Google AdWords match types
The different Google AdWords match types for keywords
There are 4 different match types in Google AdWords – not counting negative keywords.
It can be confusing as a new marketer, to understand the difference between these 4 match types. In this article, we will be explaining what the AdWords match types mean, and how they look within AdWords.
The 4 AdWords match types are:
+Broad +Match +modifier
Some will argue that broad match modifier is not a match type by itself, but I will argue that it is.
AdWords match types – Broad
Broad match type keywords are – well, very broad. You do not have much control over your traffic with this match type. For instance, if you have a broad match type keyword “dating” – your ad can show when people are searching for “meet women online”. Notice, that the keyword dating itself is not included in the search query, but the topic of the 2 things are roughly the same. However, it is google that determines when a search is relevant to your keyword, so be careful – you can end up spending a lot of money on broad keywords.
When looking in the AdWords interface, Broad match type keywords will have no signs in front or after the keyword itself, as opposed to the rest of the match types.
I once worked with a client, who advertised for fireplaces from a certain brand. The brand name is also the name of an island in the same country. They had an employee making changes in the account, adding the brand name as broad match type. The result; it cost A LOT of money very shortly, because of all those searching for information about the island.
AdWords match types – “Phrase”
Phrase match is a popular one with advertisers, because you get much more control of the traffic. You can recognize a phrase match type keyword with “ “ before and after the keyword. A phrase match type keyword could be – “ buy shoes online”. Now, in order for your ad to appear for this keyword, these 3 words must be included in that exact order.
If someone searches for “buy womens shoes online”, your ad will not show. If someone searches for “buy nike shoes online”, you ad will not show. But if someone searches for “Where can I buy shoes online” or “buy shoes online nike air”, your ad will show. By using phrase match type for your keywords, you are effectively showing you ads for a much smaller group than with broad match. The good thing is, you will not get lots of irrelevant traffic, as the potential customer has to use the exact words in your keywords.
AdWords match types – [Exact]
It is exactly what it means. The potential customer has to type in exactly what your exact match keyword is. You can recognize the exact match by the brackets [ and ]. So if your keyword is [buy shoes online], the person searching has to type in exactly buy shoes online, or your ad will not appear.
With exact match type keywords you have all the control you want, of the incoming traffic. You know they are looking for, and you can provide a perfectly tailored ad including your keyword. Which you want to do, as it will improve your keywords quality score, compared to if you didn’t include it.
AdWords match types – +Broad +match +modifier
Is a very interesting “match type”. You have, if you add negative keywords regularly, great control of the traffic. Let´s say you are selling shoes online, so you chose the keyword +shoes +online. This is quite a broad and generic keyword, but for the sake of argument, let´s say you do.
Now, people who will search for (almost) anything containing those to words (shoes and online) can see your ad. Searches like “online shoes buy them cheap” or “buy cheap online nike shoes”, will have you ad shown.
It is a great “match type” in my opinion, as you can harvest a lot of negative keywords from these search queries. You can also find new keyword opportunities in these search queries, to add as exact match types in your campaign. Over time, keywords with broad match modifier can give you great profitability, and you can gain good amounts of traffic from them.
Depending on how much time you have, which market you are in etc., a good mix is recommended. If you are having trouble finding new keywords, you can use broad match and see what people are searching for. If you need more exact match type keywords, you can use phrase match or broad match modifier to identify new ones.