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Samantha Noble

Google AdWords Introduces Keyword Targeting for Broad Match Campaigns

11th May 2010 Paid Search, Google AdWords, Paid Search 2 minutes to read

Google have included a new feature within AdWords to allow advertisers to define keywords that must appear within the search string when using broad match.

We have written in the past about the dangers of using broad match in PPC advertising. Whilst it is successful for many in attracting more clicks, targeting is often difficult.

Google have looked to remedy this by introducing a keyword targeting feature. This feature allows AdWords users to define the words that must appear within the search string. Therefore, rather than simply relying on variations of your key phrase using synonyms, you can now ensure that certain words are used for your ad to appear.


Well, imagine you are promoting a historic hotel. Simple enough. However, this could potentially mean that you appear for searches that include historical events, old B&Bs and other irrelevant phrases when using broad match.

Using the new keyword feature you can add a plus to the front of either word to ensure that it is matched exactly. So using this example you might choose to do historic +hotel. This will mean that your advert will only appear where the word hotel is used and some variation of the historic hotel phrase.

This might still mean that you appear for ‘classic hotel’, ‘traditional hotel‘ or ‘luxury hotel‘. Not necessarily irrelevant, but also not entirely targeted.

You could then go further target two keywords. This way the search string will have to include the both words in some form. For example, you could appear for ‘historic luxury hotel‘, ‘hotel in historic Windsor‘ or ‘historic London hotel‘.

This is quite similar to phrase match; however, as the examples show, whilst the words need to appear, they don’t have to do so in a specific order – as with phrase match.

Still not sure? The diagram below is featured on the Google AdWords blog to explain the new feature.

This added control over when your adverts are shown should help you to receive more targeted clicks for your broad match campaigns on Google AdWords. Whilst you will still be susceptible to some slight odd interpretations, the risk of appearing for something wholly unrelated should be significantly reduced.

You shouldn’t stop adding keywords and negative keywords or optimising your campaigns as a consequence of this update, but hopefully you will see an improvement in ROI.

The keyword targeting feature is available from today for all UK and Canada AdWords users. So if you’re currently using broad match, you might want to consider looking at how this might improve your Click through Rate and PPC conversions.

To find out more visit the Google AdWords blog.

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Samantha Noble

Sam is a talented multi-tasker, a dedicated mother to the gorgeous Theo and a big fan of cooking – word on the street is that she’s pretty good in the kitchen but we’re yet to know if this is true or not. Hint hint, we like cake, Sam.

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