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On the subject of exact match

Adam Adam

September 16th, 2008.

Google AdWords Keyword Matching Options

You’re probably aware of the quality targeted traffic Google AdWords can bring to your website through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and if so, you should be aware of the importance of keywords.

Google provides several keyword matching options to enhance the exposure of your ads, which when used correctly, can pre-qualify visitors and maximise your advertising budget.

Google’s keyword matching options include: -

•    Broad Match
•    Phrase Match
•    Exact Match

Broad Match

Broad Match is the default keyword type where the advert runs on relevant variations of your keywords and phrases. This means your ad could display when the search term includes synonyms, singular/plural forms and other phrases containing your keywords.

Google’s example provides an excellent example of how this keyword matching option operates. In their example, if the keyword web hosting is used, the advert would display for the following search queries:

web hosting company
webhost
web site hosting

You can see that related synonyms also trigger the advert to display, along with additional terms within the triggering keyword (such as site in the last example).

As the keyword variations triggering your adverts change over time, Google continually monitors the keyword quality and performance, meaning you continue to display the highest performing and most relevant keyword variations.

Broad match has several advantages: – more visitors can be attracted to your site as your advert is displayed for other keyphrases which you may not have thought about targeting, but are still relative to the keyword you’ve chosen.

The disadvantage to broad match keywords is that unwanted search terms may trigger the ad to display (if not correctly managed using negative keywords, which will be explained later).

Phrase Match

The next keyword matching option is phrase match. Phrase match keywords trigger your advert to be displayed if the search query contains the keyphrase in the order specified, and phrase match keywords are enclosed in quotation marks (“ “). For example, the phrase match keyword “football boots” will display for the search queries such as:

football boots
buy football boots
football boots review

but would not display for search queries such as:

boots for football or football shoes.

Phrase match has the advantage of being more targeted than broad match, but also has the disadvantage of potentially displaying the advert for an unwanted search query if not correctly managed using negative keywords, i.e. for the phrase match keyword “football boots” the advert would also display for the search query free football boots. If your business is selling football boots and your ad displays for this term, you’re unlikely to make a sale from this searcher!

An important note: For phase match keywords, your keyword or keyphrase triggering your ad is not case sensitive to the search query.

Exact Match

The third keyword matching option is exact match. Exact match keywords will only display the advert if the search query is exact to the keyword.
Exact match keywords are enclosed in ‘[‘ and ‘]’ characters.

For example, for the exact match keyword [buy dog bowl], the advert will only display if the search query is buy dog bowl and would not display for any other search query.

Exact match keywords have the advantage of being extremely targeted if you know an exact popular term for your industry.

Negative Keywords

The final and equally important keyword matching option is negative keywords. Negative keywords are used to NOT display the advert if the search query contains the negative term. Negative keywords are used by placing a ‘-‘ character before the keyword.
For example, if your business is selling web templates, using the negative keyword
–free will not display your advert if the search query as free web templates.

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