Digital Reach
By Digital Reach | SEM | September 28, 2016

Keyword Match Types

Ever look at your keyword list and not understand why there are three versions of the same keyword?  That’s because Google allows different Keyword Match Types in your campaigns. A match type means that, depending what criteria the searcher puts in, your ad can be triggered to display.

What are the Match Types?

When you create your campaigns, you want to have keywords that are most closely related to what you’re selling, but you can’t think of every scenario that a person would put in that you would want to attract them.  For this reason, Google gives us Exact, Phrase and Broad Match and Broad Match Modified.  

Broad Match

Broad match is the default when creating your keyword list. Broad match lives up to its name in that it will match search criteria similar to your keywords. You might be selling women’s hats and have “hat” as one of your keywords.  Google will also show your ads to people looking for similar items in an effort to show your ad more often.

Broad match is designed to reach as large an audience as possible and you should monitor these very carefully as to not be getting clicks for totally unrelated queries.

Broad Match Modified

With Broad Match Modified you can limit the scope of Broad Match by including a + symbol next to certain words within your string. This tells Google that the search MUST include that term. In the example below, you can see that +Gel results in all the matches to have the word Gel in it, while the second has +batteries and the same is true for matches to this query.

Phrase Match

Phrase match allows for even more versatility, in that the search must contain your keyword in it, but not a synonym. If you sell “pet supplies,” your ad would show for terms such as “discount pet supplies,” “wholesale pet supplies,” but not for terms like “pet food.” Since the query can contain text before or after your keywords there is some flexibility.

Exact Match

Exact match means just that. The data entered has to be exactly what your keyword says. If your keyword string said “Little Black Dress” your ad is only eligible for searches for “Little Black Dress”. Nothing else. Your ads will not show for “black dress,” “black cocktail dress,” or “cocktail dress.” While this is very restrictive, if you have a very limited budget or slowly want to test keywords, you can always be certain that exact match will not bring you unwanted traffic.

Ruling Terms Out

Google also gives us a great advantage by allowing us to put in negative keywords.  These are terms that we know have nothing to do with what we’re selling and anyone clicking on our ad would be just wasting valuable advertising dollars. By adding to your Negatives List you can be certain that your spend is going where you want it.

Earlier this year I wrote about the Search Term Report . This is not only great for adding to your negatives list, but you can also expand on your current keyword list to include commonly entered terms that will attract people you want.

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