About broad match modifiers

Broad match modifiers target searches that include all the elements of your keywords. For example, the broad match modified keyword +red +shoes could return a search query for red men’s shoes, but not for blue shoes or red flowers. This can help increase how relevant your traffic is to your ads, and improve your clickthrough (CTR) and conversion rates.

This article explains what broad match modifiers are and how they can be used to help your ads reach more relevant customers.

What broad match modifiers are

By default, Google Ads uses the broad match option to target searches that include any combination of the words that comprise your keyword term, as well as searches containing synonyms or other variations of those words (such as related searches). So although a broad match keyword like tennis shoes might send a lot of relevant click traffic to your site, you might reach more searches than you originally intended.

Broad match modifiers ensure that your ads will only show when someone’s search is an exact match or close variant of your keyword. Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms, and stemmings (like "floor" and "flooring"). Synonyms (like "quick" and "fast") and related searches (like "shoes" and "boots") aren't considered close variants.

How broad match modifiers impact traffic and clicks

Modifiers add more specificity to your broad match keywords, and therefore narrow their reach. So, while using a broad match modifier can increase the relevance of your keywords, it in turn can decrease your expected traffic.

Best practices

To get additional relevant clicks, try doing the following:

  • Leave your existing broad match keywords active (rather than modifying or removing them).
  • Add new modified broad match keywords to existing campaigns in a separate ad group to make it easy to compare new and existing keywords based on observed performance.
  • If you've primarily used broad match keywords, consider adjusting your bids as you add more relevant modified broad match keywords. A higher cost-per-click (CPC) bid may increase your click volume and conversions.
  • If you've primarily used exact and phrase match, adding modified broad match keywords may help you to reach more customers while retaining control over which search terms match your keywords.
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