Knock-Off Thousands from Your Bottom Line with Close Variants

By Navah Hopkins

Close variants designer bag Google Shopping results

I’m a bargain addict. I shop at Goodwill instead of traditional department stores, live by Groupon and GoldStar rather than paying full price on a meal or a show, and hunt for treasures at flea markets, as opposed to paying a premium at malls.

Who wants to blow a month of rent on a bag?

You can imagine the unbridled joy I found in close variants – a relatively new phenomenon that has been slowly but surely empowering advertisers to abandon highly competitive designer keywords and adopt their cheaper variants instead.

Close variants designer bag YSL real vs fake

Get the look without blowing your budget!

What Are Close Variants?

Close variants are exactly what they sound like – variations on keywords that allow your ad to be triggered. The most common examples of close variants are:

  • Singular/plural
  • Misspellings
  • “ing”, “ed”, “er”, etc.
  • Abbreviations
  • One word being split into two words
  • Two words being combined into one
  • Numbers spelled out/numerical value used

For example – the phrase match keyword “flowers for mom” could get triggered by the query “flowers for mother’s day.” In this instance, “mom” and “mother” are close variants.

In identifying what close variants are, it’s also important to identify when a keyword is a truly separate idea and would require a match-type that allows for additional keywords to be added. If you’re using phrase match or exact match, these would need additional keywords:

  • “mother’s day flowers” is not the same as “mother’s day bouquet”
  • “boston dentist” is not the same as “boston doctor”
  • “lead management software” is not the same as “crm”

A Brief History of Close Variants

The close variant has been a ninja among the sweeping changes of the last two years. It started creeping into search reports towards the end of 2015, and grew in prevalence in 2016. Only in 2017 did Google officially announce that close variants can be associated with all match-types.

Close variants WordStream QueryStream results for close variant keywords

WordStream’s QueryStream will show you the variants

Benefits of Optimizing for Close Variant

One of the big reasons to optimize for close variant matching is cost savings. Bidding on one keyword that grants you access to 10-15 other “variations” means you can target the cheapest of these variations, while still coming up for the more competitive ones.

Close variants mean tighter ad groups (3-5 keyword concepts on multiple match types, as opposed to 20-30 keywords total). Google has been pushing advertisers closer to audience-based account management, and the rise of close variant matching is another way Google incentivizes us to keep our ad groups smaller and more focused.

One of the growing risks in an account is including too many keywords, or more specifically keywords with low search volume. Advertisers used to have to run this risk, because Google required us to be much more specific with our keywords. Now that we have close variants, we’re able to consolidate underperforming campaigns and ad groups, and allow our users to teach us how they search.

As we begin to see patterns in profitable queries, we can begin pausing our broader Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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