Set up broad match modifiers

Broad match modifiers ensure your ads will only show for searches that include the words you’ve marked with a plus sign, such as +blue +suede +shoes, or close variations. Broad match modifiers can help your keywords achieve a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) with a more targeted audience, which in turn can help your site get more paying customers or other conversions. This article explains how to set up broad match modifiers.

Note: Keep in mind, your ad may show for close variations of the individual “+” terms or the combination of these terms into a single keyword.


  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. From the page menu on the left, click Keywords.
  3. Click the blue plus button .
  4. Select an ad group to add broad match modifiers to.
  5. Enter your broad match keyword, with a plus sign (+) preceding the word or words you want to appear in your potential customer's search exactly or as a close variant.
  6. Click Save.

How to add a modifier to an existing broad match keyword

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. From the page menu on the left, click Keywords.
  3. Hover over the keyword you wish to edit, then click the pencil icon Edit.
  4. Add the plus sign (+) prefix to any word you want to make into broad match modifiers.
  5. Click Save.


Don't leave space between the plus sign (+) prefix and the word you're modifying!

  • Correct: +leather +shoes
  • Incorrect: + leather + shoes

If your keywords are in a language that reads right to left, add the plus sign on the right hand side of the word. For example:

  • Correct: עור +נעליים+
  • Incorrect: +עור+ נעליים

It’s not possible to mix broad match modifier with other match types in a single keyword.

  • Correct: +men’s +red +sweater
  • Incorrect: +men’s [red sweater]

If some of the terms in your keyword do not have a “+” (for example, +red +baseball hat), then the terms without a “+” will be treated as broad match, while the “+” term (or it’s close variants) will need to be included in the user’s search for ads to show.

There is no negative broad match modifier match type. The same keyword text as a Broad negative, with or without “+” modifiers will behave the same. In the examples below, the two keywords will block the same queries. Learn more about negative keyword behavior.

  • Broad negative: leather shoes
  • Broad negative: +leather +shoes

How to add broad match modifier versions of a phrase or exact match keywords

Broad match modifiers only work when they’re used with broad match keywords. If you’re only targeting exact and phrase match keywords and want to increase coverage, try creating a separate ad group, and adding the corresponding modified broad match keyword for each term in the keyword. We don’t recommend adding a “+” on function words (like “in” or “to”), or words that aren’t directly relevant to what you’re advertising.

Exact keyword phrase Modified broad match equivalent
"buy blue suede shoes"
"purchase blue suede shoes"
"shop suede shoes"
+buy +blue +suede +shoes
+purchase +blue +suede +shoes
+shop +suede +shoes
"blue suede shoes"
"suede blue shoes"
"suede shoes blue"
+blue +suede +shoes
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