Having a good grasp of Google’s different keyword match types and knowing how to use them effectively is a great starting point for learning how to build an effective PPC campaign with AdWords. But what are the different ‘match types’, and what do they mean?


Broad Match

This is the default match type within Google AdWords, and also the type of keyword which will reach the widest possible audience. There are other varieties available, but broad match will ensure your PPC advertising ad has visibility whenever a search query features any word in your phrase – in any order whatsoever.

Broad match also allows for the possibility of Google matching your advert to queries which do not include your keyword terms, but do include related phraseology. There are a few problems with broad match keywords, for all their many benefits – most pertinently that the sheer broadness of the search terms delivered means your ads stand a good chance of being displayed for irrelevant or low-value searches which don’t yield any benefit for your company.

Phrase Match

In many ways, this type of Google Keyword offers the best of both worlds for PPC advertising managers. The same versatile approach as Broad match, but with far more control over your search queries; this keyword type also allows for text both before and after your selected keywords, which can help increase traffic to your website. However, your ads only appear when the keywords you choose are typed or uttered in the exact order you selected them, which provides certain restrictions.

Exact Match

As the narrowest and most specific keyword match type available, Exact match only permits your ads to be displayed when your exact keyword phrase is used by itself. No variety is allowed whatsoever, which means that while you can likely be sure those searching for your phrase will have a vested interest in your product or service, this keyword type doesn’t yield as much traffic as less restrictive forms, resulting in fewer overall impressions for your keyword choices.

Making the Right Keyword Choice

Ensuring you opt for the right match type in Google AdWords is dependent upon a clear grasp of your intended outcomes, as with all digital marketing activity. Match types can have a dramatic effect upon your PPC advertising performance, helping you to determine precisely what sort of return on investment you are likely to secure and how your activities fare alongside your competitors.