Tag Archive for: keyword targeting

Microsoft Advertising announced this week that it will soon start including broad match ad targeting for campaigns using phrase matching. 

The change will occur “mid-May” and is aimed to “simplify keywords and improve your relevancy when reaching customers,” according to the announcement. 

Notably, this means the ad service is keeping in line with Google Ads, who made a similar change in February. 

“So… What Does This Mean For My Ads?”

Essentially, this update means that your ads which are being matched with queries for phrases matching your targeted keyword will also be shown for searches related to the meaning of your keyword. 

For example, Microsoft Advertising says the new system would match a search for “winter vacation in Miami” to the targeted keyword “Miami vacation.”
The company also says it will respect the word order of your keyword “when it’s important – for example, it won’t match ‘milk chocolate’ to the keyword ‘chocolate milk.”

Broad Match Modified Keywords To No Longer Be Offered

With this adjustment, Microsoft Advertising says it will be removing the option to create new broad match modified keywords beginning in August of this year. Existing broad match modified keywords will be treated the same as phrase match keywords. 

With this in mind, there is no need to change over your existing campaigns or keywords.

Planning For This Change

While there is no action for you to take immediately, there are a few things to keep in mind as the update rolls out. 

With the more broad matching included in phrase match campaigns, it will be important to monitor what searches are connecting with your keywords. This more broad approach could lead to potentially irrelevant queries showing your ads. 

On the upside, this change means it should be easier for advertisers to manage their campaigns, especially if they are advertising on both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.

Don’t you wish there was an easy way to find out exactly what terms people are using to find your business online? That way, you could refine your keywords to take advantage of where you’re already succeeding and put more work into areas that aren’t getting found without hours and hours of research and analytics.

Well, now you can do just that without any expensive software or tracking services, with AdWords’ new ‘Searches’ card. The new card shown in your AdWords dashboard highlights the most popular words and phrases people are using to find your business in one convenient space.

With this information, you can better target your ads and search keywords or create negative keywords from search terms that aren’t relevant for your business. This way, you can be sure that people who are interested in what you offer are finding you.

The AdWords Searches card can be found on your Overview page of your account and looks like this:

The card is only available in the new AdWords system which recently rolled out for most countries.

Of course, the new AdWords card isn’t as powerful as comprehensive keyword research or analytics. However, it provides a quick glimpse into where you are doing well and where you can do more to promote your goods and services online.

Many SEO companies know that sometimes their clients have in mind that they must rank for a specific keyword. No other options are acceptable for them. And even though you try to tell them that ranking for that keyword will take a great amount of time and effort because of their competition or that ranking for that keyword isn’t worth the effort they think it is, they do not budge.

It can be intensely frustrating (check out this story at Search Engine Journal for a good example) and even if you accept the request by the client, sometimes they are not happy with the results produced even if/when you satisfy their needs. What can be learned from this?

If you need SEO for your site, realize that keyword targeting is still important but is not the ONLY thing SEO does. SEO is about generation of quality traffic. If you focus only on ranking for keywords, you’re missing a lot. When you show up for keywords on the SERPs it’s good as a testament to the work that you’ve done, but are you getting quality traffic for those positions and those keywords?

In many cases the keywords you get better traffic from may not be the keywords you’re actively checking. The best way to find these are to check your Analytics tools to see what people are finding you with on the search engines.

Real SEO brings quality traffic to the site in many different ways, not purely from specific keywords you might be targeting. This has changed especially since the Panda and Penguin updates – overoptimization of specific keywords is penalized even more readily now. So if you’re focusing on just one keyword, that runs a big risk of making all of your rankings worse than they were before, even using what used to be fully functional SEO tactics.

If you do hire a professional SEO team, keep in mind that they should be doing work beyond just trying to rank for specific keywords, and if they don’t, be cautious. And don’t expect rankings to be the only positive results from this work – you should want to get some quality traffic from the work being done. Good rankings is just extra gravy on top that you can look at and be happy about.