Here’s What You Should Know About Keyword Match Types

Published Date: January 11, 2022
Here’s What You Should Know About Keyword Match Types

In the early days of marketing, good SEO meant keywords – a lot of them!These not-so-fancy terms and phrases can truly make or break your digital marketing strategy.


keyword match types

In fact, using the right keywords brings your ad in front of the users. That said, having the right keywords isn’t the most critical thing; knowing how to use them is. It differentiates a successful campaign from those with potential but fails to generate conversions, just like the student who studied a lot but didn’t score well.

You may also think that ad copy is the most critical element of an ad. It isn’t. It is the search terms that give your users the confidence that they’re in the right place.

You just need to trigger the ads for those terms. And how do you do that? With keyword match types.

Confused? We’ll explain.

Key Takeaways

  • Keyword match types control what search terms trigger your ads
  • There are three keyword match types – broad, phrase and exact match
  • Broad match shows your ad even when users don’t search for the exact phrase
  • Phrase match triggers your ad for phrases that include terms before or after the keyword
  • An exact match triggers your ad for a single keyword

Keyword Match Types: The Magic Behind Keywords

Keyword match types are parameters used to set limits. It controls what search terms trigger your ads.

The main reason to use keyword match types is to refine the targeting when setting up adverts with Google Adwords and other platforms.

Now, it’s all about how the algorithms interpret your keyword choices. With this interpretation based on the keyword match type you choose, the algorithm will decide which search results your adverts will appear on.

What does this do for you?

Suppose you’re after a bottom of the funnel buyer. Won’t you want your ad to appear for more specific keywords the buyer searches for? This is what keyword match types help you with.

It helps you target the right people with the right keywords.

Do You Need a Keyword Match Type Strategy?

Have you been on Tinder?

No, we don’t mean to pry on your personal life. But if you are a Tinder user, you know a right swipe means you like someone. A left swipe means you don’t.

But sometimes, you accidentally swipe left on a person who seemed charming(just for a second).
Oops! What a blunder.

Keyword match types are similar toa Tinder swipe but for Google Ads.
You set your pay per click keyword match type to let the search engine knowhow your ad matches the user.

A broad match means a right swipe, but you don’t want to swipe too often, do you? There will be several users you might not be interested in.

An exact match can be too picky. So, what’s the best way?

The Three Keyword Match Types

The Three Keyword Match Types

Broad Match

When you don’t set a match type, the search engine sets broad match as the default one. It throws a wider net, targeting a large part of the audience.

With a broad match, your ad will also appear to people who didn’t enter the exact keyword.
Your ad will display for terms including synonyms, misspellings, related searches, variations, etc.

For example, your keyword is women’s clothing. Now your ad will appear for terms like –

  • Buy women’s clothing
  • Discounted women’s clothing
  • Clothing women

Phrase Match

A phrase match casts a relatively smallernet than a broad match but a larger net than an exact match. It includes your target keyword along with close versions of it.

Only when the search queries contain your keyword phrase in the correct order, the phrase match triggers your ad. The ad will also appear for searches that include additionalterms before or after your keyword.

For instance, if your keyword is black jeans, the ad will also trigger for terms like –

  • Dark black jeans
  • Black jeans for men
  • Price of black jeans

There’s a big difference between phrase match and broad match. If the search query contains terms amid your keyword phrase, phrase match will not trigger your ad. Broad match makes no distinctions in such cases.

For example, your ad won’t appear for keywords like –

  • Black cropped jeans
  • Black ripped jeans

Exact Match

An exact match type throws a much smallernet. In fact, it hurls a spear.

Your ad appears only if the search query perfectly matches a keyword in your Google Ads account. It establishes strict time constraints for when your ad will appear.

With exact match, your ad has the highest relevance but the smallest reach.

You may not catch a lot of fish, but the fish you do catch are the ones you want.

If you want your ad to appear for a single keyword, use the exact match. Customers who search for an identical keyword, or a similar version, will see your ad.

Similar versions of your target keyword include –

  • Singular or plural forms (black jeans, black jeans)
  • Abbreviations
  • Conjunctions
  • Stemming (black jeaned)

Bottom Line – Which Match is Best for You?

Choosing the best keyword match type is an essential part of the decision-making process when creating advertising campaigns.

You need to experiment a bit and place your ads where users see them and are likely to convert. And if it feels like a struggle, we are happy to help.

At AdLift, we focus on providing an extensive reach to our clients. Don’t have the right set of keywords? We’ll get a list. Unsure about the right keyword match type? We’ll handle it.

Get in touch with our advertising connoisseurs today, and we’ll help you reach the audience that’s likely to convert.

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