In this blog post, we will discuss Google AdWords keyword match types. Why do you need to understand the matter? Because understanding Google AdWords keyword match types is crucial for running a successful AdWords campaign.
In other words, Google AdWords keyword match types give you the power to control the relevancy of a search term that needs to match your keyword and trigger your ad.
Shall we begin?
So, imagine that you are bidding on a keyword in your PPC campaigns. What you need to do is choose a keyword match type. It will tell Google if you want to match your advertisements to keyword searches aggressively or restrictively.
You can choose from four different keyword match types when advertising with Google Ads. By the way, do you remember that Google AdWords was renamed to Google Ads?
In this article, you’ll learn the four keyword match types, know how they differ. We will also tell you why keyword match types are important to the success of your PPC ad campaigns.
The definition of the Google Ads match types
Supposing you are creating a text ad in your PPC campaign. You can choose among a broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, or exact match for your keyword match type. Each match type in your AdWords account has its pros and cons.
Broad Match Type
Broad match is the default match type. This type reaches the widest audience. When you are using broad match, your ad appears whenever a user’s search query includes any word in your key phrase. The order does not matter. For example, if you use broad match on “luxury resort,” your ad might be displayed if a user types “luxury resorts,” “best resort,” or “luxury apartments.” Google may also match your ad to queries that are using synonyms. For instance, your ad might display when someone searches for “expensive hotels,” which doesn’t include any of the terms in your keyword.
Why does this happen? Because when you set up broad matched ads, they are supposed to reach the widest audience. Searchers might see and click your ad even when they query irrelevant topics. These costs can add up very fast.
Please keep in mind that you should be very careful since the broad match is the default match type. Broad match keywords are indeed a great way to drive lots of clicks. However, being an advertiser, you need to be attentive as to your search query reports to ensure that you are not paying for irrelevant traffic that doesn’t convert.
How can you avoid showing your ad when searches are irrelevant to your business? You can set up negative keywords. This will prevent your ad from showing on searches that are not related to your business.
Modified Broad Match
Modified broad match is somewhere in between the broad match and the more restrictive match types listed below. This Google AdWords keyword match type allows you to reach a similarly wide audience but gives better control of who sees your ad by “locking” individual words in a key phrase using the “+” parameter. Why do you need to add the plus sign in front of a term in your keyword? This way you’re telling Google that the search query must include that term.
Here is an example. Let’s say you enabled modified broad match in AdWords for the keyword “PPC marketing.” If you append the “+” parameter to the word “PPC,” Google can only match your ads to queries that include the word PPC. If you append it to the word “marketing,” search queries must include that word before your ad can enter the auction.
Phrase Match Type
Phrase match type offers some versatility of broad match but introduces a higher level of control like a modified broad match. In other words, your ad will only appear when a user queries your key phrase using your keywords in the exact order you enter them. But there might be some other words before or after that phrase as well.
For example, if your key phrase was “cat food,” your ad could appear when a user searched for “cat food,” “healthy cat food,” or “cat food wholesale,” but not for searches like “cat supplies,” “pet dog food,” or “healthy food.” The query can contain text before or after your keywords which gives you some flexibility. However, you are leaving a lot of potential traffic on the table.
Exact Match Type
Exact match type can be called the most specific and restrictive of the keyword match types. The previous years, users would only see your ad when they typed your exact keyword phrase by itself with this ads type. For example, if your keyword phrase was “red evening dress,” your ad would only be eligible to show up when a user searched for “red evening dress”. All those words in that exact order and not “evening dress,” “red dress” or “luxury red evening dress.”
By the way, Google has recently made changes to the exact match type. Now when you are using exact match keywords, your ads might match the searches that contain synonyms, plurals, or other variations of your keyword.
New exact match keyword rules
The plus side of the amendments is that users who click on your ad when searching for that exact phrase are more likely to be interested in your product or service. This means that using exact match can cut extra costs and keep your conversion rates high. As to the downside, you will have less traffic. This is a normal result of your restrictions. As you understand, more specific search queries have lower search volume, and you won’t get so many overall impressions.
Summing up: the effect of Google AdWords keyword match types on your search ad results
Google AdWords keyword match types can have a significant impact on the performance of your account. They work like controls you use to determine which search queries you’re bidding on.
There are a few key components to consider when you determine which match types to use for each keyword.
- Performance to Date. The knowledge of how a keyword or similar keywords have performed can give you insights into which match type will provide the best return on your investment (ROI).
- Competitors. Watch your competitors, how they bid on certain terms and structure their own accounts. Note how their accounts have performed historically. This will impact the return from certain match types.
- Bids. Bids massively impact cost per click and cost per conversion. Often advertisers apply various methods for manipulating bids and bid more or less aggressively based on the match type. This can influence the choice of match type.
- Ad Text & Account Structure. Many advertisers prefer to break out a “money” keyword and run it on broad, phrase and exact match types. They will also segment those match types out and write specific ads for each. Needless to say that the way an advertiser structures an account can also have a great impact on performance for different match types.
Why is optimizing your use of Google Ads match types so important? The takeaway is simple – it allows you to reach your target audience and avoid unnecessary expenses on irrelevant clicks.