*** Update ***
Found a much better way to update keywords from broad to modified broad in Google AdWords Editor.
- Select all the broad keywords to update
- Find/Replace ” ” to ” +”
- Append keywords with “+” at the beginning.
Broad match keywords are an accident waiting to happen in your search marketing campaigns. Anyone who has spent any time reviewing their search query report (keyword details-search term report) has had a cringe moment when they discover a totally irrelevant keyword that Google matched to your keywords based on a synonym or related term.
The easy way to eliminate a lot of relevant search queries and still take advantages of broad keywords is to use modified broad keywords instead.
Google has a detailed article on Modified Broad Match.
The different in the keyword is regular broad keywords look like “tennis shoes” but modified broad match keywords look like “+tennis +shoes”.
I use a simple series of Excel functions to clean up my keywords.
- In Adword Editor, select keywords and export the current view to Excel.
- Use this function (or a variation) to edit your keywords:
=TRIM(LOWER(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(CONCATENATE(” “,[Cell w/ original keyword]),” “,” +”),”+ ++”,” +”),” ++”,” +”)))
- Use Adword Editor to bulk upload the modified broad keywords using the Campaign and Ad Group. If your broad keywords are already broken out into separate Ad Groups, then use the Adwords Editor feature when uploading to overwriting all the keywords that are already in the account.
What the function does:
- Concatenate adds a space to the beginning of the keyword
- Substitute adds the “+” sign and cleans up any errors. Common errors are “++” and “+ ++” if there were modified broad keywords already in the account.
- Lower makes all my keywords lowercase.
- Trim erases the space at the beginning of the keywords.
You can also add additional substitute functions to edit out unnecessary words in your keywords. Common words I like to edit out of modified broad keywords are: “in”, “and”, “a”, “to”, “be”, and any special characters like & or /.
Let me know if you have a better Excel function to use or method.