What is Keyword Expansion?

As marketers we are always looking to make our marketing more effective. One of the best ways to do this is through utilizing keyword expansion. This will work with any campaigns which are setup utilizing “Broad Match”, “Broad Match Modifer”, or “Phrase Match” match types.

What keyword expansion does is look at the actual search query the user typed into the search engine to trigger the keyword you have in one of the above listed types of campaigns. For example, let’s say you sell propane and propane accessories in Arlen Texas. You might have a keyword such as Propane Arlen, because you sell propane and are in Arlen. Or maybe you have +Propane +Arlen because you read somewhere on our website that having broad match keywords is insanity. Almost as insane as not hiring us to manage your PPC, but you like to live dangerously dealing with propane and what not…

Go into your BMM campaign (or entire account if you’re feeling ambitious), click on keywords, then search terms, and download the list of search terms / search queries. Make sure you set the time-frame in the top right to a relevant time period. (Don’t want to add all those Best Propane Recipes 2014 queries to our export).

Adwords Keyword Expansion


This is a great time to look at what’s working and what’s not. Typically I sort these by conversions and identify all the queries driving conversions. I’ll also sort by cost and impressions and identify keywords with high cost or impressions and determine if it should be removed, negative keywords added, or messaging changed to relate more closely to the queries it’s being shown for.

Propane SQR

In this example, Propane Grill Recipes has high impressions and low clicks, and no conversions. This looks like a good negative to add. We can add this as an exact negative or look at what might be causing this to do so poorly. Hank sells propane and propane accessories, so people looking for recipes might not be a good fit. We could also add recipes as a campaign or universal negative.


However, we do see amazing performance with Propane Tanks In Arlen. We should take this phrase and make it an exact match in the correlating Exact Match campaign. We can either put it into an ad group it would fit nicely with OR we should create it’s own ad group and custom ad text because we realize this is a very high conversion high value keyword.



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