If you’re running a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign or optimizing your website for search engines, keyword match types are essential to help you reach your target audience. Keyword match types allow you to specify which search queries trigger your ads or website to appear based on your chosen match type. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about keyword match types, including the different types and how they work.
Understanding Keyword Match Types
The four keyword match types are an exact match, phrase match, broad match, and negative match. Each match type allows you to control how closely a user’s search query matches your keyword and, therefore when your ad or website appears.
The exact match is the most precise match type and is ideal if you want to target specific keywords with high intent. An exact match keyword will only trigger your ad or website to appear when a user searches for the exact keyword phrase without any additional words before or after it. For example, if you have an exact match keyword of “red shoes,” your ad or website will only show when someone types in “red shoes,” but not for “red high-heeled shoes” or “shoes that are red.”
Phrase match is a good balance between exact and broad matches, as it provides more reach than exact matches while maintaining some control over the search query. A phrase match keyword will trigger your ad or website to appear when a user searches for a phrase that includes your keyword, in the same order, with additional words before or after it. For example, if you have a phrase that matches the keyword of “red shoes,” your ad or website may show “buy red shoes” or “red shoes for women,” but not for “shoes that are red” or “shoes for red carpet events.”
A broad match keyword will trigger your ad or website to appear when a user searches for any word in your keyword phrase, in any order, and potentially including other words. Broad match provides the most reach and is ideal for casting a wide net and reaching a broader audience. However, a broad match can also result in irrelevant traffic if not monitored closely. For example, if you have a broad match keyword of “red shoes,” your ad or website could appear for “red high-heeled shoes,” “shoes that are red,” or “red shoe store.”
Negative Keyword Match
Negative keyword match types are an essential component of PPC advertising campaigns. They allow advertisers to exclude specific keywords or search terms from triggering their ads, ensuring they are not shown to irrelevant audiences. Here are the different types of negative keyword match types:
- Negative Exact Match: This match type allows advertisers to exclude search queries matching the negative keyword. For example, adding a negative exact match keyword of “-cheap shoes” would prevent your ads from appearing for searches containing the exact phrase “cheap shoes.”
- Negative Phrase Match: With a negative phrase match, advertisers can exclude search queries that contain the negative keyword as a phrase, regardless of the word order. For instance, adding a negative phrase match keyword of “-running shoes” would exclude searches like “best-running shoes” or “running shoes for women,” but not searches like “shoes for running.”
- Negative Broad Match: Negative broad match enables advertisers to exclude a broader range of search queries, including any word or variation of the negative keyword. For example, adding a negative broad match keyword of “-sneakers” would prevent your ads from showing for searches like “buy sneakers,” “cheap sneakers,” or “sneakers for sale.”
How to Choose the Right Keyword Match Type
Choosing the right keyword match type depends on your advertising goals and target audience. Exact match and phrase match are best suited for targeting specific keywords with high intent, while broad match is ideal for reaching a broader audience.
When deciding which match type to use, it’s essential to consider your budget, competition, and search volume. Exact match and phrase match tend to have higher click-through and conversion rates but may also have higher costs per click (CPC) and lower search volume.
Best Practices for Using Keyword Match Types
To get the most out of your keyword match types, following some best practices to optimize your ad targeting and avoid wasting your budget on irrelevant traffic is essential. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Use negative keywords: Negative keywords are words or phrases you want to exclude from triggering your ads. Negative keywords can prevent your ads from showing irrelevant search queries, saving your budget for more relevant clicks.
Start with exact match and phrase match: To ensure you’re targeting the most relevant search queries, start with exact match and phrase match. These match types provide more control over your targeting and help you identify which keywords drive the most valuable traffic.
Monitor your search terms report: Your report will show which search queries triggered your ads to appear. By monitoring this report regularly, you can identify irrelevant or low-performing keywords and adjust your match types or negative keyword lists accordingly.
Test different match types: Don’t be afraid to test different match types to see which ones perform best for your goals. You can refine your targeting by testing different match types and finding the best balance between reach and relevancy.
Use broad match cautiously: While broad match can provide the most reach, it can also result in irrelevant traffic if not monitored closely. If you’re using broad match, regularly review your search terms report and negative keyword list to ensure you’re targeting the right audience.
Keyword match types are critical for any PPC advertising campaign or search engine optimization strategy. By understanding the different match types and how they work, you can optimize your targeting and reach your desired audience effectively. Remember to choose the right match type based on your goals and target audience, use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant traffic, and test different match types to refine your targeting. With these best practices in mind, you can make the most of your keyword match types and drive more valuable traffic to your website.