Google Ads – Understanding Keyword Match Types

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When creating a campaign in Google Ads, you may create a text ad. Aligned with the text ad, you can select a variety of keywords match types. These are; broad match, broad match modifier (BMM), phrase match, or exact match. But what are they?

Keywords are built out and depending on the words/phrases you choose, can determine where your ad will appear.

Broad Match

Example Keyword: denim shirt

Example Search: buy men’s denim jeans and shirt

Broad match type is the standard match and the one that reaches the widest audience. If your ads are set up using broad match types, your searches (search term report) might show irrelevant phrases. This can also spend your budget very fast.

For example: If a user searches for denim jeans, or flannel shirt your ad may show (depending on your keyword bid).

It’s important to constantly review the search term report. Broad match keywords will drive a lot of clicks to your site, so it’s important to constantly review the search term report, so that you’re not paying for wasted traffic. You can add wasted search terms to your negative keyword list.

 

Broad Match Modifier

Example Keyword: +denim +shirt

Example Search: denim jeans and shirt

Broad Match Modifier (BMM) keywords give you a wide reach, but they allow more control over the searches. They work by adding a ‘+’ to a specific keyword in the phrase you want to show. When adding the BBM to a word, you are telling Google that your ad must show this word in the search query.

For example: If a user searches for ‘denim men’s shirt’, or ‘light denim men’s shirt’ shirt your ad may show (depending on your keyword bid).

The search result can be in any order but the BMM word(s) need to exist somewhere.

 

Phrase Match

Example Keyword: “denim shirt”

Example Search: buy denim shirt

Phrase Match keywords provides the level of control by surrounding your keywords with quotations. Your ad will only appear when a user searches for that exact phrase, in that order. Additional words can be thrown into the mix at the beginning, middle, or the end of the search result.

For example: If a user searches for ‘denim men’s shirt’, or ‘light denim men’s shirt’ shirt your ad may show (depending on your keyword bid).

 

Exact Match

Example Keyword: [denim shirt]

Example Search: denim jeans

Exact match is as specific as you can get. Your ad will only show when users input the exact keyword, or phrase into their search. To trigger an exact match, you will surround your keyword/phrase in brackets – [example]. Google does allow a little room to trigger ad, like misspellings, acronyms and abbreviations.

For example: If a user searches for ‘denim shirt’, your ad may show (depending on your keyword bid).

If you are looking to generate targeted traffic with little budget, using exact match keywords is a great strategy to use. Equally in your campaign, if you see high converting/performing keywords it’s best to run them as an exact match.

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