Different Match Types in Google AdWords Explained

Different Match Types in Google AdWords Explained

Google Adwords keyword match types can be confusing for beginners, but using match types correctly is crucial to creating a profitable Google Adwords campaign. As a Google Adwords marketing company, we have had many accounts come to us in bad shape. Their poor use of match types is often a big problem.

Exact Match – This match type is meant to trigger ads for only the exact keyword text, and some very close variants. You can often tailor ads to perfectly capture the people searching for these keywords. This often leads to higher Click Through Rates (CTR), higher conversion rates, but also a higher Cost Per Click (CPC).

Phrase Match – This match type triggers ads for searches that contain the terms of your keyword in the order you have them in. For example, if you have the phrase match keyword “ppc expert,” you can match to “best ppc expert,” but you can’t match to “expert ppc agency.” The traffic from this match type is usually cheaper than Exact, but with lower CTRs and lower conversion rates.

Broad Match – This match type can show up for the largest variety of searches. This match type generates the highest traffic volume of the three, but usually has a lower conversion rate. If you’re using “Pure Broad,” Google will show your ads for anything they deem similar to your keyword. If you’re using “Modified Broad,” Google will show your ads for any search term that contains the words in your keyword. You set up modified broad keywords by adding a “+” in front of each term.

Here’s an example of how these two types of Broad keywords can work:


google adwords management company – matches to – online marketing help

Modified Broad:

+google +adwords +management +company – matches to – best management company for google adwords

Key Point: Profit Is The Goal

Remember that what matters the most to you is profit. When getting started with Google Adwords, it’s easy to get lost in metrics like CPC, CTR, and impression share. But any good PPC Consultant would tell you, these metrics are not the most important ones to look at. Cost Per Conversion or Revenue Over Ad Spend (ROAS) are the best measures of a Google Ads campaign’s success.

Another stat that can be useful in deeper analysis, but not as a focus of a campaign, is Conversion Rate. Take a look at this example of two keywords of different match types.

Exact Match – CPC (cost per click) = $10 | Conversion Rate = 20% | Cost per Conversion = $50

Broad Match – CPC = $5 | Conversion Rate = 10% | Cost per Conversion = $50

Both keywords have the same Cost Per Conversion, so they are performing equally well at their current bids.

Final Advice From An Expert PPC Consultant

Now you know how the different match types work and you know what you need to look at to analyze performance. So which match types should you use? My recommendation as an experienced PPC Consultant is to use all three match types. One important caveat is that we typically only use modified broad, and only rarely will we use pure broad.

To manage a profitable Google Adwords campaign, you have to adjust the bids of each keyword to the amount they’re worth to you. If a keyword of a certain match type has a cost per conversion that’s too high, keep lowering the bid until the cost per conversion reaches your goal.

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