Set up broad match modifiers

Broad match modifiers help control when your ad can appear for closely related keywords. 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.


The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. Note, automatic targeting is only available in the new Google Ads experience.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click the + Keywords button.
  5. Select the ad group to which you wish to add broad match modifiers.
  6. Enter your broad match keyword, with a plus sign (+) preceding the word or words that you want to to appear in your potential customer's search exactly, or as a close variant. Example: “+shoes”
  7. Click Save.
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How to add a modifier to an existing broad match keyword

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click a keyword to edit it inline.
  5. Add the plus sign (+) prefix to any word(s) that you want to include as required terms.
  6. Click Save.


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

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

How to add broad match modifiers for keyword phrases or exact match keywords

Broad match modifiers only work when they’re used with broad match keywords. To increase clicks and conversion rates that can result from phrase or exact match keywords, try creating a separate ad group and adding the corresponding modified broad match keyword for each phrase or exact match keyword.

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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