Broad Match, Exact Match, Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier- the first time I heard these terms I quailed inside wondering what the heck they meant. Google of course doesn’t even begin to give a full understanding of what they mean and of course your friendly neighborhood AdWords freelancer is not likely to tell you the secret to a great Google AdWords Campaign lie almost entirely on how you select the right AdWords Keyword.
Tip: Read my guide on How to set up Google AdWords Campaign
One of the key mistakes I have seen marketers do when they run their Google AdWords Campaign is faulty use of Google AdWord Keyword Match Types. And neither does Google help much in this regard.
AdWord Keyword Match Types
There are four types of AdWord Keyword match types that you can use:
- Broad Match
- Phrase Match
- Exact Match
- Broad Match Modifier
How and what you use as the match can significantly impact your Google AdWords Campaign results. At times, as I learnt the first time I did, it can mean the difference between success or utter failure.
So let’s take a look at what these AdWords Keyword match types actually mean and how they can impact your AdWord campaign
The diagram shows the inter-play between the various AdWord Keyword Match Types and the reach and targeting. As you move from a broad match to a broad match modifier and down to an exact match you reach is going to be increasingly lesser. But on the other side, your targeting is going to be sharper.
In a gist, that’s how each of the AdWord Keyword match type operates. By default when you set up your campaign using the Google Keyword Planning Tool, your match type is set to a Broad Match. You can thank Google for it. That’s because with a Broad Match you’re likely to get the highest number of clicks and of course who wins when you get a whole lot of clicks?
Google of course!
Broad Match is the type that lets you reach the widest audience depending on the keyword that you have chosen and has the least level of targeting. Let’s say you are running a coaching center for prospective Chartered Accountants (CA) and you chose the keyword CA COACHING as a keyword. And let’s say you have bid INR 65 ($1) for the keyword. Let’s also assume that you are a small business owner with your coaching center in New Delhi.
By default Google sets this keyword as a broad match. And remember, you pay Google basis a Pay-Per-Click which means that if anyone sees your add and clicks on it- Bingo! You are charged for it.
In a broad match scenario even if someone types in say COACHING CAMP or CA EXAM RESULTS or CA COACHING IN MUMBAI or even TEACHING JOBS IN CA COACHING IN DELHI your add will show up and people may click on it. If you are paying INR 65($1) per click and you get someone clicking on your add after having typed CA COACHING IN MUMBAI, it is going to be a wasted click and spend.
So while you get a high number of clicks at a relatively lower CPC cost, a correspondingly high number would be wasted clicks for searches that are not relevant to your business or service. Hence you should not use Broad Match unless it fits into your business objective.
Broad Match Modifier
The Broad Match Modifier is a variation of the Broad Match that gives significant search volume and better targeting through focusing your search results only to a set of specific AdWord keyword that you want in the search string that people type.
To convert your broad match into a broad match modifier you have use the symbol +Keyword before each keyword
For example- CA COACHING Broad Match when made into +CA+COACHING becomes a broad match modifier. Now using the same example as above keyword searches like COACHING CAMP OR CA EXAM RESULTS will not trigger off your add. This is because you have specified to Google that the search string needs to contain both the words CA + COACHING
However your add will still show up and lead to wasted clicks for the search string CA COACHING IN MUMBAI and TEACHING JOBS IN CA COACHING DELHI because in both the above 2 cases, the broad match modifier query string has been satisfied.
Converting your broad matches into broad match modifiers need some practice. Thankfully there are some free tools that can help you in convert broad match into broad match modifier. If you like to work offline, you can use the free downloadable tool
The Phase Match is the next deeper level of tightening your AdWord Keyword search results to a find a sharper audience. As the name suggests in a phrase match you are essentially instructing Google to show your text add ONLY if the person types a specific phrase keyword. A phrase is a combination of 2 or 3 keywords strung together
For example you could use the phrase CA COACHING DELHI as the phrase match for your campaign. This would effectively eliminate search queries like COACHING CAMP , CA EXAM RESULTS, CA COACHING IN MUMBAI from showing your add. However you add will still show up for the query TEACHING JOBS IN CA COACHING IN DELHI.
This is because the phrase CA COACHING IN DELHI that you have selected rests in the full query string that the user has input. While using Phrase Match, it is critical to look at the actual search terms that appear in your campaign and effectively use negative keywords to block off search queries that would be causing you wasted clicks. In the example above, by using TEACHING and its variations like TEACH, OR TEACHER you can effectively block your add from appearing on non-relevant searches.
To use a keyword as a Phrase Match you use the symbol “Keyword “ before and after the search keywords – “CA COACHING IN DELHI”
An Exact Match AdWord Keyword type is exactly that- an exact replica. It is the most restrictive AdWord Keyword Type and will give you the least volume of keyword searches but the highest level of targeting. Your ads will only trigger if the user types the exact same keywords that you have chosen.
For example if you convert the “CA COACHING IN DELHI’ which is a phrase match to an Exact Match it will show up as [CA COACHING IN DELHI]. An exact match symbol is [Keyword}
In this case, unless someone specifically types exactly the same thing as shown above, your add will not trigger at all.
How To Do Digital Marketing Tip for AdWord Keyword Match:
- Never use broad match unless you’re really looking at driving impressions and general traffic to your site. It can be used very effectively if you’re doing content marketing or driving website traffic especially for e-commerce stores
- Start your campaign either with a broad match modifier or a phrase match. I usually go with a phrase match and have a whole lot of negative keywords to block irrelevancy. But your choice should be determined by knowledge of how your customers are likely to be searching for your product or service.
- Have separate Ad Groups for keywords in broad match modifiers and phrase match. Don’t mix the two
- Don’t use exact match unless of course you have sufficient search volume for the exact match. Else you’re likely to have very little clicks and even lesser conversions.
- Join our digital courses ( we couldn’t help put in a sales plugin here J)
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