PPC Keyword Match Types & Why They Matter

Stepping into the world of PPC can seem challenging when you start since there are so many different types of match types that you can employ. Which one is better? Which one should you be using? And how do you even know if your current campaign is delivering the best possible results?

Here are some insights into PPC keyword match types and why they matter for your campaigns. 

What are keyword match types?

PPC keyword match types or keywords match types refer to different ways to bid on the same keywords. When you set up a PPC campaign, your campaigns can include any number of different ads in order to cover a range of keyword match types. 

In other words, each ad in the campaign will appear for different terms related to the keyword you are intended for. So, understanding the match type will help ensure you are only showing ads to relevant audiences and reduce budget waste. 

Choosing the right keyword matches will also help you get rid of keywords that may seem relevant to your business but that might not actually attract an in-market audience, or might be too broad to be efficient at generating conversions. 

Working with an established PPC marketing agency, for example, would also allow you to effectively optimise your campaigns to generate the best results – as there are best practices regarding what keyword match types Google prefers, and how to ensure you’re not competing against yourself. Such as adding cross match negatives, and using Exact match keywords to drive relevant users to your landing pages.

How do match types affect your search ad results?

Keyword match types are easy to tweak and set up to deliver the best possible results. But the type of keyword that you use in your PPC campaign has a huge impact on your success. 

Match types allow you to control how closely a keyword needs to match to a query in order for your ad to be eligible for display. They determine whether your ads will appear for the broad, phrase, or exact match searches. The right matches can also help increase relevance and engagement while avoiding irrelevant clicks. 

Therefore, understanding the different match types not only allows you to pick the best keyword but also improve your conversion rate, resulting in better ROI and lower costs per click.

Types of keyword matches

Broad match

Broad match is the default when it comes to keyword targeting in AdWords, which is why it is important to understand how it works.

Since the broad match is the most lenient keyword type, a search for the keyword “cheap laptop” might also bring up results for “laptop comparison.”

Quite literally, the broad match is Google’s way of broadly matching a term in a keyword list that may not exactly match the keyword or keywords in a search query or webpage.

For example, if you sell mobiles and want to advertise for the term “mobiles,” your ad may also show up on searches that include related terms such as “mobile phone, cellphone, cute mobile, mobile phones online, mobile phones deals.”

Google also uses the user’s history to display your ads more accurately. Still, broad match isn’t perfect. Because although it is a great way to get into paid advertising right away, you are likely to lose more money in your campaign because you will end up appearing for irrelevant keywords. 

Phrase match

Phrase match keyword is a search term that includes your target keyword and its modifiers within the same sentence. It requires the meaning of the entire query to match the keyword.

For example, a phrase match search for “New York” would return content containing “New York” or “New York City.” That’s why the total number of searches using this match type is usually less than those using the other keyword match types.

That being said, the phrase match type can be thought of as the middle ground between broad match and exact match. As the name suggests, phrase match keywords allow you to add a series of words in your keyword field when creating or editing a keyword. 

It also means that the search queries that your ads will attempt to show for can include each of the words in your phrase match keyword, but not within a particular order. 

And while this match type helps you save money, it prevents you from getting as much exposure as a broad match. The silver lining is that the search queries your are eligible to show for, have more potential for conversion than the latter as they will be more relevant to your products or services.

Exact match

Exact match keywords are self-explanatory. It means the words you bid on must exactly match the keyword the users search for. They are 100% of the time relevant to your website. So, if you rank well for these keywords, you are in good shape. 

For example, if you type in “anti-glare eyeglasses,” the exact match keyword would be “anti-glare eyeglasses” and the results will be displayed accordingly. 

Safe to say, the exact match type is highly specific and it truly narrows down your exposure to only those people who are genuinely interested in your business. Exact match keywords are the most competitive kind, and also the ones that will normally yield the best results. 

While if you aim for shorter, more generic exact match keywords these can drive your costs up significantly, targeting longer-tail exact match keywords brings down your overall costs while keeping the relevance of your campaigns strong. They are often the hardest to rank for but when you do, they generate the highest clickthrough rates. 

It is extremely important for every business to utilize all the match types to their advantage. Since there is a drawback for every benefit, diversifying your PPC campaigns can allow you to optimise your ad budget and avoid costly mistakes. Why not try comparing Exact match keywords with Phrase, and see where your best results come from? 

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