Keyword Match Types

February 15, 2020

In this episode, Andy Patel touches on keyword match types. Drawing from his and other people’s experiences running Google Ads campaigns, he found that one of the leading causes of dissatisfaction and lost dollars from a campaign stems from a misunderstanding of keyword match types.

What are keyword match types?
Keyword match types are different parameters that you can add to your keyword to adjust how specific you want it to be. Andy notes that a “keyword” is different from a “search term”. Google takes a search term and brings up results that are variations of that term. Therefore, it is easy for your ad to drown in an endless sea of results if it has not been optimized with keyword match types.

Four main keyword match types

  1. Broad match: These are general terms with no parameters whatsoever. “Ant control” may turn up results such as “How do I get rid of ants?”, “Pest control services”, or “Pest control certification”.
  2. Broad match modifier: Putting a “+” in front of the keywords you search for will tell Google to bring up results that must include those keywords. “+Ant +Control” may yield “Ant control services” and “Control black ants with my mind”.
  3. Phrase match: These are keywords with quotation marks around them, telling Google to give you results with those keywords in the specific order you typed them in, while allowing other words to be put before or after the keywords. “Ant control” will result in “Ant Control Services” and “Who can I hire for ant control?”
  4. Exact match: These are annotated by brackets, which will give results that turn up the keyword/s and nothing more, nothing less. “Ant control” will result in, simply, “Ant Control”.

Which keyword match types should you use?
While Andy encourages as much specificity as possible, the keyword match type you should use will depend entirely on your strategy. He says that it also helps to experiment with different types at the beginning to see what is working, and to check which search terms are triggering different keywords. Doing this will help you hone in on which keyword match types to eventually settle on.

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