Is Phrase Match Irrelevant?

Why BMM And Exact Match Keywords Are All You Need

In business, time is money. Those that can do a great job in less time than their competitors generally end up ahead. All too often, saving time means dropping “unnecessary” steps only to find out the hard way that the eliminated process steps were, in fact, necessary to ensure a quality product. So, when Enilon found a way to save time — allowing us to do more strategic work on accounts — without negatively impacting the effectiveness of our bought media strategies, it  seemed only right to share.

What Are Match Types and How Does Each One Work?

Match types determine how closely a user’s search query (what the user types in the search bar) has to match the keyword an advertiser has decided to bid on in order to trigger that advertiser’s ad. There are 3 official match types: Broad, Phrase, and Exact. Additionally, advertisers can apply modifiers to broad match keywords, which creates what we call Broad Match Modified (BMM) keywords.

Broad Match will generate the most impressions, but is also the least qualified. For example, an advertiser could advertise for the Broad Match version of the keyword “dog food” and their ad may show in the results for searches such as “what can my dog eat?” or “can my dog eat peanuts?” Because of the unpredictable nature of Broad Match, most agencies steer clear of this match type.

Slightly more qualified than Broad Match is BMM. While Broad Match keywords will match to loosely related searches, BMM specifies that the ad should show for searches that contain all of the words contained in the anchored keyword or slight variations of those words. For example, a Broad Match Modified version of “dog food” would only show on queries that contain both dog(s) and food(s).

The next most qualified match type is Phrase Match. Phrase Match requires that the phrase or a close variant is included in the search query. Phrase Match is distinguished from BMM in 2 ways. First, it locks in word order. While the BMM version of “dog food” would show on a search for “food for my dog,” the phrase match variation would not. Second, Phrase Match locks out words that may be inserted between parts of the keyword. So, while the BMM version of “dog food” may show an ad on a search for “dog eating food,” the Phrase Match version would not.

Finally, the most qualified match type is Exact Match. Exact Match requires that the user type in the exact keyword (or a close variant) in order for the advertiser’s ad to show. This differs from Phrase match in that the Phrase Match keyword would serve an ad on a search for “dog food brands” while an Exact Match keyword would only serve an ad on a search for “dog food,” “dog foods,” or another close variant. 

What Happens to Phrase Match Queries When There Are No Phrase Match Keywords?

In short, nothing. Searches that exactly match the keyword would have an ad served by the Exact Match keyword. Meanwhile, searches that include the keyword as well as additional terms would show ads due to the BMM keyword.

What Are The Benefits of Not Using Phrase Match?

Eliminating Phrase Match has two big benefits: The first benefit is, when accounts are built – and as they are expanded – the work of creating Phrase Match variations of keywords, ad groups, and campaigns is eliminated. Second, the time from conception to actionable insights can be significantly shortened. By funneling queries into two places instead of three, the amount of data increases, which allows actionable data thresholds to be reached more quickly.

Why Would I Want To Keep Using Phrase Match?

While advertisers only need BMM and Exact Match keywords, there are a couple of scenarios in which Phrase Match should be considered: The first scenario in which one should consider phrase match is when funding is an issue. While BMM will pick up the queries that phrase match would, it also picks up queries that Phrase Match would not. If campaigns are limited by budget, Phrase Match can be used to qualify traffic ever so slightly more than BMM. The second scenario in which Phrase Match should be considered is when word order is of paramount importance, such as names of brands and facilities.

With all of that said, if campaigns are adequately funded and word order is less important, eliminating Phrase Match can save valuable time and aggregate data to generate actionable insights more quickly, all at no opportunity cost to the advertiser. Get in touch with Enilon today for more insights on managing your campaigns!

 

Author: Matthew Nash, Paid Search Specialist

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