AdWords Keyword Match Types

AdWords Keyword Match Types

Google AdWords is the biggest and best pay-per-click advertising program on the Web, allowing advertisers the chance to promote products and services on Google’s search results and on affiliate websites.

In order to fully reap the rewards of an AdWords campaign, keyword match types are incredibly important. Using different keyword match types will help your ads appear to the right people and focus on Web users that are relevant to your business.

There are three main keyword match types in Google: broad, phrase, and exact, along with a sub-type if you will, which is broad match modifier. Each keyword type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is recommended that campaigns embrace all types to have the best chance of success.

Broad match

Broad match is the keyword type that ads in AdWords default to. It is also the type that offers the greatest reach. With broad match, your ads will appear any time a user enters any word in your key phrase into a search engine. For example, using “wedding dresses” as a broad match will get you found for that query, but it will also see your ads displayed for “floral dresses,” and “wedding bouquets,” neither of which will be relevant to what you are promoting. Therefore, while you may get your ads seen by a large audience, the click through rate of broad match could be low.

Broad match modifier

Broad match modifier sits somewhere in the middle of broad match and phrase match, allowing you to select specific word within your key phrase that ads will be shown for. Using broad match modifier is done by simply placing a + in front of keywords, for example “+wedding+dresses.” Any words that have a + attached to them will need to be included in the user query. So, “+wedding+dresses” will show for “ball gown wedding dresses,” but would not show for “party dresses” or “wedding invitations.”

Using broad match modifier will help reach a target audience, but ads will have less exposure in comparison to broad match.

Phrase match

Using phrase match will see your ads shown only when users search for your key phrase in its exact order. So “wedding dresses” would appear when the user searched for “wedding dresses.” The phrase will also show when text is added before or after the keywords; for example, “white wedding dresses” or “wedding dresses UK.”

The fact that text can be added to a phrase gives some flexibility to this keyword match type, but the exact order factor can hinder campaigns, with potential traffic being lost on queries such as “wedding bride dresses.”

Exact match

As the name suggests, exact keyword match type only displays ads when a user searches for the exact phrase. This makes it the most restrictive of the match types, although does offer the highest quality traffic, with users generally having a direct interest in your product or service.

If your key phrase was “wedding dresses,” only search queries for “wedding dresses” will see your ads displayed. Relevant traffic is an undoubted bonus; however, you will need to be careful not to narrow the focus too much, as impressions can be significantly limited.

Keeping it varied

As you can see, there are positives and negatives to each keyword match type, and there is no one type that works best. For this reason, it is essential that you put each type in your account to good use and experiment with different combinations until you come up with a solution that works.

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