Ever wondered if your Google AdWords campaigns were reaching every possible person that might be searching for your product or service? Chances are, your campaigns are leaving some clicks on the table. This could result in lost sales or leads.
The most common cause of missed clicks is an incomplete keyword list. Savvy AdWords managers can use keyword tools, analytics data, and competitive research to uncover profitable keywords. But what about common misspellings, plurals, and close variations of your “money” phrases? Most often, these are ignored and represent missed opportunities to pull in more relevant traffic.
AdWords Near Match Explained
Google claims that about 7% of search queries contain a misspelling. The new “Near Match Type” will expand the existing phrase and exact match types to include the most common misspellings, abbreviations, accents, and close variants of a searcher’s query.
From the announcement on the AdWords blog:
Starting in mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Based on our research and testing, we believe these changes will be broadly beneficial for users and advertisers.
As a practical example, advertisers bidding on [tennis shoe], an exact match keyword, would miss out on a potential click if the searcher accidentally typed “tenis shoe” into Google. With Near Match, the advertisers’ ads would show up for the misspelled keyword with a seemingly identical intent to [tennis shoe].
Beginning in mid-May, Near Match will be the default option for all new and existing AdWords campaigns. Advertisers do have the ability to opt-out.
Follow The Money
It’s not hard to see that this new match type is going to make Google A LOT of money. This has a lot of people crying foul and insisting they won’t even test the new feature to see if it improves results.
The fact that this new feature is opt-out is worrisome. Google should not make such significant changes to accounts as the default option. Many advertisers will be caught off-guard and/or not realize why they are suddenly spending more money.
Our mantra: Test, Refine, Repeat
There’s a rational way to figure out if Near Match is a good match for your campaigns.
To measure whether or not the near match type helps your campaigns, Google is expanding their Search Term Reports to tell us exactly which clicks came from exact match, phrase match, and near match variations.
This gives us a lot of visibility and advanced analysis capabilities to measure the full impact of the new Near Match Type. We will aggressively test this new targeting option before deciding which campaigns will or will not benefit.
We can’t just let all this data go to waste now, can we?
(CC Photo Credit: LiveNature on Flickr)