PPC has proven itself to be an efficient channel to achieve sales and marketing objectives since many years. These objectives range from increasing sales on your ecommerce website to increasing call based enquiries for the services that your business offers and many more. If you are already running PPC campaigns, you must know how critical it is to choose right set of keywords and more importantly, of which match type.

Adwords allows you to choose from four keyword match types, each one different from other based on how specifically you want your keyword to match with the search queries entered by a user. These match types also impact the cost per click incurred, making it critical to choose the right keyword match type. Let’s look at each one of them.

Broad Match:

Broad match is the default match type set whenever you add new keywords and has maximum reach. This match type of keywords allows your ad to show when someone searches for that keyword or its variation. This variation includes same phrase, similar phrases, singular or plural forms, misspellings, synonyms, stemming (such as floor and flooring), related searches, and other relevant variations.(Source: Adwords support).

For a keyword ‘shoes online’ in broad match , your ads may be shown for ‘shoes online’ ‘ buy online shoes’ , ‘sports shoes’ , ‘shoe shops near me’ , ‘Nike shoes reviews’ , etc.  As you can see, single keyword in broad match covers large number of variations. Although this is one match type that will provide you more impressions and resultantly more clicks, it is critical to watch out for the irrelevant search queries your ads may be showing for.

Modified Broad Match:

This is the match type that provides more specificity compared to broad match type. For modified broad match keywords, ads may show on searches that contain the modified term (or close variations, but not synonyms), in any order. Keywords with this match type include ‘+’ sign before the word that should be included in the search query.

For example, For a keyword  ‘+buy +shoes’ your ads may show up for search queries such as ‘buy shoes online’ , ‘buy sports shoes online’ , ‘ online buy shoes for party’ , ‘shoes priced below 1000 to buy’, etc.

Phrase Match Type:

For this match type your ad will show up for search queries which contain your keyword phrases exactly in the same order but probably with words attached before and/or after your keyword. For example, for a keyword ‘ health insurance’ your ad may show up for ‘health insurance online’ , ‘buy health insurance’ , ‘best health insurance in the market’ , ‘which health insurance to buy’ , etc.

Phrase match keywords increase specificity with respect to broad match modifier match type but potentially miss out on a lot of traffic which may be relevant.

Exact Match Type:

For keywords with exact match type, ads may show up only when the search query entered by the user exactly matches the keyword. For example, for keyword ‘buy shoes online’, your ad may show up only for ‘buy shoes online’ and for words strictly in that order, and not for ‘buy online shoes’.

Exact match type keywords have highest level of specificity compared to rest of match types and hence will generate fewer impressions and clicks. CTR will be on higher side for these match type as they match exactly what the user is searching for.


How to know which match type suits my goals?

Now that we know which match type we can choose from, it is natural to face the questions such as which match type to use, whether to use keywords with only one match type? Or should I use combination of multiple match types? What match type will help me meet my requirements?

The answer to all above questions ultimately lies in the knowledge of your goals for running the PPC search campaigns. It is also critical to know that while you have freedom to use any or all of the match type keywords, your decision will also impact the cost your campaign will incur and finally the returns you expect from the campaign.

Keyword Funnel.JPG.png

As the figure above indicates, the broad match type keywords will provide you maximum reach through showing your ads for maximum possible variations of the keyword, so if your objective is to reach maximum of users and generate as much traffic as possible, you can choose to run broad match type keywords. However, you also need to take care that your ads are not showing for irrelevant search queries. This can be ensured by assessing the search query report and adding irrelevant queries as negative keywords.

Broad match modifier and phrase match type keywords will generate moderate number of impressions and clicks but will ensure to show ads for more relevant search queries and hence have better CTR compared to broad match type keywords. Keywords with these match type will help you show your ads to users who are in either in research or consideration phase of buying. Running phrase match keywords will ensure that your ad will show up for people looking for information, features, prices, reviews about the product or services your business is offering.

After all, exact match type keywords will help you achieve better conversion rate at lower cost as these keywords match exactly with the search queries entered by the user and provide you an opportunity to show your product features, special promotions and offers exactly when the user is searching for one. This is the sweet spot which every advertiser/business looks out for, as the conversion rate is surely higher in this case compared to other match types.

Choosing right keyword match types essentially depends on what digital goals you wish to achieve and how much you want to spend on the PPC campaigns. To yield best possible results from the PPC search campaigns, you should know what is the best possible combination of the match types of keywords and how to group them in the architecture of campaign.

We will discuss about the categorization of keywords based on intent of user and how they impact on the performance of campaigns in next post.

If you would like us to look at the keywords you currently use for running your Adwords campaign and suggest optimum budget utilization, get in touch.



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