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Anyone that has worked with the Google keyword tool is probably well aware of the three primary keyword match types: exact, phrase and broad. But what many involved with PPC research may not realize is that a fourth match type exists. Known as a broad match modifier, it allows users greater targeting on broad match keywords that otherwise consistently produced irrelevant search queries. Because pay per click advertising can be costly when not controlled, unmodified broad match results can equate to expensive and unnecessary ad clicks.

Without a modifier in place, advertisers required spending more resources and time adding large amounts of negative keywords and phrases to their campaigns to reduce the number of low quality clicks. Conversely, using only exact match or phrase keywords can result in decreased ad visibility. The addition of a broad match modifier is a huge asset when refining relevant keyword targeting. Not only does this help to reduce costs, it can improve conversion ratios.

To add a broad match modifier to your existing broad match keywords, simply add the plus symbol (+) before each word. Basically, this means that any word with the plus sign in front must be part of the search query that user’s type, and there cannot be any variation. To give an example, a normal broad match keyword that happens to be “exotic flowers” may trigger an ad when searchers type in the phrase “exotic plants”, which may not be what your business

offers. The modifier in front of the word “flowers” ensures that it is cited as being relevant and will always be returned.

Keep in mind that broad match modifiers are not literal exact matches. They still allow for close variants such as plural or singular word stems. However, it does eliminate any synonyms for the keyword phrase or words. Using modifiers should be considered as an essential addition to your negative keywords match strategy.

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