Guide To AdWords Keyword Match Types

Let’s get back to basics and understand AdWords Match Types. Understanding of Keyword Match Types is really very important for the success of AdWords Campaigns. More often I came across campaigns where advertisers are using default match types or not utilizing keyword match types properly leading to irrelevant traffic and wasted budget. One of the most common mistake that New Advertisers make while setting up AdWords Campaigns is that they are NOT using proper match types for keywords.

The concept of AdWords is really simple here, the user makes a search on Google, Advertiser keyword trigger by the user search term and ad appears on Google search. In order to make sure right search term triggers relevant keyword and displays relevant ad to a user, understanding of match types are important. AdWords Match Types explained below.

How Keyword Match Types Works?

AdWords Match Types are parameters that you can select for your keywords to decide which user search to trigger your ads. Keyword match types are 4 different types in AdWords: Broad Match, Broad  Match Modifier (BMM), Phrase Match and Exact Match. Each match types has its own pros and cons and it is essential to understand match types of keywords.

Break Down of Each Keyword Match Types

Broad Match

It is Google’s default match type and has the maximum audience reach. Broad Match has potential to reach any user search that contains any word in your keyword, in any order. The ad can appear for a search that contains synonyms, misspells or a close variation of words in your keyword. Because of it’s widest reach, the advertiser can see a lot of clicks on irrelevant searches leading to wasted money. Broad Match has potential to bring a lot of clicks but advertisers need to keep a close eye on search term report. An example of Broad Match Keyword:

Match Type Symbol Keyword Search Term
Broad Match Type keyword wedding dress buy wedding dress
wedding skirt
wedding dress
black women dress
ladies dress

Broad Match Modifier

It is also known as BMM and is an advanced version of broad match type. It allows you to add a + parameter to a single word in the keyword. By adding + sign before each word in your keyword, indicates Google that user search query MUST include that term. BMM also has potential to reach a wide audience but compare to broad match, BMM allows more control and shows ads to searches which include terms that have a + sign, in any order. BMM does not trigger for synonyms, though BMM triggers for close variants and in any order. An Example of Broad Match Modifier:

Match Type Symbol Keyword Search Term
Broad Match Modifier +keyword +wedding +dress wedding dress
buy wedding dress
wedding dress
buy dress for wedding

Phrase Match

Phrase match similar to BMM has a higher level of control. To turn keyword into a phrase match, you need to start and end keyword with double quotes. Putting the keyword in quotes, indicates Google to show ads for the queries which match exactly to the key phrase in exact same order but addition words are allowed before and after of the phrase. The ad also appears for close variants for phrase keyword.

Match Type Symbol Keyword Search Term
Phrase Match “keyword” “wedding dress” buy wedding dress
wedding dress
wedding dress online

Exact Match

Exact Match has narrow reach but it brings highly relevant and targeted traffic. It is the most restrictive keyword match type. To make keyword Exact Match, you need to add a keyword in square brackets. It indicates Google to trigger ad when user search query exactly matches with the keyword and its close variants. Though according to AdWords New Exact Match recent update, For Exact match keywords ads may also trigger when user search query includes functional words and even when the order of search query is not same as Keyword. But the meaning of the search term should be same as the keyword.

Read Detailed article on Big Changes to AdWords Exact Match Type

Match Type Symbol Keyword Search Term
Exact Match [keyword] [wedding dress] wedding dress

Optimizing the use of AdWords match types is essential because match types allow you to reach targeted audience and help you avoid irrelevant traffic. AdWords match types explained above will help you prepare your keyword strategy. As per AdWords match types best practices, it is recommended to test BMM, phrase and exact more often and Keep the highest bids for Exact Match, little less for the phrase and lesser for BMM.

About Neha Gupta

I am Neha Gupta, SEM Expert – Paid Advertisement Consultant | Google AdWords Top Contributor| Google AdWords Trainer! I am Independent Paid Search Consultant and Google AdWords Trainer in Delhi.

I currently reside in Delhi, India, and love traveling.

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