When it comes to starting an AdWords campaign or performing keyword research with the Google Keyword tool, it can be difficult to understand the different terminology that is used regarding the “match” status.

All you know is that you want your website to appear when someone is searching for your products, you don’t want to be messing around with “exact match”, “phrase match” or “broad match”. Unfortunately, you do need to know about the match type and when to use each one, otherwise you could be literally pouring money down the drain.

While it may seem like these match types are purely an inconvenience, provided that they are used properly, they can help you to run an efficient AdWords campaign very easily.

Match Formatting

Google AdWordsBefore we look into what each of the match types is, we’ll quickly explain how each is formatted.

  • Exact Match – The phrase or word will be surrounded by square brackets, in the format [Cheap Red Car].
  • Phrase Match – The phrase will be surrounded by quote marks, in the format “Cheap Red Car”.
  • Broad Match – Any phrase or word which is entered into your AdWords keyword list without any type of formatting is a broad match, for example – Cheap Red Car

Exact Match

Pretty much as the name suggests, an Exact Match search term is one which is an exact match to the keywords that you have in your list. For example, if you have Cheap Red Car in your list and someone searches for Cheap Red Car your advert will appear, however if they search for Cheap Car In Red or Where Can I Buy A Cheap Red Car, your advert will not appear.

Phrase Match

A Phrase Match means that they user must search for your keyword in the order that you have put them, but they can have other words either side. For example, if they searched for Where Can I Buy A Cheap Red Car or Cheap Red Car For Sale then your advert would appear, but if they searched for Cheap Car In Red, it wouldn’t appear.

Broad Match

A Broad Match simply means that all of your words must be in the users search term, but the order and any additional words do not matter. This means that any phrase containing the words Cheap, Red and Car would be included. Therefore a search for Red Cheap Car would appear, but so would Cheap Car In Red Mountain Area.

Why It Matters?

Let’s take a look at an example of why this matters and why you should ensure you have the right match types for your keywords.

If you added the search term New Car In York, your advert would appear if someone searched for Cars For Sale In New York, Rent A Car In New York or New Baby Car Seat In York.  Obviously none of these terms are relevant, but you would be paying for your advert to appear for these terms.

Using the right match type and also negative keywords can help to not only reduce your AdWords cost but also increase the number of relevant clicks that you get!

5 thoughts on “Do You Know About Google AdWords Match Types?”

  1. Good overview on the match type. A good understanding about how your adwords strategy affects the search results. It’s important to know about what Keywords to use and keywords to avoid .

  2. Hey thanks for the post, but do we follow the same logic when we do keyword research before writing a post using Google ad words keyword research tool.

  3. This is such a simple topic that is so often overlooked. Implementing “match types” when building an AdWords campaign helps limit your negative keywords as well as increasing your relevant click through rate. It is one of the most essential building blocks to an efficient campaign. Thank you for your post, I witness businesses not making use of this function all too often.

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