What are AdWords keywords match types?

When you create a text ad in Google AdWords, you can select up to 5 keyword match types:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

Each match type has advantages and disadvantages.

Broad Match:

Broad match is Google’s default match type and reaches the widest audience. This match type means your ad can appear whenever a search includes any word in the key phrase, in any order. For example, if you use broad match on “football trainers”, then your ads may be displayed for products like “tennis trainers” or “football socks”. Google can also match your ad to searches including synonyms.

The main disadvantage of broad match is that because it reaches such a wide audience, it is common for your ad to show up in irrelevant searches. This means that someone may click your ad but not find what they are looking for, therefore costing you money that you don’t get back.

We recommend to never use broad match as it creates too many irrelevant searches, resulting in a huge loss of money.

Broad Match Modifier:

Like the broad match, this match type reaches a wider audience, but with a lot more control. Broad match modifier allows for certain or all words in a phrase to be ‘locked’ by simply putting a ‘+’ before each word. For example, if you wanted to search for “ballet shoes” and put a ‘+’ in front of “ballet” then Google can only match searches that include the word “ballet”. However, you may still get searches come up for “ballet tights” or “ballet tutus” which is why many businesses choose to put a ‘+’ in front of every word in a phrase.

Phrase Match:

This match type only allows ads to appear when a user searches a key phrase in the same order as you had entered them. For example, if your key phrase was “farming supplies” then your ad could appear for searches such as “farming supplies UK” or “farming supplies sale” but not “farming cattle supplies”. This match type, like the broad match modifier, allows for a much higher level of control and therefore makes it less likely for your ad to show in irrelevant searches.

Exact Match:

As the name suggests, this match type only allows ads to be shown when a user searches with the exact same wording/phrase as yours (although Google now allow close variants). This means that users who click your ad are highly likely to find what they are looking for and will then go on to purchase your products/services. However, this match type means a reduced amount of traffic to your website so many businesses use exact match with other match types, rather than on its own.

Match types play a major role is the success of your ad as it allows for customers to find what they’re looking for more easily. Also, it means that businesses don’t lose money in irrelevant searches, making everyone happy!

Repeat Digital use broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match to ensure our ads are shown to the widest, most relevant users meaning a boost in traffic and sales.