Unless you’re a diehard search marketing expert, the words keyword matching options probably mean nothing to you.
But they should – if you want your ads to perform well and get a return from the investment. In fact, match type issues are some of the biggest obstacles small business face when it comes to driving a successful AdWords campaign. Here’s a rundown of what it is and why you need to clean up your search engine match type.
What is it?
Keyword matches are one of the ways a search engine will help to “match” keywords up with the user search queries. There are four general match types:
- Modified broad
Let’s take a closer look at what each of these match types mean.
A broad match is the keyword you’ll use up when you set up a campaign. If you sell computer supplies, for example, you may want to set up laptop computers as a broad match term. The match will also include your ad in searches that include synonyms, misspellings, related searches and variations relevant to the keyword.
Advantage: This strategy results in higher impressions, which allows you to glean search term data to discover relevant keywords. It may also result in higher sales.
Disadvantage: Along with those relevant keywords comes a lot of non-relevant searches, too. These searches will cause people who aren’t interested in your product to click on the ad (for which you’ll pay). Using negative keywords will tax your marketing budget, without getting any clear-cut results.
Modified Broad Match
In theory, this type of match gives you more control than the broad match, as the search will include more relevant terms. That’s because the ads will show up on searches that also feature close variations of the keyword in any order, but it won’t include synonyms, relevant variations or related searches. When inputting the search term, use the “+” sign before each keyword. The words don’t have to be in any logical order, however. So a modified broad match the term would look like this: +laptop +computers. The search may show results like “lptp computer” or “laptop technology.”
Advantage: The term will match to a broad but targeted range of queries and often reveals keywords that your audience uses but you weren’t aware of.
Disadvantage: The match may still result in irrelevant searches if you use negative keywords.
This type of keyword matching option provides a broader approach than an exact phrase and a bit of a different angle than a modified match. If the search includes the keywords “laptop computer” along with additional words, it’ll connect with your ad. For example, “origins of laptop computer” might come back, along with others such as “laptop computer Ashley Madison.” You get the point. These matches might not be relevant to your brand, but the approach can lead to some great finds.
Advantage: This tactic provides context for how your audience is searching for products and services. For example, you may find that much of your audience is searching for ways to fix laptop computers or install antivirus software. These insights can inform your content strategy or even the services you offer.
Disadvantage: There will probably be a lot of riff raff in the results, which can lead to issues with cost and quality score. With careful use of negative keywords, you can avoid the problem of irrelevant searches.
A much more refined approach, the exact match is precisely what it sounds like. So instead of any order of keywords, the search will return only exact matches to “laptop computers.” It’s that simple and direct.
Advantage: You get what you pay for, as the traffic is finely tuned, and there won’t be irrelevant matches.
Disadvantage: If a user doesn’t input the exact phrase, the search engine won’t match it to your keyword. You’ll likely miss out on qualified traffic, and this kind of keyword match is pricier.
Don’t let your AdWords campaign go to waste. With insights about match type issues and a better understanding of keyword matching options, your marketing team can come up with a strategy that will drive your business’ success.
|Match Type||Symbol to Use||Example||May Appear on These Searches||Examples|
|Broad||Kitten||misspellings, relevant variations, synonyms, related searches||kittens, buy a kitten|
|Broad modified||+keyword||+batteries gel||includes modified term or close variations (not synonyms); order of words irrelevant||gel batteries, car battery, rechargeable battery|
|Phrase||“keyword”||“dog supplies”||phrase, variation of phrase||“discount dog supplies” “dog supplies wholesale”|
|Exact||[keyword]||[black dress shoes]||searches that don’t include the term||black dress shoes|