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Expand your reach through Modern Search

05 Jan 2023
By Alec
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What is Modern Search?

Put very simply, Modern search is a campaign structure for traditional Search campaigns. Using Modern Search allows you to embrace Google’s automation abilities by pairing Broad match keywords and Smart Bidding. 

Think of Modern Search as a way to capture more search demand by casting a wider net via your keywords. With Smart Bidding being the anchor from stopping your net going too far. 

I’ll explain… Broad match (your net) allows your ads to show to a larger pool of users, whilst Smart Bidding (your anchor) adjusts your bids automatically to help you get the most out of your budget. Essentially, Smart Bidding keeps Broad match from showing your ads to anyone and everyone.

For marketers, moving to Broad match may send shivers down your spine, as in the past you’d often worry about the searches that your ads were showing for, and whether these were actually relevant to you (most of the time, probably not, am I right?) 

By implementing Smart Bidding alongside Broad match, you can gain confidence that your ads will show to relevant users. Using a conversion based bidding model, Maximise Conversions or Maximise Conversion Value, with the TCPA or TROAS limiter, means that Google has to aim to achieve these.

This means Google can’t show your ads to anyone it feels like as Google would likely fail to hit your campaign goals, and ultimately it’s own.   

How to get this structure set up:

Setting up the Modern Search structure is super simple as you only need two components; Broad match & Smart Bidding. Use this step-by-step as a guide:

  • Decide on how many Modern Search campaigns you need Vs how many Unbranded campaigns you have
  • Change current Keyword match types to Broad – you may want to move Exact variations into their own Ad group/Campaign
  • Implement a Conversion based bidding model 
  • If the bidding models are new, allow them to run and gather data before implementing the TCPA or TROAS limiter

Is it best to use this structure for unbranded keywords?

It is best to utilise this structure on Unbranded keywords, as this is where the bulk of your search demand lies. If you have multiple Unbranded campaigns running, then you can either group these together in to one Modern Search campaign, or into multiple Modern Search campaigns – but remember Smart bidding needs data to optimise so don’t go too granular.

For example say you have multiple Unbranded campaigns that are all targeting keywords related to product groups, (i.e Trainers, Hoodies, Joggers) in this case it’s probably best to keep the product groups together in Modern Search, as this will allow you to control budget. Meaning you’d have three Modern Search campaigns in this example; Trainers, Hoodies & Joggers.

Once you have your Modern Search campaigns sorted, you can now adjust the match type of all your keywords to Broad. If you’re using Phrase & Exact, then you’ll want to change Phrase for Broad & move your Exact keywords into their own Ad group, within the Modern Search campaign or into their own Campaign entirely (depending on how you want to control budget) 

Finally after your keywords are sorted, move onto a Conversion focused bidding model. The bidding model you choose should match your campaign goal. If you’ve never run Smart bidding before, allow Google time to gather enough data before adding on the TCPA or TROAS limiter, as doing this too early will likely stifle the campaigns performance.

What we’ve found from testing it ourselves

  • The Modern Search campaign has driven the most Unbranded Conversions we’ve seen, whilst upholding a steady Return on Ad Spend. 
  • The search terms our ads are showing for are relevant and conversion-prone, however regular checks over the search term report & continuing to add negatives is important.
  • We’ve seen a significant uplift in the number of Impressions, meaning our ads are showing to a greater pool of users.
  • CTR is steady meaning we’re seeing a greater number of Clicks, but this also gives us confidence that our ads are being shown to relevant users.
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