Choosing the right keyword match types when setting up Google Ads, will have a significant bearing on how successful a campaign will be. A match type determines who will see your ad based upon the conditions imposed on the keywords chosen and therefore which searches will trigger an ad.  Let’s take a look at the different match types you can choose from when setting up a Google PPC campaign.

Broad Match

Broad Match is the default type and useful if you want to reach a wide diverse audience. No symbols are required to denote specific terms and an ad may appear when a search query includes any word in your phrase, in any order and with variations.

Broad match may seem advantageous, due to the capability of reaching a wide audience. Be cautious! Its strength can be its weakness. Clicks can be wasted and costs start to mount up, especially when people realise your ad is irrelevant and ignore calls to action. As a result click-through rates (CTR) also tend to be low.

Broad match can be more effective if used with a well thought out list of negative keywords.  Keeping a close watch on your search query report is useful, in order to ascertain whether you are paying for a lot of irrelevant clicks.

Google Ads Broad Match Type

Modified Broad Match

Modified Broad Match provides a more flexible approach.  It has the added benefit of enabling segmentation, while still maintaining good impression rates. The ability to connect to a wide audience is beneficial for increasing brand exposure.

The + symbol is used to tell Google that the search query must include that term. The + sign can be used anywhere in the keyword and the ad will appear dependent on its position (see the example below).

Google Ads Modified Broad Match Type

Phrase Match

With Phrase Match the query must include the whole phrase, which is denoted by using quotation marks. There can be wording before and after, but bear in mind Google will be presenting the ad based purely on the phrase, therefore the text has to be in the exact word order. It doesn’t look for individual words within the phrase.

Google Ads Phrase Match

Words have to be in order but included are linking words outside the phrase.

Exact Match Type

Exact Match is less restrictive than the title suggests. Google recently introduced changes to include a much wider scope of variables.  Exact Match however is still very specific and highly targeted, which can result in less traffic and lower impressions that other types.  On the plus side, ads tend to be seen by people who are interested, therefore costs tend to be lower (less wasted clicks) and conversion rates higher.

Keyword Exact Match

Negative Match Type

The – symbol is used to prevent certain search terms from triggering an ad. Negative keywords can be matched to broad, phrase or exact types and is used as a preventative measure with no trigger.

Google Ads Negative Match

Pause For Thought!

Understanding the words people use in order to search for information is key to successful marketing campaigns.  It also helps us as marketers to get an idea of where future prospects are in the buyers cycle.  Having an understanding of what your target audience is searching for, is an essential factor that will inform meaningful campaigns. Campaigns that are driven by solid strategies based on firm foundations.

The link below looks in more depth at the New Marketing Funnel and the ever more complex buyer cycle.  At the very core of the cycle and the catalyst that dives prospects through the funnel, are well thought out strategies that are highly targeted and content-driven.

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