but it is likely that the impression volume lost will be of little value to your campaign. It is also likely that using BMM over Broad Match will have a positive influence on cost.
  • One thing to note is that you can’t have a negative broad match modifier.
  • If you want to be extra cautious, make sure that you take advantage of the AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) tool, which allows you to accurately test and monitor changes to your keywords, bids, ad groups, ads, placements and more. You can run your experimental campaign alongside your original campaign, allowing a real-time representation and thus a realistic set of results that you can then choose to implement or discard.
  • If you are using Excel and want to type in a keyword with a + put a ‘ in front of it:

+keyword will give you an error, as Excel sees the + first and tries to read it as a formula.

‘+keyword will show as +keyword (as the apostrophe tells Excel you’re entering text).

  • Also, if you’re using AdWords Editor and you want to add BMM to all of the words in your keywords, first click ‘Append Text’ and add ‘+’ in front of all keywords. Then click ‘Replace Text’ and replace ‘ ’ (a space) with ‘ +’ (a space followed by a plus).

To do the same in Excel, use the formula:

=”+”&SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1),” “,” +”)

(Just replace A1 with the cell your keyword is in)



So, there are my thoughts on BMM and why I think it deserves its place in the match type spectrum. What are your thoughts? Do you prefer to use Broad Match? Or do you think that Phrase Match offers something BMM doesn’t? Please let me know in the comments below or via twitter @hollymartin__. Thank you for reading!

The post Broad Match Modifier – One Of The Four Match Types In The Mix! appeared first on White Noise.

via White Noise

Tagged with: ,
Posted in News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: