How To Use Keyword Match Types in Google AdWords

Adding keyword match types in your campaigns is a commonly overlooked step to running a successful Google AdWords campaign that many people don’t know about. Using keyword match types gives you the ability to control how relevant search terms need to be to match your keyword so your ad comes up; they’re simply bridges built by Google AdWords that show your ads to the perfect prospects. But setting up your keyword match types is easier said than done! If you don’t fully understand how to use them, then your campaign is going to be a waste of money and clicks.

To avoid that here’s all you need to know about keyword match types.

Broad Match

Broad match keywords are the ones that are most commonly used (you shouldn’t be using Broad Match only) and reaches the widest and broadest audience. It’s pretty much the default match type but shows your ad if the search contains misspellings, synonyms, or close variations to your keyword (cool!).

For example, let’s assume you are selling men’s yellow rain jackets. Your broad keyword would be “yellow jackets”, your ad can show for searches like “yellow snow jackets”, “what yellow jackets will keep me warm”, or “yellow men’s jackets”. Those are pretty close to what you’re selling, but your ad can also come up for “yellow puppy jackets”. That would be a waste of a click. 

Broad keywords can have your ad show up for pretty much anything that contains your broad keywords, which is why it’s very important to have some sort of keyword match type to narrow down your search terms.

Broad Match Modifier

Broad match modified keywords give you the same reach as a broad match keyword, however, they allow more control over the searches that your ad can show for by simply adding a “+” in front of the keyword. By adding the modifier in front of the keyword means that the Google search query must contain that keyword. Unlike broad match, no synonyms will show up for the keyword. Close variants still will show up.

If you put a “+” in front of the keywords “yellow” and “jacket” and “men’s” [+mens +yellow +jacket], then your ad will show up for any search as long as it contains the terms “yellow” and “jacket” and “men’s”. For example, your ad can show for a search like “men’s jackets that are yellow”.

That is a lot better, BUT you’ll still be open to coming up for other search queries that include those 3 words. Some might not be related. Such as “What men’s shoes match with a yellow jacket”.

Phrase Match

Phrase match keywords kick up the level of control of your campaign a notch by surrounding your keyword in quotations. These quotations enable your ads to appear when the search query contains your key phrase in the exact way it’s written. The search query can include words before or after the key phrase, so a broad audience can still be reached.

For example, if you put the key phrase “men’s yellow jacket” in quotations, then your ad is able to show for search queries like, “men’s yellow jacket for sale” or “sale for men’s yellow jacket”. Phrase matches help lower the chance of your ad showing up for irrelevant and overly broad search terms, such as “Yellow Puppy Jackets”.

Exact Match

If you’re looking to target a very specific audience, then exact match modifiers are as specific as you can get. With exact match keywords, your ad only appears for search queries that contain your exact keyword or key phrase. Exact match keywords are keywords that are enclosed in brackets that show your ad when the exact match search term is entered into a search query.

For example, if your keyword, [men’s yellow jacket] is put into brackets, then only the search terms [men’s yellow jacket] would show up. Running high performing keywords as exact match keywords is a great way of generating targeted traffic!

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords protect your ad from being shown for irrelevant keywords and save your budget from being wasted on unnecessary clicks. Also, broad, phrase and exact match still apply to your negative keywords, so you have control of customizing your negative keywords to protect against irrelevant clicks and searches as well!

For example, your ad shows up for “yellow puppy jackets”, but you don’t sell yellow puppy jackets. Creating a negative keyword on broad match for the word “puppy” will prevent your ad from showing for anything that has to do with pups.

Also, be careful with adding negative keywords because Google automatically sets it to exact match type. Google also tends to not include synonyms, plurals, or variations when adding negative keywords, unlike the four main match types. Unfortunately, you have to manually add negative keywords to all variations of the keyword you don’t want to show for.

Need AdWords Help? Call Us!

If you’re not sure how to work Google AdWords, how to use the keyword modifiers, or just need help managing and maintaining your campaigns, then give us a call today or fill out the form below! You’ll get in touch with one of our AdWords experts that can give you a FREE 30-min evaluation!