How to prepare for the end of Broad Match Modifiers in Google Ads

Roughly a 4 minute read by Rafaela Hadjiyiangou

Woman Googling Something On A Laptop

We were just about getting the hang of 2021 when Google released some big news for us PPC-ers.

Google decided to stop supporting BMM (Broad Match Modifier) keywords, and the change is happening soon.

What’s changing?

Just one thing…

BMM and Phrase Match keywords are going to be matched.

But it will only affect your search keywords - negatives are excluded from this update.

What does that mean?

Phrase Match is the new BMM. You don’t need to use BMM keywords anymore as Phrase Match will expand to cover additional BMM traffic.

It will continue to respect word order when it’s essential to the meaning without having to deal with searches you don’t want.

Here are a few examples of what searches will still and will not be triggered with the latest update.

Broad Match Modifier Keywords Merger With Phrase Match

Source: Google Support

When will it happen?

The update will be released on the 18th February for most languages. That’s when BMM and Phrase Match keywords will begin to transition in their new matching behaviour.

However, the changes will slowly roll out over several months to help reduce the impact and disruption such a big update may cause.

The deadline for the BMM support phase out is July, when the new behaviour will eventually roll out globally.

5 steps you should take to prepare for the change

In an attempt to help streamline keyword management, Google’s decision to drop BMM keywords has left us with a bit of a task list at hand.

1. Don’t pause your BMM keywords

There’s no need to pause your BMM keywords as they’ll continue to serve even after July’s deadline. They’ll act as Phrase Match keywords instead.

Going forwards, however, it’s best to limit your BMM keyword creation.

Phrase Match is the way to go - if you wish to replicate BMM traffic, of course.

2. Add more negatives

Phrase Match keywords may be getting more attention while BMMs are being left out. This may bring some unwanted traffic to your website so monitor your search terms closely and exclude anything that’s not relevant.

With BMM negative keywords continuing to be honoured, you don’t have to worry about phrase-matching your negatives.

3. Add more keywords

While negatives exclude irrelevant traffic, make sure you’re still maintaining keyword coverage and bringing more relevant traffic to your site.

A good starting point is the Recommendations page which includes a section on “new keywords”. Don’t forget your Keyword Planner or any other tools you have at your disposal. Your landing pages and search terms reports are also great places for keyword inspo.

4. Revisit your strategy

Go over your keywords and their match types. Are you capturing the right kind of traffic? Consider building campaigns based on the different stages of the funnel.

Run demographic, location and device reports to check you’re targeting the right places.

Implement remarketing and prospecting campaigns for future growth.

Check out your audience report and add those who are performing particularly well in your campaigns.

5. Monitor budgets

Monitor your account performance and shift budgets accordingly. Pay close attention to campaigns that are underperforming or limited by budget.

Traffic is expected to fluctuate and budgets may be spent faster or slower than before.

Tracking all your goals and breaking them down into smaller actionable tasks has never been more prevalent. So take some time to ensure you’re setting yourself and your account up for success.

While there are so many other things to implement in preparation for the BMM transition, this is a good starting point. And if you’re looking for assistance with your PPC campaigns, get in touch!