Google AdWords offers three major keyword match types – broad match, phrase match, and exact match.
It’s safe to say that if not you don’t know how to use each correctly, you could be wasting your PPC budget.
Choosing the right keyword match types can help you target your ads better so you get higher-quality traffic to your site. Match types are simple to understand, so it’s important to take time to learn about them before you do anything else with your PPC campaigns.
What are match types for PPC advertising?
The first question is easy: What does match type mean? In short, the match type you choose for each keyword specifies which searches Google can show your ad. Your match type determines whether a wide audience will see your ads or whether your ads will only show for a few highly targeted searchers.
Your first step is to create a keyword to track by navigating to the “keywords” tab and clicking the red “+Keywords” button, as shown below:
After clicking the red button you will be taken to a page where you can add multiple keywords, as shown below:
Once you save that keyword, you can select the keyword to change the match type. Consider the specific differences below:
Of all the keyword match types, broad match casts the widest net. When you choose broad match for a keyword Google will show your ad to people who type in all kinds of variations of your keyword, as well as the keyword itself.
For example, let’s say your keyword is ceramic pots. If you set this keyword to broad match, your ad won’t just show up for people who type ceramic pots into the search bar. Google will also show it to people looking for blue ceramic pots, ceramic cooking pots, and cooking pot ceramic. Your ad can even show up when people type in synonyms of your keyword, like pottery cookware.
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Simply click in the keyword to change the match type:
Broad match is the default match type for keywords, so if you haven’t adjusted your keywords’ match type, they’re currently set to broad match. You don’t need to use any special symbols to set a keyword to broad match, although you do need to use symbols for other match types – more on that in a minute.
It’s a good idea to use broad match keywords when you want to reach the widest audience possible. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, though, this strength could become a weakness. The impressions you get from broad match keywords aren’t very targeted, and that could mean you’re paying for clicks from people who weren’t interested in your offer to begin with.
Modified broad match
You can get around some of the downsides of broad match keywords by using a modified broad match type instead. This lets you specify which words must be in a search query for your ad to show.
If you do this, your keyword still falls under the broad match umbrella, but you have a little more control over who sees your ads. Modified broad match is a powerful tool for keeping your keywords flexible while cutting down on irrelevant traffic.
To modify a broad match keyword, place a + sign directly in front of any word that must be in a query for your ad to display. For instance, to re-use our example above, you could modify your keyword by changing it to +ceramic pots.
This tells Google not to show your ad unless “ceramic” is somewhere in the query. For instance, your ad could show up for ceramic bakeware and stockpot ceramic, but not for pottery cookware.
You can also insert a “+” before more than one word in your keyword. If you wanted your ad to show only for queries that included both the words “ceramic” and “pots,” you could modify your keyword to +ceramic +pots.
Phrase match lets you specify an exact phrase that must be in a searcher’s query for your ad to appear. It lets you hone in on your intended audience more than the broad match type, but isn’t as restrictive as exact match.
To set a keyword to phrase match, put quotation marks around it. This lets Google know to only show your ad to people who used your exact keyword (or close variations of it) somewhere in their query. If your phrase match keyword is “ceramic pots”, your ad can show up for the searches “heavy-duty ceramic pots” and “ceramic pot with lid” but not “ceramic cooking pots.”
When you use an exact match keyword, your ad will show up for people who type in that exact keyword (or close variations of it) and nothing else. This match type will limit your impressions the most, so use it with caution. The impressions you do get, however, will be highly targeted, so they’ll be more valuable than the impressions you’d get from a broad match keyword.
Set a keyword to exact match by putting it in square brackets – for example, [ceramic pots]. Only people who type ceramic pots or close variations of it into the search bar will see your ad. There’s no way to turn off close variation matching in Google, so your ad will still show for people who search for ceramic pot or another very similar term.
Negative match isn’t a keyword match type in the same way as the ones above. Rather, it lets you specify words you don’t want your ad to show for. If you know your ad won’t be relevant if a certain word is in a search query, set that word as a negative match. Google won’t show your ads to any of those searchers.
For instance, if ceramic pot is your keyword and you’re selling cooking pots, you might want to set “vase” as a negative match. Otherwise, people looking for ceramic vases might stumble upon your site and then leave right away, which only wastes your advertising dollars.
Set a word as a negative keyword by including a “-” in front of it, like this: -vase. Below shows you how to navigate to the negative keyword tab. You simply click the red button once again, and here you have a choice if you want these negative keywords to be for one campaign or your entire ad group, as you can see below:
What counts as a close variation?
