PPC - 8/12 - Digital Marketing Agency

Google Adwords – Broad Match Modifier

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Broad Match Modified (BMM) is my favourite Google Adwords innovation of the last year or so.  It offers the ability to utilise the broad match type in Adwords to increase traffic volumes while closely guarding relevance.


To implement, you put a plus symbol, +, directly in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. Every word with a + sign must appear in the users search exactly, or as a close variant. The followings are close variants and, unlike normal broad match, it will not show ‘related’ terms for BMM terms.

  • Misspellings
  • Abbreviations
  • Single/plural
  • Acronyms
  • Stemmings (floor/flooring)

BMM can be used multiple times in a keyword, e.g. +bonds +underwear +sydney


Where to use BMM


1. Adgroups with low impressions

2. Brands or products which are difficult to spell

3. To increase traffic to adgroups with good CPA’s


Actually, there are likely dozens of ways to use BMM, it just depends on your client and product.


If your client has an adgroup with a very expensive CPA, for example, perhaps you could BMM keywords to increase reach, while retaining close targeting.


If your client has a low CTR, you could use BMM to increase targeting of any broad match keywords


I really do believe that BMM is an important addition to any account.



BMM Tips


1. Make sure before you start, that you have a good negative KW list in place

2. Keep your eyes on the activity of BMM, and check your ‘searched terms’ report regularly, both for new keywords to add and ones to make negative.

3. If you aren’t used to using Broad Match keywords, keep bids low to start with.

4. I usually keep BMM keywords in the same adgroups as my other keywords, I haven’t seen a need to separate them out.


Google Dynamic Search Ads – Adwords Becoming More Like Normal Search?

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What are Dynamic Search Ads?


Dynamic Search ads were introduced to Google Adwords in October 2011, ostensibly aimed at covering the ‘long tail’ of your business site, and enabling you to have adgroups, ad copy and keywords covering an infinite range of relevant searches that your customers might care to type in to Google.


Basically, once you are opted in to Dynamic Search Ads, Google reads your pages, and then matches it to searches based on the content on the page. Not only will it match your landing page with a searcher, but it will automatically generate an ad headline to match the user’s intent, by presenting a snippet of the page’s meta data. (Sound familiar? Google uses their organic web crawling technology to maintain a fresh index of your site, and matches it to relevant queries. Like natural search!)


So, in theory, the user is sent straight to the most relevant landing page (according to Google), and shown a uniquely relevant headline in the ad copy.


DSA could benefit sites with huge numbers of products, or products which are updated very regularly, because it will allow your ads to be generated automatically without you having to add keywords, landing page URLs or ad copy.


Google says that 16% of searches each day have never been seen before, which means that there is a market for this kind of instantaneous and dynamic matching of user intent, rather than just trying to anticipate what the searchers will be looking for.



Who Can Use Them?


You still have to wait to be whitelisted by your Google Account manager, which means that many sites (especially in Australia), will not be able to use this feature yet unless they are approved for the Beta, which you can apply for here.




  • Allows you to display more relevant ads to searchers, covering a lot more products and details than you might be able to within normal Adwords campaigns
  • Delivers searchers to the most relevant landing page, helping them towards your conversion
  • Supposedly they will let your keyword targeted ads win any auction, allowing DSA to just be a ‘filler’ for missed searches.
  • You can easily see in the interface the keywords, dynamically generated headline, and landing page for each search where your ad was shown (VERY interesting report).


  • Limited Control. If you have a huge site, but don’t want visits from generic terms (only the cheaper, more valuable targeted terms), it will be almost impossible for you to filter them all out, which means you need to be vigilantly looking at the ‘See Search Terms’ report to constantly identify inappropriate kw.
  • In campaigns we tested – DSA is winning ad auctions against other keyword-targeted ads in other campaigns.
  • In campaigns we tested – Conversion costs are not always competitive with our regular keyword targeted campaigns, but like anything, I guess it requires testing.

Best For


Any sites with very large numbers of products/listings or those with regularly updated products/listings. For example;

  • Real estate websites with many listings
  • Classifieds sites
  • Job Sites
  • Retail websites



  • On the ‘Auto Target’ page, make sure to use ‘exclusions’ (down the bottom, like on the keywords tab for negative keywords’). You might want to exclude pages using “page_content” excluders, like “job is no longer available”.  Alternatively you can use Category, URL or Page Title exclusions.
  • Keep your eye on the “See Search Terms” report, which will not only show search terms, but also Ad titles and destination URLs. Make sure these are all valuable and relevant.
  • Use keyword exclusions
  • Make sure your meta titles are appropriate, as these will be used by DSA.




SEO Tips


Due to the use of the Organic search robot within DSA, you can use the ‘See Search Terms’ report on the Auto Targets tab in Adwords for some SEO purposes.

