How is Google’s Phrase Match Update Impacting the HVAC Industry?

What Is The Phrase Match Update?

Google has rolled out an update essentially widening the net your company might be casting on phrase match keywords. Not all search queries are exactly alike. Searches like “ac repair” or “ac is not working” are examples of two very different queries looking for similar solutions. With the help of artificial intelligence and millions of data points each day, Google has spent years trying to understand and predict consumer intent to help make the best experience possible for both users and local businesses. In theory, the update will make it easier for businesses to connect to both of these searches. However, as we all know, with the good also comes the bad. A wider net will also find its share of unprofitable searches and herein lies the problem.

How Does This Affect Your HVAC Company?

In any well-run HVAC PPC campaign, to maximize return on ad spend, campaigns are in a constant state of optimizing for profitable keywords and minimizing wasted ad spend on unwanted clicks. Since the update, we have noticed an uptick in competitor’s company names triggering ads that traditionally had not been an issue prior to the update. With most companies in the HVAC industry using “heating & air” or “heating & cooling” in some fashion in their name, Google has mistaken brand name searches as intent for usually very successful keywords, leading to some bad clicks or even phone calls in some cases.

What is the Solution?

If you have ever relied on broad match keywords, you know the most effective way to combat wasted ad spend is to create and manage a robust negative keyword list. In September 2020, Google decided to reduce visibility to the search terms in the Search Term Report to just searches Google deems “significant” as if this task wasn’t already difficult enough.

One thing is clear with Google’s shift to automation, the success of your digital marketing campaigns will rely solely on your team’s ability to manage the machine learning effectively. Managing your account’s negative keyword list is a great first step to getting your SEM campaigns back on track.

Thank you for taking time to read our article.  We hope it helps!


Steve Kottra

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