How to Change Keywords to +Broad +Match +Modifier Using Google AdWords Editorby James Svoboda
June 28th, 2011
Pay-Per-Click managers know that creating or converting keywords into BMM versions for Google AdWords can be a major pain in the @$$. You typically would have to either edit each keyword by hand or use a one of the existing keyword modifier tools. These tools would require you to copy your search term list into an excel spreadsheet or web-based form that would help to perform the modifications, then you would have to copy them back into AdWords or AdWords Editor. These are handy and have a couple of interesting features, but I’ve never found one that is as easy to use as the process I discovered almost by accident.
Broad Match Modifier was released for use by AdWords advertisers in Canada and the United Kingdom a couple of weeks before the United States. Since I have a great Canadian client who trusts my decisions when testing out new features for their account, I was able to actively test thousands of modified broad match keywords weeks before BMM was released to US advertisers.
It was during this time, and out of necessity for changing those thousands of existing keywords, that I developed a simple process for converting current “Extended Broad Match” keywords into “Modified Broad Match” using nothing more than the free AdWords Editor desktop tool. The same process will work to convert Exact and Phrase match keywords into BMM.
Summary of Steps to Convert Existing Keywords to Broad Match Modifier
Creating and upgrading keywords to BMM is a short and quick 4 step process once you know the settings to select in Google AdWords Editor.
#1: Open AdWords Editor and go to the correct Keywords Tab.
#2: Select your Keywords, then Append Text with “+” to before existing text and create new keyword set.
#3: Replace the blank spaces ” ” in the selected keywords with a blank space and plus sign ” +”.
#4: Adjust Bid Levels and Change Match Type to Broad (if necessary).
Detailed Steps & Settings to Change AdWords Keywords to Modified Broad Match
Since there are many little settings to verify and change within AE, I have provided this detailed section with corresponding screen captures to help you get through the process your first time.
Step #1: AdWords Editor > Campaign > Ad Group > Keywords Tab
The first step is to open AdWords Editor and navigate to the correct Keywords Tab for the Ad Group and Campaign that you want to modify.
*Reminder* Make sure that you download the current version of the campaign that you are going to be working on.
Step #2: Select Keywords and Append Text to Selected Items
In the second step you will be combining several smaller steps for a streamlined result.
1. Select the keywords you wish to modify.
2. Right click on the selected keywords.
3. Click on “Append Text to Selected Items“.
Next the “Append Text” tool will open.
4. Set the option for “In this column:” to “Keyword“.
5. In the “Add:” field, place the “+” (plus sign).
6. Choose the “Before existing text” option.
7. Check the box for “Duplicate Selected Rows and Append Text to Duplicates“.
8. Click the “Append Text” button.
Next the “Confirm Append Text” dialogue box will open.
9. Check the box for “Select newly created items“.
10. Click the “Duplicate and Modify All” button.
Completed Keyword Duplication and Text Appended with “+”
Tips on Keyword Selection for Modification
Multiple Word Order BMM Versions
You don’t need multiple versions of the same BMM keyword that are in different word order (+key +word -&- +word +key) or typically versions with short common words like “in” “the” “and” “or” and so on. I start with the versions that have the highest Quality Score or are in a more common phrase order and modify those.
Example: +Portland +PPC
[Portland PPC], [PPC Portland] and [PPC in Portland] all have a Quality Score of 7, then choose 1 to modify: +Portland +PPC
Singular & Plural BMM Keywords
When targeting keywords with Broad Match Modifier, you are essentially trying to tap into a larger pool of keyword searches. Since exact match keywords for singulars and plurals will have different levels of search volume (CTR, conversion rates and so on) so will the keyword pool that BMM’s will target. I recommend modifying both the singular and plural versions of keywords as this will help you spot trends and identify popular versions for which to write text ads and optimize landing pages.
Example: +Minneapolis +PPC +service(s)
For [Minneapolis PPC service] set to +Minneapolis +PPC +service
For [Minneapolis PPC services] set to +Minneapolis +PPC +services
Step #3: Replace Text in Selected Items (replace ” ” with ” +”)
In step three you will be replacing the blank spaces ” ” in the selected keywords with a blank space and a plus symbol ” +”.
*Note* The keywords that you just created in step two should already be selected.
1. Either hit CTRL + H on the keyboard (PC users) -OR- right click on the selected keywords and click “Replace Text in Selected Items” in the menu.
Next the “Replace Text” tool will open.
2. In the “Find text:” field, place a blank space “ ”.
3. Make sure “Keyword” option is selected from the “in:” dropdown menu.
4. In the “Replace with:” field, place a blank space and a plus sign “ +”.
5. Click the “Find matches” button.
Next the “Confirm Replace Text” dialogue box will open.
6. Click the “Replace All” button.
Completed Replacement of Blank Spaces with Blank Space and Plus Character “ +”
Step #4: Change Bids and Match Type (if necessary)
Now that you have a duplicate set of fully modified keywords, it is a good time to change the bid levels and set the keyword match type to Broad.
*Note* The keywords that you just created in step three should already be selected.
In the “Edit Selected Keywords” area below the keywords:
1. Change the “Match Type” to “Broad“.
2. Adjust the Bid Levels “Max. CPC Bid” for the new BMM Keywords.
*Tip* I always set my initial BMM bid levels at 70%-80% of the initial bids of Exact match keywords. This is my initial approach so that BMM versions do not siphon off click and impression attribution data from where I really want to see it. It also helps to protect my cost-per-conversion level against the unknown and potentially unwanted keywords that Modified Broad Match will generate.
Completed Modification for Broad Match Keywords
Once you have completed the replacement of the empty blank spaces with a blank space and plus character “ +” you will be finished with your modifications and ready to review and upload.
Well, there you have it. This trick has saved me countless hours over the past year and I hope it does the same for you!
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