As you optimize your campaigns and check your settings in AdWords, some new options may seem to have appeared on your screen. Don’t worry, you’re not seeing things. Google has recently made two match type enhancements available to help you manage your campaigns even more efficiently – Broad (session based) and Automatic Matching. Please note these enhancements do not replace the traditional big four match types when setting up campaigns – Broad, Phrase, Exact, and Negative. These new enhancements should be seen as being more for analysis and campaign improvement. Read on to see how these match type enhancements can assist advertisers in campaign management.
Broad Session Based
There is no way for advertisers to opt in or out of this match type which you’ll see in the search query reports. What does it mean? When determining which ads to serve, AdWords evaluates users’ previous queries during their search session with the current search query. If the system detects a relationship, it will show ads related to the previous queries. The system is trying to understand where the user is going with all of their search queries in relation to being relevant to your ads. You can think of it sort of as extended broad match.
The good news is that, per Google, “whenever an ad is served based on the associated keyword’s relevance to the previous search queries, the ad’s performance has no effect on that keyword’s Quality Score.” In other words, if the match doesn’t work out, you don’t have to worry about your Quality Score suffering, which is great.
How can these results help? The Broad (session-based) results can help the advertiser determine if relevant keywords are missing from the campaign and should be added, or it can identify more negative keywords. Google is once again finding ways to increase relevancy, expand reach while maintaining relevancy, and assist advertisers in fine-tuning their campaigns.
You’ll see this match type in the campaign settings of select accounts only since Automatic matching is a beta test that is closed for now. It is similar to Broad (Session-Based) in that it taps into keywords that are missing from your campaign based on relevancy, but by using a different tactic.
This feature analyzes ads, keywords, and landing pages in an ad group and then shows the ads for queries it deems relevant once the budget has been spent on existing queries. The system gathers data about the advertisers’ campaign and eventually aims to show ads only for queries that yield a higher CTR and equal to or more efficient CPCs to your existing keywords.
The good news is that per Google, automatic matching won’t allow spend to exceed the budget set, it will not affect the traffic garnered by current campaigns, and will not affect existing keyword Quality Scores. Performance can be tracked in each ad group’s keyword tab on the interface under the “Automatic Matching Total” column. This can be great for traffic driving campaigns if budgets need to be spent and caps are hard to hit.
Again, traffic that the advertiser is potentially missing out on can be easily identified. However, it could be difficult to quantify total results for advertisers that use third party tracking for conversions because Google might not have visibility into backend performance data, so that is something to keep in mind. For those accounts that have the Automatic Matching feature enabled, advertisers can opt in or out of it in the Campaign Settings. Though this feature is closed to those currently in the beta test, it’s likely to find its way to all AdWords customers as an option down the road.