What are keyword match types?
Simply put, match types tell Google how much “discretion” they have when matching your keywords with search queries. As you move from the least restrictive match type, Broad Match (which is Google’s default), to the most restrictive match type, Exact Match, you are limiting the search queries which Google can use to return your ad.
For example let’s say your company sells handmade wool sweaters and you have a keyword “handmade wool sweaters”. If this keyword is a Broad Match keyword, search queries such as the following, may trigger your ad:
- Cheap sweaters
- Polyester sweaters
- Wool clothing
- Ugly Christmas sweaters
However, if you used the Exact Match type for the keyword “handmade wool sweaters” then the only search query that would trigger your ad would be:
- Handmade wool sweaters (including plural or singular versions of the words and slight spelling variations)
As you can see, there is a big difference between the queries which can trigger an ad for one keyword depending on which match type you use.
Why use different match types?
To spend money efficiently to meet your PPC advertising goals.
In general, your campaign and ad group keywords will start with mostly broad match and modified broad match keywords. As you research and gain knowledge of how potential customers search for your products you’ll begin to optimize the campaign, moving more towards phrase match, exact match and the utilization of negative keywords. This isn’t to say you won’t use phrase match, exact match and negative keywords at first they’ll just be obvious situations.
For example, back to our sweaters, since your goal is to sell sweaters an obvious negative keyword to add at the beginning of your campaign would be “-free”. Negative keywords have the minus sign in front of them.
Usually handmade wool sweaters are relatively expensive so another obvious negative keyword you might want to add is “-cheap”. If your sweaters cost hundreds of dollars you obviously don’t want your ad to show for someone who searches for “cheap wool sweaters”.
Maybe you are on a tight initial budget so it’s important to you to have highly targeted traffic even if you miss out on some impression volume. You may want to use the phrase match type for handmade wool sweaters, “handmade wool sweaters”. Phrase match type keywords have parentheses around them. Now your ad will show for a search query of “blue handmade wool sweaters” but not just “wool sweaters”
Those are just a few examples of how to use keyword match types.
What are the keyword match types and how to enter them?
Following are the list of keyword match types from least restrictive to most restrictive:
- Broad Match
- No symbol
- Broad Match Modified
- Phrase Match
- Exact Match
- Negative Match
- you can also do negatives of the other match types (for example: -“keyword” to turn a phrase match keyword into a negative)
For more information on keyword match types click here.