Drive Paid Search Leads by Tweaking Keyword Match Types

Do you have a Google AdWords campaign running currently, but are not achieving the web traffic and leads you were hoping for? Knowing how to use different match types when planning your keyword strategy will help you budget your ad spend more effectively and efficiently.

Match Types

There are 5 different ways in which you can “instruct” Google AdWords on how people can be led to your site by adding specific match types to keyword search terms. Each one creates different variations of search results based on the original search term. Here is a high-level overview of each one.

Broad Match

This form of keyword planning will achieve the most search results, but will filter results least specific to your actual search term. It includes related searches and other relevant variations of your keyword, words closely related to your keyword, and any word in your key phrase. These results will also include synonyms and misspellings.

Example: A search result for “men’s sneakers” might also include “women’s sneakers” and “women’s heels.”

+Broad +Match +Modifier

Add this match type in front of any word in your keyword phrase to achieve search results for that keyword in any order in the phrase. This option includes misspellings, abbreviations, and acronyms—but not synonyms.

Example: “men’s +sneakers” will show searches for “sneakker for men” and “woman sneaker,” but not “men’s tennis shoes” or “men’s dress shoes.”

“Phrase match”

An even narrower Phrase match will show results for your search term and close variations to the phrase. The search results for the phrase will only show up in the original order it appeared, and will only include variation placed at the beginning or end of the keyword.

Example: “Men’s sneakers” will display searches for “blue men’s sneakers” or “men’s sneakers for running” but not “men’s blue sneakers.”

[Exact Match]

Exact match is the most specific form of keyword planning. While it typically produces the lowest search results for your keyword phrase, it is the most targeted toward your audience and is most likely to gain qualified client/customer leads.

Example: [Men’s sneakers] will only show searches for “men’s sneakers.”

Negative Search Terms

Negative keywords serve to funnel out unrelated search queries when using broad match and phrase match keywords. By analyzing the search traffic that comes through via these match types, you can identify phrases that people have used to find your site.

Once you identify this traffic, you can add the keyword phrases to your negative keyword bank so that the phrases will no longer lead people to your site. It is important to monitor search terms for broad and phrase match when implementing your bid strategy.

Example: If you set the broad match keyword “men’s sneakers,” but someone found your site by typing in the phrase, “women’s heels,” you should add “women’s heels” to your negative keyword bank.

Implementation Strategy

Just firing up your Google AdWords keyword bank? Here are two of the many approaches you can take to beginning your overhaul in keywords.

  • Beginning Strategy – Start with campaigns with exact match for 5-7 of your most directed keywords. After gaining position in exact match, slowly expand your targeting to phrase and broad match. Then, once you implement broad and phrase match, scale back your bids.
  • Cascading Bids Strategy – Set the lowest bids for broad match keywords, the second lowest bids for phrase match, and the highest bids for exact match keywords.

Learn more about implementing expert tactics into your Google AdWords campaign by reading about our approach to PPC campaigns.

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