In Google AdWords Tips

In Google AdWords, there are 4 types of keyword options. (A large number of people think there are only 3!)

Here is a short guide on what they are, what they do, and how best to use them.

Broad Keyword Matching

This keyword is the default match type that you get once you have uploaded any keywords to the campaign. Broad keywords can match in any order and with any other terms, so for example if you had “red shoes” you could match with “shoes that are red” and “cheap red shoes.” Broad keywords work best when your campaign has low search volume & you want to generate a decent amount of clicks. These terms should be used as the last option.

Modified Broad Keyword Matching

These keywords are not known to the majority of general users on AdWords and the most common mistake people make is not using them. With a generic broad keyword like “red shoes” you can match in any order BUT Google can contextually change the wording of the term to what Google sees as (loosely) relevant, so shoes could match with trainers, soles, sandals etc.

The modified broad keyword is much better as your term can still match in any order and with other terms but they force Google to use the exact terms which are in your keyword, at least somewhere in the user search. To make the terms modified is very easy, simply put a “+” sign in front of your keywords. So “+red +shoes” and et voila! Your terms are now modified broads.

Phrase Keyword Matching

Phrase matches are much more specific than broads, and I would strongly recommend using them if possible instead of broads. Phrase matches are different than broads as they cannot match in any order. So for example “shoes that are red” would not match. The users search has to be exactly how you have the keyword set up, so the term “red shoes” has to be typed in that order, BUT you can match terms either side of it. For example “buy red shoes” or “red shoes uk” will match but the core term has to be in the same order, which is obviously more specific than then broad keyword where the search terms can match in any order.

Exact Match Keywords

Exact Match keywords are the best type of keyword you can use, these (as the name says!) are keywords which are exactly what the user searches, so are obviously very specific. There is a setting on the campaigns where you can now allow plurals & misspellings of the term. An example of this would be,  if you were bidding on “television” you would be able to match for “televisions” & “teleevision”. Whenever you can I would always advise to bid on mainly phrase and exact match variations, but focus mainly on the exacts as these are the most specific terms possible & as we know, AdWords only works with relevance to the user search.

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  • fay

    negative keywords?

    • Mark Tillison

      This post is about match types, negatives aren’t really a match type as you can have broad, phrase and exact types of those too!

      A post about using negative keywords is here.

      Hope that helps.