Today we're introducing the broad match modifier, a new AdWords targeting feature that lets you create keywords that have greater reach than phrase match and more control than broad match. Adding modified broad match keywords to your campaign can help you get more clicks and conversions at an attractive ROI, especially if you mainly use exact and phrase match keywords today.

To implement the modifier, just put a plus symbol (+) directly in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. Each word preceded by a + has to appear in your potential customer's search exactly or as a close variant. Close variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms, and stemmings (like “floor” and “flooring”). Synonyms (like “quick” and “fast”) and related searches (like “flowers” and “tulips”) aren't considered close variants.

The graphic below illustrates the relative reach of different keyword match type strategies. As you can see, modified broad match keywords match more searches than the equivalent phrase match keyword, but fewer searches than the equivalent broad match keyword. Match behavior also depends on the specific words you modify. For example, the keyword formal +shoes will match the search “evening shoes,” but the keyword +formal +shoes will not.

During initial tests, advertisers who mainly used phrase and exact match found that adding modified broad match keywords increased campaign clicks and conversions, while providing more precise control than with broad match.

Modified broad match keywords have a traffic potential closer to phrase match than broad match. If you mainly use broad match keywords in your account, switching these keywords to modified broad match will likely lead to a significant decline in your overall click and conversion volumes. In order to maintain these volumes, we recommend keeping existing broad match keywords active, adding new modified broad match keywords, and adjusting bids to achieve your target ROI based on observed performance.

If you're in Canada or the UK, you can log into your AdWords account to start adding modified broad match keywords today. You can also use the AdWords Editor or the AdWords API. For more details, examples, suggestions on usage, and answers to many common questions, visit the AdWords Help Center.

This feature is currently available to advertisers in Canada and the UK as an open beta. We’ll be listening closely to feedback to help determine future product direction.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew