A Closer Look At Keyword Match Types 

There are a number of important decisions you have to make when you’re setting up your Google Ads campaign—including total spend, keyword choices, and search and display parameters.

One decision that is often overlooked is that of which keyword match types you use. Broadly speaking this option lets you define which search keywords and phrases will trigger your advertisement. As you can already imagine—the implications of this choice for the success of your Ads campaign are huge. But do you understand the different options and what they mean? If not, then this article should help clarify things.

The Main Keyword Match Types

Broad Match

The first keyword match type we’re going to be looking at is the default and most commonly used setting—broad match. When your keywords are first entered, this is where they’ll be placed, but what does that mean? With broad match, your adverts will appear whenever one of the keywords in your search phrase is used—or a misspelling or synonym for that word. This creates an extensive reach for your keyword and generates more traffic—but it also runs the risk of generating unrelated and low conversion traffic. When it comes to broad match, it’s important to consider what variety of terms customers use to find your services and to monitor your data and metrics closely to make sure you aren’t spending money on low-quality traffic.

Broad Match Modifier

The next keyword match type is Broad Match Modifier—this is an extremely useful option, especially for those concerned by the ambiguous nature of the broad match option. The broad match modifier allows you to lock in a specific phrase whilst retaining the extensive parameters of the broad match for how that keyword is used. Meaning that wherever that keyword appears, in any order and alongside any other words—your ad will appear.

Phrase Match

Phrase match is a keyword match type that allows users to achieve a larger degree of control and reach that is often very effective. With phrase match, your ad will appear when the exact keyword phrase is used in its exact order but irrespective of what comes before or after.

Desk, with keyboard, and user working on keyword match type selection

Exact Match and Close Variant Matching

The final keyword match type we need to consider is that of the exact match and close match variant. Once upon a time, exact match did just that—matched only with the exact keywords and order specified. But the current iteration offers a little more flexibility—accounting for misspellings, rewordings, and function words.

Negative Keywords

It’s not only a matter of what keywords you need to be matching with—but also what you need to avoid. One of the most significant inefficiencies when it comes to PPC advertising is spending money on keywords that aren’t being used to search for your services. Negative match allows you to block certain keywords or phrases to avoid incidental traffic—for example, if your product also shares a word with a celebrity’s surname, or you’re selling cat products and want to avoid searches for cute cat photos!

For more information on how we can help utilise our experience as a Google Partner Agency to improve your Google Ads performance, feel free to contact a member of our marketing team today.


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