A Guide to Modified Broad Match in AdWords

This is a detailed blog on Modified Broad Match in Google AdWords. But before that, we will revise all the different match types and how they contribute to campaigns.

From our blog on match types in Google AdWords, we understand how AdWords triggers ads only when search queries by users match keywords defined by advertisers. We also discussed how search queries and keywords need not always be identical. AdWords also shows ads for a synonym, a misspelled keyword or a search related to the keyword. However, advertisers get to control this relationship between search queries and keywords using match types.

AdWords offers 4 different match types. They are as follows:

  1. Exact Match
  2. Phrase Match
  3. Broad Match Modifier
  4. Broad Match


E.g., An advertiser has a keyword shoes, AdWords may trigger ads when a user searches for shoes, black shoes, ski boots, ballerinas, etc. AdWords may even return the websites of Nike, Adidas, etc. as results to the search query shoes.

In this blog we will discuss:

  • What is a Modified Broad Match in Google AdWords?
  • Examples of Modified Broad Match Keywords?
  • Why is it essential to include Modified Broad Match Keywords?

What is a Modified Broad Match in Google AdWords?

“Modified broad match lets you target searches that include at least one of your keywords. Broad match modifier ensures that your ads will only show when someone’s search is an exact match or close variant of your keyword.” – Google

“Broad match modifier has a similar benefit as a broad match concerning audience reach, but it enables advertisers to control the triggering of ads better. An advertiser can add a plus sign (+) before a word in the keyword/phrase. This means that only when the search query contains that specific word on which we used a plus sign (+), an ad is shown. When a keyword is set under broad match modifier, the order of words in the search query is not a priority.” – AdNabu

From the two definitions, broad match modifier is the best bet for a keyword match type in AdWords. Keywords under modified broad match can ensure a boost in your number of impressions as well as control the clicks.


Examples of Modified Broad Match Keywords?

We will be using the example from our Broad Match Guide blog and improvise on it to understand how modified broad match works with the keywords.

Our broad match keyword was Running Shoes. To apply the broad match modifier, we have to use a (+) sign before that word in the keyword/phrase which we are targeting. For the keyword Running Shoes, we want to make sure we don’t want to show ads for users who aren’t looking for running shoes. Hence, we add a modifier to the word running. Our keyword now will be +Running Shoes.

The following table will illustrate the difference between how match types influence our keyword Running Shoes.

Query Broad Match Modified Broad Match Phrase Match Exact Match
Shoes Yes No No No
No Lace Running Shoes Yes Yes Yes No
Sports Shoes Yes No No No
Men Running Shoes Yes Yes Yes No
Discount on Running Shoes Yes Yes Yes No
Sports Shoes for Running
Yes Yes No No
Running Shoes Online Yes Yes Yes No
Size 16 Running Shoes Yes Yes Yes No

The above table draws a vivid picture as to how modified broad match is much more selective than broad match. Modified broad match is almost the same as phrase match in terms of triggering ads. The only difference being that Broad Match Modifier is not selective about the order of keywords.

Why is it important to include Modified Broad Match Keywords?

Modified broad match keywords, even though look very similar to phrase match keywords in terms of impressions, the number of clicks are higher for modified broad match keywords. We will discuss more phrase match vs broad match modifier in a different blog. But yes, broad match modifier holds a very high significance in AdWords campaigns. In fact, at AdNabu, we insist our customers consider modified broad match keywords over the broad match.

How can AdNabu help you with your AdWords campaigns?

Using AdNabu, you can create campaigns as well as optimize all your existing campaigns. And, AdNabu measures the performance of your keywords under all the match types automatically. You will also have the progress overview of all your campaigns on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. AdNabu then suggests you pause or unpause campaigns according to their performance. From helping you choose the right keywords to bid adjustments and everything in between, AdNabu does it all.

Start your free trial of AdNabu today!


About the author

Mantha Sai Praveen

Content marketer by day, a poet by night.

By Mantha Sai Praveen

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