Understanding Keywords and Match Types

October 20, 2020

Keywords are words or phrases that are used to match ads with the terms people are searching for. Traditionally, the single greatest decision that a PPC manager would make would be which keywords to include in an account. In the modern age of automation, this title has been passed on to the conversion actions that your campaigns are optimized for. Nevertheless, keyword strategy remains relevant and important for every Google Ads account.

Keyword match types allow you to have more control over what searches will trigger your ads.

The various match types are:

Exact Match Keywords: These will only match searches that are identical to your exact keyword or close variants of your exact keyword. Exact match keywords are placed in between brackets, such as [josh allen jersey].

Phrase Match, Keywords: These will match close variants of your exact keyword and may include additional words before or after. Phrase match keywords sit between quotation marks and will match with a phrase or string within a search query. For example, “josh allen jersey” will match with searches for josh allen jersey, but also with searches for buy josh allen jersey, and josh allen jersey for sale; but not with bills jersey josh allen, because the order in which the words appear to do not follow the order of the phrase match keyword.

Broad Match Modified Keywords: A hybrid between phrase match and broad match. Should you elect to prepend any of your keywords with a plus symbol (+), you are indicating that that specific word must be included within the search query (synonyms do not count). For example, the keyword +automobile + insurance is not eligible to show for the search car insurance but is eligible to show for the search get insurance quote for automobiles, because both automobile and insurance both appear in the query. Unlike phrase match, the order that broad match modified keywords appear in the query does not matter.

Note: If you don’t specify a match type, your keyword will default to broad match and can match to variations of your keywords. A search for buffalo bills qb jersey would likely match with the broad match keyword josh allen jersey.

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