AdWords Tip #1: Combine Branded Terms with Modified Broad Keywords

The secret to lowering your CPCs and simultaneously boosting your ad rank lies in Google’s mystery metric—Quality Score. Savvy advertisers are perpetually tweaking their accounts in pursuit of those coveted 10’s, but achieving high scores isn’t an easy feat. In fact, it seems as though the only keywords that consistently score 7-10’s are branded terms.

Branded terms are a slam dunk for many reasons. Firstly, it’s easy to create super-relevant ads and landing pages for these keywords, as your brand should appear regularly throughout your ad copy and website. Even better, the people who are searching your branded terms likely have strong intent; they know exactly what company they’re looking for so they’re apt to click on your ads and have high engagement rates on your website.

While these keywords maybe be the holy grail for high Quality Scores, you certainly don’t want to limit your ad visibility to people who already know of and are looking for your brand. That said, you can leverage the power of these branded keywords to impact the Quality Scores of non-branded terms.

Here’s how the hack works – create keywords that are a combination of branded and non-branded terms. Set the non-branded term to modified broad (using + signs), but leave the branded term on broad. Using this technique will allow your ads to show when people search combinations of your non-branded terms—your branded terms do not have to be present.

So, for example, let’s say that your branded term is Havaianas and your non-branded terms are neon flip flops. You’d add the keyword as havaianas +neon +flip +flops, and the ad would be eligible to show for search queries that include the words neon, flip and flops.

Why does this technique yield high Quality Scores? Remember, Google calculates your scores based on exact matches to your keyword term. Because the “official” keyword technically includes your branded terms, it’s likely to yield a stellar Quality Score.