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A Free Script to help you estimate the impact of the new exact match close variant change to your Adwords account

The script looks through your account’s search query performance report to find search queries currently matched by phrase and broad match that could be matched by the new exact match close variant definition. This includes:

  1. Word order changes (London hotels matched to [hotels London])
  2. Addition or removal of a function word (hotels near Disney World matched to [Disney World Hotels])

 Overview

Google recently made a major announcement in regards to expected changes to exact match close variants. Many marketers we have spoken to in the past couple of weeks are very concerned and struggling to understand the impact of this change on their existing account and want to understand how they can pre-empt some of the expected changes.

Today, cClearly is releasing a free script that can help marketers estimate the impact of the upcoming Google AdWords exact match close variants change on their account. Our specialty is in helping marketers navigate challenges such as these, so our newest tool is designed to help assess the potential for Google’s latest curve ball.

Please read below to understand the methodology being used and some of the limitations of the script before proceeding. Keep in mind that the estimate provided by the script should be considered directional since it can only identify a portion of the new expected close variant matches. However, it should provide a good indicator of the level of impact that this change is going to have on your account and help you identify which campaigns and keywords may be most impacted.

Here is how you should think about the level of impact:

  • low impact: the script identifies less than 3% click, conversion or cost change to exact match due to new close variants – we estimate in reality this would translate into up to 5% impact
  • medium impact: the script identifies 3% to 7% click, conversion or cost change to exact match due to new close variants – we estimate in reality this would translate into a 5%-10% impact
  • high impact: the script identifies 7% to 15% click, conversion or cost change to exact match due to new close variants – we estimate in reality this would translate into a 10%-20% impact
  • very high impact: the script identifies 15% or more click, conversion or cost change to exact match due to new close variants – we estimate in reality this would translate into more than a 20% impact

Example

Below is an example of a report for two keywords. For each keyword, the “current” line displays the current performance of the exact match keywords and the “new” line calculates the expected performance of the keyword after the close variant change is rolled out. The report will be delivered to you in an excel-readable format in the form of an email attachment.

As can be seen in the example below, Keyword1 is expected to receive 16 clicks instead of 10 once Google rolls out the change with a total cost of $38.12 instead of $20.76 and to receive 3 conversions instead of 2. The CVR, CPC and CPA are also calculated for each line.

Keyword2 isn’t expected to be affected from this change.

Campaign Ad Group Exact Keyword State Clicks Conversions Cost CVR CPC CPA
Campaign1 Ad Group1 Keyword1 Current 10 2 $20.76 20.00% $2.08 $10.38
Campaign1 Ad Group1 Keyword1 New 16 3 $38.12 18.75% $2.38 $12.71
Campaign1 Ad Group1 Keyword2 Current 12 1 $35.80 8.33% $2.98 $35.80
Campaign1 Ad Group1 Keyword2 New 12 1 $35.80 8.33% $2.98 $35.80

Ready to run the script in your account? Click here to download the script along with installation instruction and configuration options.

Need help? Stay ahead of your competition! cClearly can help you manage this transition smoothly and successfully . Contact us to discuss how.

The fine print:

Script Methodology

  • The script looks through your account’s search query performance report to find search queries currently matched by phrase and broad match that could be matched by the new exact match close variant definition. This includes:
    1. Word order changes
    2. Addition or removal of a function word
  • If a search term can be matched by more than one exact match keyword, the script matches it to the keywords with the highest number of clicks
  • The script then adds the amount of clicks and conversions that these search queries contributed according to the search query performance report to the amount of clicks and conversions of the corresponding exact match keyword to estimate the total clicks and conversions that each existing exact match keyword will receive based on the new close variant definition

Limitations

  • An average search query performance report only includes a fraction of the universe of search queries – in reality, there could be many other search terms that could match the new close variant definition that are not found in the search query performance report and therefore not taken into consideration in this estimate
  • Spelling mistakes and typos are not being identified, as well, which limits the number of matches the script can find
  • The script isn’t capable of identifying your campaign targeting criteria, therefore the campaigns you include in the defined scope should all have the same targeting definitions, otherwise the script might attribute clicks, conversions and cost to certain exact match keywords which belong to a different targeting criteria
  • If you run the script on a huge AdWords account without limiting the scope, the script may take longer than the 30 minutes threshold allowed by AdWords

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