AdWords : Keywords Matching Options

> improving your SEA with more precise campaigns targeting

Keywords are the very chore of your AdWords campaigns, therefore you can use match types to get control on which request will trigger the display of your ads. That’s why you might take care of this keyword aspect right from the start for your SEA strategy, according to both your objectives (branding, lead generation…) and your bugdet.

Each match type is made to answer different needs, as it will generate more or less views of your ads : in general, the broader the keyword matching option, the more traffic potential that keyword has ; while the narrower the keyword matching option, the more relevant that keyword will be to someone’s search.

For sure you’ll need to learn about these different match types in order to select the right one for your campaigns to make them profitable : 

  • Broad Matchsecondhand books
    Your ad may show if a search term contains your keyword terms in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads can also show for synonyms and close variations of your keywords.
    Ex. buy secondhand books, secondhand novels, secondhand books in Chicago…
    .
  • Broad Match Modifier > secondhand +book
    Your ads can only show when someone’s search contains those modified terms, or close variations of the modified terms, in any order.
    .
  • Phrase Match > “secondhand books”
    Your ad can show when someone searches for your exact keyword, or your exact keyword with additional words before or after it. We’ll also show your ad when someone searches for close variations of that exact keyword, or with additional words before or after it.
    .
  • Exact Match[secondhand books]
    Your ads can appear when someone searches for your exact keyword, without any other terms in the search. We’ll also show your ad when someone searches for close variations of that specific keyword.
    .
  • Negative Match > -secondhand books
    Your ad won’t show if a search term contains the keyword term you define with a minus sign (-) prefix. Negative keywords are an especially useful way to filter out irrelevant traffic and thus prevent unwanted clicks.

Here’s a recap cheatsheet given on the Google AdWords support section :

keyword match types

For those who are new to Adwords or want to overhaul their SEA campaigns, Adwords advises us to choose a strategy from broad request to restrictive ones in order to be able to compare the performances of your ads. Then you can refine you selection of keywords according to what match type provides more effective results for each one.

I made a little something more visual to understand the nesting of keywords match types :

understanding-keywords-match-types

Finally, let’s find some extra notes about keywords :

  • Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents.
  • Keywords aren’t case-sensitive, which means they’re matched without regard to upper-case or lower-case letters. For example, you don’t need to enter secondhand book and Secondhand Books as keywords — just secondhand books will cover both.
  • For broad match keywords, your ads are also eligible to appear for related searches or when someone searches for synonyms of your keywords.

To finish, I can only recommend watching this short motion-design video from AdWords itself, giving you a great overview at the power of keywords match types – enjoy :

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