Keywords match types

Keyword match types are parameters that can be set for keywords. These restrictions determine which search terms trigger your ads on a search engine results page (SERP).

When creating a text ad in your PPC campaign, you can choose broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, or exact match for your keyword match type. Each match type in your Google Ads account has its advantages and disadvantages. Using different match types can help you eliminate unnecessary words and search terms.

Broad match

Broad match is the default type of match that appeals to the widest audience. With broad match, your ad can appear at any time when a user’s search query contains a word in the keyword phrase in any order.

Broad match keywords are a great way to get a lot of clicks, but advertisers need to keep a close eye on their search query reports. It’s important to note that broad match can lose your valuable budget by showing your ad on irrelevant variations of your keyword.

Your ads may also appear on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, singular and plural forms, related searches … By definition, broad match will match the keywords you choose with the widest number of searches.

Modified broad match

A modified broad match is considered to be some kind of middle ground between a broad match and the other types of matches listed below. It allows you to reach a similarly wide audience, but better control over who sees your ad by locking individual words in a keyword phrase with the “+” parameter.

When you put a plus sign in front of an expression, it means that Google’s search query must include that expression. We recommend that you place the “+” sign only in front of the words that best describe your product.

Phrase match

Phrase match offers some versatility of broad match, but like modified broad match, it represents a higher level of control. Your ad will appear only if a user enters a keyword phrase using keywords in the exact order you enter them. However, there may be other words before or after this phrase.

An important difference between a phrase match and a broad match (or a modified broad match) is that a phrase match will not contain search terms that contain words in the middle of the phrase.

Phrase match usually doesn’t bring as many visitors as broad match, but its bringing better traffic with a higher likelihood of conversion because your ad is more targeted to your product.

Exact match

Exact match is the most specific and restrictive of a keyword’s match types. In previous years, users would only see your ad with this type of match if they typed the exact phrase of the keyword themselves.

However, Google has recently made changes to the exact match type so that even with exact match keywords, your ads may also match searches that include synonyms, plurals, or other variations of your keyword.

Users who click on your ad to search for an exact phrase are likely to be interested in your product or service, so using an exact match can reduce unwanted costs and maintain a high conversion rate.

On the other hand, due to your limitations, you’ll get less traffic because these more specific search queries have lower search volume and don’t get as many overall impressions.

How do match types affect search results?

Match types can have a significant impact on the performance of your account. When determining which match types to use for each keyword, there are several key components to consider:

Past Performance – The performance of your keyword or similar keywords can give you information about which type of match will provide the best return on your investment.
Competitors – How your competitors bid under certain conditions and structure their own accounts, as well as the historical performance of their accounts, will affect the return you get from certain match types.
Bids – Bids have a significant impact on cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion – advertisers manipulate bids differently and often bid more or less aggressively based on match type – this can significantly affect which match type is most appropriate.
Ad text and account structure – The way an advertiser structures an account can have a huge impact on performance for different match types.

Optimizing your use of Google Ads/AdWords match types is crucial because it allows you to reach your target audience while avoiding unnecessary spend on irrelevant clicks.

About the Author:

Karin Kováčová
Account Manager for BlueWinston. Dealing with problems of our clients and calling with them is my everyday cup of tea. I like learning new things and writing articles about marketing topics.