– It can help alert you to URLs which are broken, or shouldn’t be being indexed by search

– It can help you see whether Google judges the importance of your pages the way you want them to be seen.

– It can help you quickly see whether the page titles are relevant for the page content and traffic.

On huge sites with many listings, this report is a great way to prioritise the pages you should be looking at, by those which get impressions, traffic and sales.



Google To Start Blocking Keyword Referrer

By | Google News, PPC, SEO | No Comments

The big news in search this week is that Google announced it will start blocking keyword referrer for natural search where people are logged in to their Google account, by making SSL (a secure encryption protocol called Secure Sockets Layer) active by default for those logged in. Note, that this keyword restriction won’t apply for visits through Pay Per Click ads. SSL is an extra layer of security, and if it is active on your Google account, you will see the URL change from http to https, and maybe the little padlock icon on your browser.

The Concern

For SEO, this raises the concern of not being able to identify which keywords people are arriving to your site using.  Analytics data will still show that people are coming from Google search, but not what that search was. This will affect all analytics packages, including Google Analytics.

In your analytics keyword report, you will now see “not provided” instead of a search term, for all logged in users of natural search. You will still see search terms for those people not logged in, and PPC referred traffic.

Matt Cutts, the Google engineer, seems to be saying that this will impact less than 10% of all Google searchers on Google.com. (All I have to say to this, as an SEO, is thank gosh Google Plus has not yet been fantastically successful!)

Although there will still be a huge amount of data available on keyword referral, this trend for increased privacy is not going to go away, and it is likely that sometime in the future there will be a situation where analytics data will be significantly restricted compared to what it is now. No, it won’t be the death of Search marketing, you will still want to be able to promote your site to your customers right? But we are getting a lot more information now than we might in the future – this is the Wild West, the frontier land, and soon the rules and regulations will catch up to us.

See Keyword Referrers in Webmaster Tools

Over the last few weeks, there has been an increased integration between Google WMT and Google Analytics, perhaps compensation because they knew this bomb was coming. You will still be able to see the top 1,000 terms you were shown for, and were clicked on, in WMT (but only for the last 30 days), including those blocked by SSL. It will be interesting to compare the KW data still available in Analytics with this overall KW data to see differences.

While the KW data in WMT is useful, it isn’t a replacement for KW data in analytics, because first of all it only goes back 30 days, and secondly, you can’t see what people did once they arrived – is that keyword good for conversion or did everyone from that term leave the site in a hurry?

Keyword Referrers Still Available in PPC

If you are logged in to your Google account, your search term will still be traced if you click on a PPC ad.

I guess it might technically not be very ‘evil’, but the fact that they are going to ignore their new security rules for their paid customers is making people at least question how ‘nice’ Google is. It is hypocritical to introduce this new security feature for only a section of the audience, to try to appease privacy concerns, but ignore the privacy of users who click on the ads. Basically, Google are saying that privacy is important enough to introduce this change, but not important enough when compared to advertising dollars.

Of course, from a business perspective you can understand why they did it – but, if the logged in users are less than 10% of the searchers, surely this means there is still enough data to measure performance on from those 90%? As an advisor to Google Adwords advertisers, of course I want as much information as possible for my clients – but I still think the rule should be the same regardless of whether you clicked on an ad or a free listing, because privacy is equally important in either case. (Actually Google thought that free clicks might be related to more personal/private searches, but I think this is clutching at straws).

Strangely, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said only this about the disparity in paid and free clicks privacy

“There is one small caveat that users should be aware of with the new encrypted-when-logged-in Google. If you click on an advertisement, and the advertiser’s website is HTTP rather than HTTPS, Google will send the search terms for that specific query to the advertiser over HTTP.”

I expected more of an outcry.

So that’s the new Google change. We aren’t going to go from our current analytics information to zero – but we are slowly headed towards a world where we will have a lot less data. Like any business or technology, evolution happens, and we will have to deal with it as it comes.

Adwords Editor Update 9.5.1

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If you are a constant user of Google Adwords Editor, like I am, you might have noticed some obvious changes in the Editor interface – like the word ‘pending’ next to some of your changes. This is because there has been an update, and so you might like to know the additional features available now, which might not be so obvious;


Previously you had to enter experiment data one by one in the interface, but now you can create and edit experiments in the Editor

Location Extensions

Apply and edit location extensions information, including bulk imports and exports

Keep Working While Downloading

If an account is taking forever to download, you no longer have to go and do other work – you can continue working in Adwords Editor (but on a different account).

Manage more campaign settings

Enhanced CPC, Delivery Method and Ad rotation can all be managed in the Editor now

Other Characters in URLs

I am not too technical with the lingo, but I do know that when I cut and paste URLs from some European countries, they often get a bit stuffed up when you then upload them to Google Adwords – Apparently no more!



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