Welcome once again to our PPC-themed series of blog posts. This week, we will be explaining what keyword match types are in AdWords and how they can contribute to the success of your PPC campaign.
How keyword match types work
Every keyword that you add to your PPC campaigns can be assigned one of four match types: broad, broad match modifier, phrase, and exact. These match types are assigned to each of your keywords by adding symbols, and we have included a table below to show how these work.
Broad match keywords
As the name suggests, the broad match type will give you the widest reach, but this means that your ad may show for irrelevant search terms.
As no symbols need to be added to your keyword to set it as broad, meaning that you only have to type it in as is, it is considered by AdWords to be the default keyword match type.
Broad match keywords will trigger ads when the search terms include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and generally whatever AdWords considers to be a relevant variation of the keyword.
Broad match modifier
To set a broad match modifier (BMM), you simply have to put a ‘+’ symbol in front of any or all the words that make up your keyword. By preceding a word with the plus sign, you are indicating that it, or a close variation, must be included in the user’s search query. You don’t have to do this for every word in the keyword, just for those that have to appear in the search term.
For example, if you were to add the BMM keyword +diy +shop to a PPC campaign, it will only match to search terms that contain both words, and the order of the words does not matter. However, if you only add a BMM to one of the words, like +diy shop, the search query will only have to include the term ‘diy’, or a close variant, to trigger an ad from your campaign.
You have to put quotes around your keyword to set it as a phrase match, and a search query will trigger one of your ads when it contains all of the words (or close variants) in the same order without any words in between. But, the search term can have other words either before or after the phrase.
While it is true that exact match keywords provide the lowest potential reach of all the keyword match types, they also present advertisers with the opportunity to show highly-relevant ads to the user who performed the Google search.
When using the exact match type, an ad will only show when the search term exactly matches the keywords, or close variants, in the same order and without any words before, after, or in between.
What are close variants?
You have no doubt noticed that we have used the term ‘close variant’ several times throughout this article, so let’s take a look at what this actually means.
In Google AdWords, close variants of a keyword include any misspellings, singular and plural terms for the same word, stemmings, acronyms, abbreviations, and accents. It is important to note that synonyms are not considered to be close variants, so make sure you include these in your campaign’s keyword list.