We have talked about Google’s recent decision to ignore word order when discerning if they should trigger Exact Match for relevant searches. This is an exciting change because it does widen the range of relevant keywords that would trigger Exact Match if marketers have a clear understanding of what keywords would most likely draw in web traffic. This could be accomplished by identifying performance trends in Google AdWords, Google Analytics, trial and error (as we’ve mentioned previously), and also the use or 3rd party tools such as LXRMarketplace’s Keyword Combinator Tool and Keyword Rank Checker. However, within just two months, these changes have created slight decreases in conversions compared with other co-variants, so it’s important to consider how to develop strategies around these results, especially since they can signal a much greater shift in PPC in the next coming months.
So, we’ve mentioned before the recent changes to Exact Match and how the Google will be ignoring word order and function words when deciding whether to trigger Exact Match for relevant queries. While it may broaden the range of relevant keywords for businesses who generally have a wider scope of keyword combinations pertinent to their goods and services, it could potentially affect those businesses that have a much narrower range of keywords that could trigger PPC ads; generally speaking, those are the businesses that are probably succeeding with Exact Match type.
And not surprisingly, the results from Merke’s Q2 presented by Andy Taylor at “Mad Scientists of Paid Search” last week showed that while traffic share for non-brand traffic did not affect ‘Exact Match’ when compared with ‘Exact Match close variants, conversions did decrease by approximately 3-5% when measuring the overall impact of all close-variants on Exact Match conversions. Really this is almost expected when you consider the much greater range of keywords that are now pertinent to marketers’ products than ever before.
But what do these results mean for you?
The answer is simpler than you might expect. It really boils down to identifying how these changes will affect your business and thinking about the changes you should make as a result of those results.
Start with Google AdWords or Analytics, or any other 3rd party tools that will indicate how these changes are affecting your search results. Have the number of conversions attributed to Exact Match decreased based on your results? Have page-sessions, page-views, or even user results diminished as a result of the changes? If you are one of those businesses with a smaller range of keywords that would direct users to your website, then these changes may very well affect your results across the board, especially amidst this competitive industry.
So what can you do? For one thing, think about HOW you can improve your results. We did speak recently about how to determine which features to use to optimize your account based on the results you receive. Trial and error is the feature component of this process, but in this situation, the impact of these changes on your results alone are enough to indicate how you should maneuver in the future. If you notice that your greatest conversion results come from mobile users, you may want to use the AdWords IF Functionality, or certain ad customizers to draw in those users. But most importantly, evaluate what keywords and overall tactics your competitors are using; if certain keywords are not exactly pertinent to your products and services, at least knowing about what keywords your competitors are using will give you the upper-hand in knowing how to compete with your rivals. It’s not too complicated of a process; it really just takes a keen understanding of what is going on industry-wise, and discerning how to change your strategies around those changes. I