Bing Exact Match Close Variant Update and Beyond

By Bri Saxman | @brisaxman | Production Specialist

In an effort to help advertisers reach more customers, Bing shows ads for close variations. Close variants can include singular and plural forms, abbreviations, misspellings, punctuations, word blending, accents and stemming. This can help in not only driving additional clicks where the customer intent is the same, but also save you time by not having to build and manage the many variations of your keywords.

 

In the next few months, Bing will be updating exact match close variant technology to also include reordered keywords in the United States, while they continue to evaluate performance in other markets around the world.

 

Exact match keywords will match to queries with the same exact keyword tokens, whether or not the order of the keyword tokens are the same. Additionally, function words, or stop words, (such as: is, a, the, on, for, in) may be ignored if they don’t impact the intent behind a query.

 

Some examples could include:

  • “chow mein chicken” and “chicken chow mein”
  • “dairy intolerance symptoms” and “symptoms dairy intolerance”
  • “tropical vacation in winter” and “winter tropical vacation”
  • “hotel in new york” and “hotel new york”

This way, you don’t need to build and manage all the myriad of reordered variations of your keywords to get the coverage you want. Using close variations also exposes you to additional valuable clicks and conversions. Bing Ads will preference any exact match keyword in the account over a close variation. Additionally, they will only reorder tokens when it doesn’t change the meaning such as “post address change” vs “change post address.”

 

Important note: Phrase match is not included in this update.

 

Does this new update have you questioning which match type you should be utilizing?

 

If you’re not sure which match type to use, always start with broad match. This will give you the best chance of reaching your target customers right off the bat. You can then use the results of your search term performance reports to refine your list of keywords. Here are some quick tips on how to optimize your keyword lists:

  • If a majority of the search terms in the report are not related to your ad, you might want to consider switching the relevant keyword to one of the more specific match types.
  • For search terms that you want triggering your ad more often, add them to your keyword list with a more specific match type such as exact, especially with the newest update.
  • For keywords that you don’t want triggering your ad, add them to your keyword list as negative keywords.

Negative keywords let you specify words that you want to ignore. Negative keywords can help prevent your ad from being displayed when a search query is similar, but unrelated to what you’re advertising. For example, if you specialize in tropical winter vacations, you do not want the keyword “winter vacations” to match searches for “ski winter vacations.” In this case, specify, “ski” as a negative keyword. A useful way to discover and manage more nuanced negative keywords is to run the Search Query report. This report presents search queries in their entirety, including words such as “from,” “where” and “how.” For example, if you are a business based in New York City, you may want to set high bids for consumers searching “travel to New York City” and create a negative keyword for “travel from New York City.”

 

On the Campaigns page, under Shared Library, you can also create lists of negative keywords and associate them with as many campaigns as you like. You can easily edit these lists to add or remove keywords in bulk, and link or unlink them from campaigns. You can have up to 20 lists per account with a maximum of 5,000 negative keywords per list.

 

Website exclusions can prevent your ads from appearing on websites that do not further your advertising goals. Website exclusions can be specified at either the campaign or ad group level. Your ad group level exclusions will override the campaign level exclusions.

 

Closing Thoughts

 

Since in the next few months Bing will be updating exact match close variant technology to also include reordered keywords in the United States, make sure your existing keywords are structured correctly and you are taking advance of this new changes as well as existing best practice.

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