Understanding PPC Keyword Match Types

So, you’ve built your campaigns, added your first adgroup and now you have decided on the keywords you want. They seem relevant to your Business; you’re pretty sure it’s what people will search.  Now, the keywords are added and you notice something ‘Keyword Match Type’ hmm… automatically set to ‘Broad’ so what does this mean?

Understanding Google AdWords

Keywords on Google AdWords have 4 main match types. Broad is the most common and most flexible and is also the automatic setting. If you have no idea there are different match types, chances are your keywords are on broad. There is also +modified broad, phrase and exact. But what does this mean?

Say the keyword you want to use is ‘expert ppc management’, if you told Google you wanted to bid on this keyword on broad match, this means you want to appear for all and any searches in your given location which are like this search term in any way, could even be similar words. The search terms could be ‘great ppc management’ or ‘do i need a ppcexpert’  and your Ad would appear. This setting is a great way of finding out what people are using to get to your website and is generally a starting point to ponder on your market audience. These keywords are the traffic drivers as they allow large amounts of traffic to come through – you just need to ensure itsrelevant.

Modified broad is a tiny bit stricter. Just bung a + sign in front of the keywords and keep the match setting as broad. This means ‘Google be flexible with what you bring my ad up for but the keywords which have a + in front of them must be in the search query’ bit more controlled whilst allowing for high volume.

Phrase is tidier. Say the keyword here is ‘cookery books’ on phrase match if someone searched for ‘books cookery’ tada – your ad. Semi-flexible without the worry of picking up on some of the dodgy search terms that broad may attract. A more cautious tact.

Exact – seems pretty obvious. The keyword you have entered on exact match is the only keyword which will bring up your ad. That’s it. Easy. Some think its ideal to have all their keywords on exact but this would really limit your account. You can’t predict exactly what people will search for so to try and do that would be narrowing your market. It would also restrict testing which is an important factor in PPC.

When you start your campaigns, duplicate the keywords and have them on modified broad, phrase and exact. Keep a close eye on them and see how they perform. Keywords which come through on broad, if relevant get them added to the account as phrase or exact. Use that data.

Your keyword list can be never ending and it’s always cheaper to have them in the account then have the search query match to a generic broad.