We’ve mentioned a couple of times that Google automatically lumps very similar terms in with your keyword. At this point, you might be wondering what a close variation actually is. According to Google’s page on keyword matching options, close variations include all of the following:
- Common misspellings
- Singular versions of plural words, and vice versa
- Stemmings, or words that all have the same root – e.g. cook, cooking, and cooked
How can you make sure you’re choosing the right match type?
Now that you know what all the match types do, how should you plan your keyword strategy? Google recommends starting out with broad match keywords and then narrowing them down as appropriate. Keep an eye on your search terms report, which tells you which queries people typed in to see your ad.
If you notice that your ad is showing up for a lot of unrelated or irrelevant queries, try adding negative keywords to weed some of them out, or use more restrictive match types for your keywords.
You can find your search terms report using a variety of tools. AgencyAnalytics is one such tool that allows you to also click the keywords tab (shown below) for all of your keyword data to help create a full picture:
It’s also a good idea to vary your keyword match types. Don’t use all broad match keywords, or your ad will display for too many people who aren’t interested. Likewise, if you only use exact match, your ads might not show up often enough to get you good results.
Mix it up based on what makes sense for each keyword, and aim for a good balance between reaching a wide audience and showing your ads to the right people.
You can choose great PPC keywords, but if you don’t deploy them well, they won’t get you the results you want. Choosing your keyword match types is an important way to determine which searchers see your ads, and this ultimately impacts your sales.
Monitor your search terms report to see how your match types are performing, and adjust them as needed, and you just might notice a big difference in your traffic and sales.
What’s your strategy for using keyword match types? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Amanda DiSilvestro is a freelance digital marketing writer and editor living in San Diego, CA. You can connect with Amanda onTwitterandLinkedIn, or check out her writing services atamandadisilvestro.com.
- broad match
- exact match
- phrase match
- PPC keywords
Is it better to use broad match phrase or exact match? ›
With phrase match, you can reach more searches than with exact match and fewer searches than with broad match, only showing your ads on the searches that include your product or service.What are phrase broad and exact match keywords? ›
Exact match: Show an ad only when the query is the exact same as the keyword. Phrase match: Also show the ad if there are extra words before or after the keyword. Broad match: Show the ad so long as all the keywords are part of the search, regardless of word order.What are the 3 types of keyword matching? ›
There are four different keyword match types for Google Ads: broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative match.What are the 3 keyword match types use in Amazon PPC? ›
There are three different Amazon keyword match types at your disposal for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns. They are Exact, Phrase, and Broad. These match types allow you to fine-tune which customer search queries can trigger your ads.What are the 4 types of keywords? ›
When researching to discover a user's intentions behind making a search, we can classify all keywords into four main categories of intent: commercial, transactional, informational, and navigational.What are the 5 types of keywords? ›
- Broad match (max reach, min relevance)
- Modified Broad match (slightly lower reach, greater relevance)
- Phrase match (medium reach, medium relevance)
- Exact match (min reach, max relevance)
- Negative match (usually used to increase the relevance of the website visitors)
Exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and broad match. This allows you to reach only users who make searches with the same meaning as your keywords, including: Misspellings. Singular or plural forms.Which keyword match type is best? ›
If you're running a highly-targeted campaign that is focused on a small audience, Phrase Match is one of the best keyword match types to use. You can create ad copy and specific offers tailored to this user group, which can help you create a more effective PPC campaign.What is broad match in PPC? ›
Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. This helps your ads reach a wider audience without requiring you to build an extensive keyword list.What are the 3 keywords? ›
- Generic Keywords. Just as the title suggests these are very generic, unspecific terms that get searched for. ...
- Broad Match Keywords. Broad match terms are the core of SEO. ...
- Long Tail Keywords. The last of these three types of keywords to consider is the long tail keyword.
What are the 3 key factors for a keyword? ›
While conducting your SEO keyword research, there are three factors you must consider: the individual keyword's relevancy, search volume and user intent.What are the different types of keywords? ›
- Market segment keywords. These keywords are generic words associated with a specific brand or industry. ...
- Customer-defining keywords. ...
- Product-defining keywords. ...
- Product keywords. ...
- Competitor keywords. ...
- Long-tail keywords. ...
- Short-tail keywords. ...
- Mid-tail keywords.
Broad match is the keyword match type that has the widest reach. With broad match keywords, our ad will appear when all the keywords are present in the customer's search query. It can also contain close variants such as plurals or acronyms and additional words. The words don't have to appear in a particular order.What is difference between broad Exact and phrase keywords Amazon? ›
Unlike broad or phrase match, if a shopper searches for other words before or after your exact keyword, the ad will not show. Although it is the most restrictive match type, it is usually more relevant to the buyer's search and is intended to deliver ads to an extremely targeted set of shoppers.
- Transactional search queries. ...
- Navigational search queries. ...
- Informational search queries.
- Broad Keywords. Broad keywords are considered by many as the default keyword type. ...
- Phrase Match Keywords. Phrase match keywords are keywords that are put in quotations. ...
- Exact Match Keywords. ...
- Broad Match Modified (No Longer In Use)
When conducting keyword research it is important to consider two different types of keywords, one being high volume keywords and the other being long tail keywords. Knowing what each keyword type is can help you target the right keywords with your SEO strategy.What is phrase Match example? ›
With phrase match, your ads may show when a user searches for either “affordable moving services NYC to Boston” or “NYC corporate moving services to Boston.” The word order (and the additional emphasis on affordable or corporate moving) won't affect the display of your ad because it's clear that the meaning of the ...What are the most used keywords? ›
The winner of most popular keyword is Facebook, with over 1,102,800,000 searches per month. This is closely followed by YouTube, Amazon, and the weather, or "weather" for short.What are basic keywords? ›
Keywords are words with special meaning in a programming language. In Visual Basic . NET, keywords are reserved; that is, they cannot be used as tokens for such purposes as naming variables and subroutines.
Should I use exact match keywords? ›
Despite all the changes, exact match still gives you the most control over your keywords out of all keyword match types. So if you know the search query, you're able to create an advertisement that matches the search query extremely well, leading to all sorts of positive results.Should I use exact match? ›
Of the four keyword matching options, Exact Match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, and can result in a higher clickthrough rate (CTR). With Exact Match, your ads may appear when the meaning of someone's search exactly matches your keyword.What is the difference between broad match and modified broad match? ›
Modified broad match, as the name suggests, is a broad match keyword with one key difference. It allows you to flag certain words as mandatory for targeting. While regular broad match may look at synonyms or related words to increase reach, modified broad match stops this from happening.What is the most accurate keyword research tool? ›
- Google Keyword Planner. ...
- Long Tail Pro.
- Keyword Tool.
- Serpstat. ...
- Moz Keyword Explorer.
After July 2021, Google treats any modified broad match keyword as identical to phrase match. So if you have both match types in a campaign, these are duplicate keywords, which is something you want to avoid. I would pause the modified broad version, and continue with phrase match instead.Should negative keywords be broad match or phrase match? ›
Negative keywords don't match to close variants, so your ad might still show on searches or pages that contain close variations of your negative keyword terms. There's no negative broad match modifier match type.Should you use broad match Google Ads? ›
Google's usual advice is to use Broad Match with Smart Bidding, which is intended to use machine learning and real-time auction signals to achieve a certain CPA/return on ad spend that would over time generate more relevant, likely-to-convert search terms.Is broad match good? ›
Though broad match has its downsides, it still brings in 56% more conversions than exact match. Broad match is the default match type in AdWords for a reason – when beginning a campaign, broad brings in the most data for you to act on.What are 8 keywords? ›
- Degrees or Certifications.
- University or College Names.
- Job Titles.
- Product Names.
- Technical Terms.
- Industry Jargon.
- Job-specific Buzzwords.
- Company Names.
+2. Keywords are predefined, reserved words used in programming that have a special meaning. Keywords are part of the syntax and they cannot be used as an identifier. For example: int money; Here, int is a keyword that indicates 'money' is a variable of type integer. other examples int for if else char while include ...
What are the three steps to choosing keywords? ›
- Extract single words or short phrases.
- Experiment with different synonyms.
- Think of related terms to describe your topic.
The best keyword strategies rely on highly relevant keywords, which are keywords that relate closely to your business or are associated with your industry. Once you know the keywords you want to bid on, the next step in your keyword strategy involves crafting text ads that incorporate your keywords.What are the four criteria for keyword selection? ›
- User Intent. Everything in SEO comes back to giving your users what they're looking for. ...
- Volume. You can't talk about keywords and not mention volume. ...
- Competition. SEO allows businesses of all sizes to reach their target audience. ...
- Commercial Intent. ...
- Halo Keywords.
A keyword strategy contains every decision you take based upon your findings in your keyword research project, whether it's about the content you're planning to write or how you are going to track the results in Analytics. Keyword strategy is about how you want to target those keywords, now and in the future.What is keyword and example? ›
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they're looking for. For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like “mens leather jacket” into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it's still a keyword.How do you identify keywords and phrases? ›
To do this, ask the 4 W's:
- Focus specifically on your Amazon audience. ...
