Modified Broad Match for Google AdWords has been around as a match type option since mid 2010, but I still get questions from time to time on how to quickly implement this specific match type. For those of you unsure of what modified broad match is, please visit the AdWords Official Blog for a better understanding.
In both the AdWords Editor and in the AdWords online interface, we have the option of selecting either broad, phrase, or exact match types, but modified broad is not available as an option in the drop down menu so we have to apply it manually. Exact match keywords are identified by being surrounded by brackets: [example keyword], phrase by quotes: “example keyword”, broad match has no punctuation symbols, but modified broad requires a “+” to be added to the front of the keyword: +example +keyword.
The two easiest ways of appending a “+” to the front of the keywords you would like to set as modified are by using either Microsoft Excel or AdWords Editor.
Using Microsoft Excel you can employ the =substitute formula to append the + symbol to your keywords as shown here:
=SUBSTITUTE(“+”&A2,” “,” +”) Your keyword will need to be in cell A2 for this to function as intended. You can then copy down the formula to your entire keyword list. Using Excel may be the best option if you’re in the account building out phase and dealing with large quantities of data.
Using AdWords Editor you can change the match types of existing keywords with the following steps:
- Select the keywords that you would like to change to modified broad match (you may wish to copy and paste keywords within the Editor to have duplicate keywords but with different match types, which is allowed, just ignore the yellow bubble error that the Editor will show if you make this move).
- Select the “Append Text” link near the bottom of the Editor in the Keywords tab and choose “keyword” as the column you’d like to edit and simply place a + in the Add field.
- While your keywords are still selected, click “Replace Text” and complete the popup. Find Text: insert a blank space (hit your spacebar one time) and Replace with: space+.
That’s all there is to it. You may want to remove keywords like +and and +in so you don’t limit your impression volume.