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Choosing PPC Keywords – What AdWords Match Types to Use
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Choosing PPC Keywords – What AdWords Match Types to Use

by Adrian RandallMay 31, 2016

Following on from the success of the last few posts from us on the different type of AdWords PPC Match Types, we thought we’d put together a quick summary / checklist for marketers and others who look after PPC campaigns as a quick reference when creating PPC campaigns.

AdWords Broad Match Type

  • Most commonly used and is the default match type (this is what you are targeting if you haven’t added any special symbols around phrases or words in your keywords list)
  • Means that you ad is eligible to be served whenever a user enters a search query including any of the words in your phrase, and in any order
  • Your ad can also be served by Google if one of word matches synonym words
  • For example, the key phrase “black dog collar” could be served for people searching for something like:
    • black dog collars
    • expensive dog collars
    • canine leash
    • black dog
    • And heaps more!

Remember this is the broadest search possible and your ad will be served to the widest audience possible through AdWords. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Take the example above. Your ad could be served to people looking at “beautiful black dogs” – who aren’t necessarily looking (at all) for a black dog collar. Costs for these types of ads can rack up pretty quickly due to the wide audience and potential for the ad to be served to an irrelevant audience who don’t really want or care for your product or service. If you opt to use these Broad Match Types, tread with caution and make sure you are regularly assessing the keywords/phrases AdWords is serving your ad to. Don’t be afraid to list unsuitable keywords as “Negative Keywords” in your AdWords Campaign to cull irrelevant terms.

Here are some examples of an AdWords Broad Match Type in an AdWords campaign:

adwords broad match type example

 

AdWords Modified Broad Match

  • Allows for a more refined / controlled search when compared to Broad Match Types while also allowing for some broad (refined) broad matches
  • Can be identified by the use of a plus symbol (+) in front of one or more keywords in your AdWords campaign
  • Your ad is served when a user enters a search query which includes ALL of the words following a plus symbol in your keyword phrase (although words can be in any order)
  • For example, the key phrase “black +dog +collar” could only be served to users who entered the words “dog” AND “collar” in their search. This could be served to people searching for terms like:
    • dog collar
    • red dog collar
    • dog collar black
    • dog collar for large breeds
    • diamonte dog collar
    • cheap online dog collar
    • And so on…

This is a really nice way to ensure that any specific keywords must appear while allowing more flexibility to capture searches beyond the exact term itself. This works really well in examples like the above where consumers looking for a dog collar could type in a variety of different phrases – all of which we would hope to see the words “dog” and “collar” somewhere in the searched phrase.

Here are some examples of an AdWords Modified Broad Match in an AdWords campaign:

Broad Match Modifier Example

 

AdWords Phrase Match Type

  • Offers the next step up in search query control compared to Modified Broad Match
  • Can be identified by the use of quotation marks around the keyword or phrase you are using
  • Your ad is served when the words within the quotation marks are used in a search query, in the same order they appear within the quotation marks
  • Other words can surround the user’s search query, but the specific words within the quotation marks must appear in the query and must remain in the same order
  • For example, the key phrase “black dog collar” could only be served to users who entered the words (with or without other surrounding words) in that order. This ad could therefore be served to people searching for terms like:
    • black dog collar small
    • expensive black dog collar
    • black dog collar for wedding photo
    • And so on…

Phrase Match Types can be really powerful when managing the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you notice that some of your Modified Broad Matches are being served to irrelevant search queries, try using the keywords in Phrase Match Types instead. This can really help narrow your serves to a more controlled audience.

Here are some examples of an AdWords Phrase Match Type in an AdWords campaign:

phrase match type example

 

AdWords Exact Match Type

  • Most restrictive and controlled keyword use possible
  • Can be identified by the use of square brackets around the search phrase / keyword you are using
  • Your ad will only be served to people who enter the exact keyphrase without any additional words, and in the same order as in the square brackets
  • For example, the key phrase “[black dog collar]” will only be served to users who enter an exact search query of “black dog collar”. The ad would not be served to “large black dog collar” or “dog collar black” or any other search query other than the phrase within the brackets

If you are specifically targeting people who can be narrowing targeted through a specific keyword or phrase, using an Exact Match Type is a good way to cost-effectively only have those people seeing your ad. Note that impressions will be low however you would be hoping to see fairly high conversion rates purely due to the controlled and highly targeted nature of the Exact Matches.

Here are some examples of an AdWords Exact Match Type in an AdWords campaign:

exact match type example

 

Choosing the right type of keyword match types can really help make for a more cost-effective and efficient PPC AdWords campaign. While this is certainly not the only thing affecting the success of a PPC campaign, it can go a long way towards saving money on irrelevant impressions and clicks.

 

About The Author
Adrian Randall
I'm a digital marketing specialist, love working on digital business and coding on just about anything. I'm the founder of Arcadian Digital and this site shares some of our knowledge and practices.

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