Broad, Phase and Exact Match and How to Use Them

When it comes to choosing match types, many people get confused on how to go about it. Should you just go all broad, or all exact? Use all 3 or mix and match. What is the best and most effective way to use match types within the Google AdWords system? Well, let’s break it down and evaluate the 3 match types and how they work
Broad Match Type

The broad match type is considered the default option (probably because it can spend the most money) which means that your ad will be eligible to be shown anytime a users search query contains your keyword, in any order, and plus similar phrases. Your ad will also be shown for singular and plural variations, synonyms and “other related terms”.  1matching   This can get a little tricky and a little costly, especially if you do not realize what Google is about to do

If you bid on tennis shoe your ad may be show when users type in the following search queries

Any order – tennis shoe, shoe tennis

Singular / Plurals – tennis shoe, tennis shoes

Similar phrases – shoe for tennis, I need tennis shoes

Synonyms – tennis dress, tennis cloths, tennis apparel, tennis outfit

Relevant terms – tennis sneakers, new balance, Adidas tennis clothing, (you might even get mapped to basketball shoes)

PROS of Broad Match

Broad match is great if you need to discover new keywords, especially ones that convert, find new keywords that you would never normally have thought of and generate for traffic to your site. If you are having a hard time coming up with a keyword list or have low traffic volumes then use broad match to cover many more keyword possibilities without physically having to think of them on your own.

Broad match is great for keyword discovery, getting volume, covering many keyword possibilities and marketers with keyword mental block.

CONS of Broad Match

Broad match is bad for marketers with limited budgets. Since there are millions of searches done per day on Google’s network, it can get very costly to get mapped to an endless selection of keywords. Many niches with high volumes include make money, dating, health, and free stuff.

If your marketing in one of these niches broad match can blow your budget within hours so be sure to choose your keywords wisely and be ready to use many negatives to help reduce and remove untargeted traffic.

Phrase Match Type

The phrase match type works like broad match. It will match you to many keyword variations, however the variations are restricted to the keyword order that you specified. With phrase match your ad can only be mapped to a search query when a user’s search term contains your term exactly as typed plus anything before or after your keyword.

If you bid on “tennis shoe” your ad may be show when users type in the following search queries

Anything Before – red tennis shoe, green tennis shoe, cheap tennis shoe

Anything After – tennis shoe sale, tennis shoe online, tennis shoe fdsafragdfa

You will never be mapped to shoe tennis, tennis shoes, shoes for tennis, tennis sneakers, or any other variations.

PROS of Phrase Match

Phrase match will not spend as much as broad match, will be more targeted traffic than broad match, and will get more search volume than exact match. Phrase match will never be mapped to “related” search queries that are not really related. If you are in an industry with lots of search variations or are afraid that broad match may blow your budget to fast then phrase match may be a better option for you

CONS of Phrase Match

Since phrase match only maps you to exact keyword variations you lose out on finding goldmine keywords that you otherwise may never have thought of.

Exact Match Type

The exact match type is the most restrictive match type of them all. The only time your ad can be shown is if the users search query is exactly what you’re bidding on. You will not get any other variations, related terms and you will not even get mapped to plurals and singulars. What you type is what you get in this situation

For example if you bid on [tennis shoe] your ad may be show when users type in the following search queries

Exact phrase – tennis shoe

That’s it! You will never be mapped to shoe tennis, tennis shoes or any other variation.

PROS of Exact Match

Exact Match offers the most control over your campaign. You are bidding on exactly what the search user is looking for and your traffic will be highly targeted. Since your ad only shows up for the exact search term and no other variations, you will also have greater control over messaging to the search user, position of the text ad on the page, and the avg CPC paid per click. Since no other keywords can have effect on these factors you can easily manipulate the outcome in your favor. Any conversions resulting from this keyword can easily be tied back to the sale and therefore you can increase or decrease bid depending on if you want a higher position to capture more clicks or if you need to lower position to increase net profit per conversion


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