- Use Amazon-specific keyword tools. ...
- Only use relevant keywords. ...
- Don't use subjective keywords. ...
- Integrate keywords in your listings. ...
- Use backend keywords. ...
- Research competitors. ...
- Monitor keyword performance.
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator.
- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.
- Moz Keyword Explorer.
- Keyword Tool Dominator.
- Google Trends.
Other Ways To Find Keywords For Amazon PPC
You can use Amazon keyword search tools such as Sellarapp or Sonar to increase your Amazon product visibility. These tools can help you optimize your product listing for Amazon's search engine by helping you select the right keywords.
This is why it's important to always track conversions, not just the cost per click. Broad match modifier had a 25% higher cost per lead, but produced 40% more leads during the time period.
How do you add keywords to broad match? ›
Click on the Keywords Tab. Click on the +Keywords button. Select the ad group you want to add broad match modifiers to. Enter your broad match keyword and then add a “+” sign before the word or words you want to appear in user's search exactly or as a close variant.What is the difference between search terms and keywords on Amazon? ›
The difference is this: Search terms are what the customer types in the search bar when looking for a product. Keywords are what you bid upon in your manual campaigns. Amazon matches customer search terms to your keywords when deciding whether to show your ad.Should you use exact match keywords? ›
Exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and broad match. This allows you to reach only users who make searches with the same meaning as your keywords, including: Misspellings. Singular or plural forms.Should I use exact match? ›
Of the four keyword matching options, Exact Match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, and can result in a higher clickthrough rate (CTR). With Exact Match, your ads may appear when the meaning of someone's search exactly matches your keyword.What is the best keyword match type? ›
If you're running a highly-targeted campaign that is focused on a small audience, Phrase Match is one of the best keyword match types to use. You can create ad copy and specific offers tailored to this user group, which can help you create a more effective PPC campaign.When would you use an exact match? ›
The phrase "exact match" is commonly used when targeting your ad to types of searches with Google AdWords. Exact match in AdWords means that you only want your ad to show up for a specific word or phrase.What is a phrase match keyword? ›
A keyword match type that allows you to show your ads on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. The meaning of the keyword can be implied, and user searches can be a more specific form of the meaning. This allows you to reach more searches than with exact match and fewer searches than with broad match.Which is an example of an exact matched keyword? ›
For example, if you want to use “crossfit shoes for seniors” as an exact match keyword, you might want to exclude searches for “crossfit shoes”, since very few of those searches are likely to be from people looking for products for senior citizens.What is the most accurate keyword research tool? ›
- Google Keyword Planner. ...
- Long Tail Pro.
- Keyword Tool.
- Serpstat. ...
- Moz Keyword Explorer.
Looking at the example above, you can see that in this case, the broad match keyword “Design your own favors” has the highest number of impressions, lowest CTR, and a pretty low cost per click. The same keyword on exact match has a high CTR, low impressions and a more expensive CPC.
What is the difference between broad Match and broad Match modifier? ›
Broad match is more generic and BMM is more close to its nature of being more precise. Google Ads treats broad match as the default type. So, while adding your keywords make sure that you change the match type, if you don't wish to add it as the broad match type.What is difference between exact Match and fuzzy Match? ›
You can use the exact matching method for almost any field, including custom fields. The fuzzy matching methods look for strings that approximately match a pattern. Some fuzzy matching methods, such as Acronym and Name Variant, identify similarities using hard-coded dictionaries.What is broad match modifier keywords? ›
In February 2021, Google Ads began to incorporate behaviors of broad match modifier (BMM) into phrase match. As of July 2021, both phrase and broad match modifier keywords have the same updated phrase matching behavior for all languages and show ads on searches that include the meaning of your keyword.What is a keyword search examples? ›
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they're looking for. For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like “mens leather jacket” into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it's still a keyword.Should negative keywords be broad match or phrase match? ›
Negative keywords don't match to close variants, so your ad might still show on searches or pages that contain close variations of your negative keyword terms. There's no negative broad match modifier match type.What is broad match? ›
Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. This helps your ads reach a wider audience without requiring you to build an extensive keyword list. For example, let's say you have the broad match keyword car window repair.What is an exact search? ›
An exact search looks for your exact text, from beginning to end, whether your search text is multiple words or just one word. An exact search is useful when you know the text precisely; for example, when searching for titles such as It or Jazz.Do SEO keywords need to be exact? ›
How important is exact keyword match in SEO? The short answer is yes. It is good practice to use exactly the keyword you are targeting, especially if it is a specific long-tailed keyword. This is because it will help you better rank for high-converting phrases that users are searching for to find your content.