Google Ads Keyword Match Types

Google Ads has three different keyword match types that determine where your search ads appear. The three available paid keyword categories are: broad, phrase, and exact. Google Ads doesn’t have any guidelines or rules on what kind of keywords should be used. Users would need to know the differences between these keywords and should use them accordingly.

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Broad Match

Broad Match keywords will show searches that are relevant to the meaning of your keyword and will do it in any order. For example, if you run a pay-per-click ad for “Boston’s best SEO company” your ad will show for someone searching for “Boston’s best SEO company” but it will also show for “How many SEO companies are in Boston”. In General, broad match campaigns drive more traffic.

Broad Match campaigns are a great way to increase traffic, since they trigger your ads on many searches, they can show you what search terms are relevant to your business early on. Their downside is that most of the traffic could be actually looking for something else, so depending on your keywords, you would need to add in negative keyword matches. Negative match keywords is a feature that allows you to upload keywords you don’t want Google to trigger your ads for.

Phrase Match

Phrase Match are more specific and narrow down the search terms to only show when someone uses a search term for your keywords in the exact order. For example, if your phrase is “Best PPC Agency in New Jersey” your ad will not show for “Top PPC Companies in New Jersey” but it will show for “Best PPC Agency in New Jersey Downtown”. Phrase Match keywords helps narrow Google Ads search terms specifically for your keyword phrases and helps bring in more relevant traffic.

To mark a keyword as phase match, all you need to do is wrap the keyword in quotation marks.

Exact Match

Exact Keyword Match types only show your Google Ads when a person types in your exact phrase in order with no additional words before or after. Exact Keyword Match phrases usually convert better than Broad Match or Phrase Match keywords because they show your Google Ads to the exact search terms that were used in Google Ads, but the downside, is fewer monthly search results.

To mark a keyword as exact match, all you need to do is wrap the keyword in square brackets.

A good Google Ads campaign will use a combination of all three keyword match types. A few broad match keywords, some phase match keywords and the rest as exact match keywords. Depending on your goals, there are a few different strategies that would work with each keyword match type. In general, Exact and Phase match type keywords convert better but they might not be the best choice for higher impressions, traffic and brand awareness campaigns.

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