Keywords and Match Types

baggett_a_master Google Adwords

How to Use Keywords Efficiently

Using keywords efficiently can drastically improve your ads and bring more potential customers. For those who don’t know already, keywords are words or phrases that a user enters into google to find relevant content. 

An example is, I am in need of an energy boost, but I prefer places that are environmentally friendly. So I type into Google, “environmentally friendly coffee shops near me”. This search query is what could be considered a keyword or even a fragment of this search.

Imagine that your store matches what I am looking. On your ads, you might designate the keywords, “environmentally friendly coffee shop” or “Eco-friendly coffee shop”, since it is an important unique factor for your business. Now we will get into how you can format your keywords to get different results, by using match types.

Keyword Match Types

Different match types will activate your ad to show for a customer’s search in varying ways. One thing to keep in mind is the broader the match type, the more potential traffic that keyword can have. Meaning broader match types can show your ad more often. However, you may not be reaching the type of users who find your content relevant. Next, learn how each type can affect when your ads are shown, starting from broad types to narrow types.

Broad Match

Broad match is the default for all keywords. Your ads will show for searches with synonyms, misspellings, related searches, and other relevant variations. Adwords does the work of calculating the synonyms and misspellings so you don’t have to make extra keywords. An advantage of the broad match type is it can reach the most amount of people, but maybe not the people who will buy anything from you.

Heres an example of how the broad match works:

  • Ad Keyword: pet food
  • Search Triggering Ads: pet supplies & exotic pet supplies

People searching for pet supplies might see your ad for pet food since it’s related.

Broad Match Modifier

With the broad match modifier, ads will show when the keyword matches the search or a close variation, but not synonyms. These keywords can show in any order. To make a keyword a broad match modifier add a plus sign in front of the keyword.

Example of a broad match modifier:

  • Ad Keyword: +pet +food
  • Search Triggering Ads: pet food bags & food for pet dog

Phrase Match

Phrase match keywords will show on searches that match a phrase or close variations. This keyword can have additional words before or after, but no added words in the middle of the phrase and words can’t be reordered in any way. The notation for phrase match is made by adding quotation marks around the desired keyword. 

Example of phrase match:

  • Ad keyword: pet food
  • Search Triggering Ad: buy pet food

Exact Match

This will show your ads for searches that match the exact keyword or close variation of the exact keyword. Sounds very precise right? This is beneficial to narrow down users who are in need of exactly what you offer. To make a keyword into an exact match type add brackets around the keyword.

Example of an exact match:

  • Ad Keyword: [pet food]
  • Search Triggering Ad: pet food & food for pet 

Negative Match

The negative match can be very important when trying to reach the right audience.  This will prevent your ads from showing on searches with this term. Wondering why you would ever want to prevent searches showing your ad? This is because not all searches are relevant to what you sell or offer.  To make a negative keyword add a  minus sign in front of the keyword.

This example will clear up any confusion.  Following the theme of selling pet food, you don’t sell every type of pet food known to man. 

Example of a negative match:

  • Ad negative keyword:exotic pet food
  • Search Triggering Ad: pet food, cat food, & dog food

If anybody searches for exotic pet food your ad will be prevented from showing. This benefits you because you won’t pay for a user who can’t buy anything from you. Ads will show for pet food or cat food because it’s relevant and you didn’t block these keywords.



For more Google Adwords related topics check out our articles.


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