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What to do with Close Variant Keyword Matching

by Mike Coleman | 15.09.2014
With people not being perfect spellers or typists, in fact at least 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling! For this reason, Google announced they’re going to apply close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords from September onwards. With this update, you no longer have to build exhaustive lists of misspelled, abbreviated, and other close variations of your keywords to get the coverage you want.

So what exactly do I need to watch out for?! Well, these are the 3 things to remember:

1) Phrase and Exact match are no longer

Close variants keyword matches will trigger keywords for not just singular and plurals, but for misspellings, acronyms, stemming, and abbreviations.

To do: Start building out your negative keyword list NOW! Review your keywords carefully and think about what terms you do not wish to show up for. Monitor your SQR report closely. Look at the terms for exact and phrase match variants, and determine if these terms should be included or added as negatives.

2) Your volume AND cost will increase

With close variant matching, you will see an increase in your impressions and clicks, because your keywords will be matching against more keywords. Per Google, close variant matching gives customers an average of 7 percent more exact and phrase match clicks. But as we all know with more clicks, unfortunately comes more costs.

To do: Monitor your account costs daily, and look for any new close variant matching keywords that could be attributing to this. Mine your SQR report for possible new keyword opportunities.

3) You’ll get more coverage….but you’ll need more negatives

Close variant matching will allow you to show for additional variants, and possible missed opportunities. However, if you are running a very targeted campaign that you want to show up for specific keywords, this could be a challenge.

To do: If you only want to show up for certain keywords, build out your negative keyword list to exclude those additional terms. Check your SQR report daily to ensure you are matching for the keywords that you want to be matching for.

These incremental increases in clicks help advertisers seize opportunities to convert customers that are otherwise missed by “Low search volume” keywords that are common for misspellings and abbreviations.

Hope that helps.

Until next time.