Google is removing Broad Match Modified keywords. What does this mean for you?

Over the last few years, a number of changes have been made that has impacted Google Ads – from changes to the SERPS (removing right column ads and switching to 4 ads) to the introduction of Auction Time Bidding (an automated way of managing your Paid Search Ads).

Changes to Broad Match Modified keywords

The next ‘big change’ is to remove Broad Match Modifier keywords. The level of impact this will have on your account will depend on how your current campaigns are structured.

What is BMM?

For those who don’t know currently, there are four types of keywords:

  • Broad Match Modifier
  • Broad Match 
  • Phrase Match
  • Exact Match

Each of these match types act in a different way. Although all can be used for targeting a particular term, the searches that you appear against will depend on which match type you use.

Broad Match Modifier – +new +homes +Colchester – this is where all terms have to appear, but in any order. For example, search terms could include “5 bed new Homes in Colchester” orbest new home builders in Colchester.”

Broad Matchnew homes Colchester – this is where your keywords will show for any term in any order. This is usually a mistake a lot of people make, as you could also show for ‘new car Colchester’. You will generate a lot of impressions, however, high impressions are likely to lead to a low CTR, which is something Google will look at when reviewing your campaign. 

Phrase Match – This will show for “new homes Colchester” – it is very similar to BMM, however, the keywords must be in the correct order. This does mean you will see new searches, but not as many as you would for BMM. For example, search terms could include “rent new homes Colchester” or “buy new homes colchester”. It won’t show for “new 5 bedroom homes Colchester” though.

Exact Match – [New Homes Colchester] – this will show only for the exact term. Exact Match is used for terms you know will work. As a number of competitors are likely to bid on the exact term, they can be expensive. 

What is the Standard PPC Account Strategy?

The standard Paid Search strategy was originally to build an Exact Campaign and Broad Match Modifier campaign, which makes the account scalable. The BMM campaign would be used to add new keywords and scale the account. Once keywords work, then they are transferred to the exact match campaign and negatived out from the existing campaign.  

What is Changing?

Google will be removing BMM functionality and are replacing it with Phrase Match by the end of July 2021 – although the rollout will start in mid-February. If you have been running an account correctly, you will have two separate types of campaign: ‘Exact Match’ and ‘Broad Match Modifier’ (BMM). Therefore, it’s time to take note.

What Will Change for you?

If you have been running an account correctly, you will have been running ‘full BMM’, which means you have “+” in front of all your keywords. If this is the case, then you will just need to make sure that you run an SQR and make sure that all relevant terms are covered. 

When BMM is removed, then you will appear for phrase match searches in which the results only appear in the correct order.

Our Opinion

Google has made changes over the years to pull in extra revenue, including making Google Shopping Ads paid-for and reducing the number of ads (removing the right hand column).

With BMM, it certainly will mean a lot of people going back and checking through their campaigns and naming conventions will need to change. BMM was a great way to capture new keywords; as such, more focus will need to go into keyword research. However, BMM was never meant to be used in the way it has been (using full BMM). Instead, users were expected to only include a couple of keywords in the search.

Next Steps

  • Run an SQR
  • Check that you are are covering as many relevant keywords as possible

If none of this makes sense …. Contact the experts. At Aphra, we are experts in paid search marketing – whether you’re based in Colchester, Essex, or beyond. Drop us an enquiry today and our paid marketing expert will provide you with free advice on how to improve your Google AdWords marketing campaign.