With the continuous drive towards automation, the landscape of managing Google Ads accounts has changed dramatically over the past few years. In contrast, Keyword match types have remained relatively stable and seen only a couple of changes.

After Broad Match Modifier was phased out in July 2021, there are now only three Keyword match types available in Google Ads; Exact, Phrase, and Broad.

Broad Match

This is currently Google’s default match type and reaches the most people. Broad match allows your ad to appear whenever a user’s search query includes any word in your keyword, in any order, as well as any word related to it.

You can recognise broad match keywords as they have no punctuation added and look like this: red converse

Phrase Match

Provides some of the versatility of broad match, but with slightly more control. The ad will only appear when a user searches for your keyword phrase using the exact order in which you enter it, along with other words either before or after it.

You can recognise phrase match keywords as they have quotation marks added and look like this: “red converse”

Exact Match

This is the most specific of the keyword match types. However, it now includes Exact match variants, meaning ads may appear on searches with the same meaning or intent. You have the most control over who sees your ad with exact match, but reach fewer searches than with phrase or broad match.

You can recognise exact match keywords as they have square brackets added and look like this: [red converse]

Broad Match Modifier aka Modified Broad Match – Deprecated July 2021

Google phased out the use of Broad Match Modifier in July 2021, but you may still see it in historic campaigns, it acted as a middle ground between phrase match and broad match. Any existing, active BMM keywords will behave exactly as if they are phrase match keywords.

You can recognise Broad Match Modifier keywords as they have a plus sign before each word and look like this: +red +converse.

See the below image to visualise how these match types work.

For more detail from Google about the three match types above – read here.

Selecting the right type of Keyword and match type for your needs can be a little daunting, so here are some top tips to help you choose and set your Google Ads campaigns up for success:

Pick Appropriate Match Types

When you’re picking match types, remember to consider the balance between being specific and also reaching a lot of people. Broad match will get you a big audience, exact match is precise, and phrase match falls somewhere in the middle, giving you more precision than broad but more reach than exact. Choose the match type that fits your goals, but don’t forget to opt for at least two types to see how they perform.

Regularly Check The Search Terms Report

The Search Terms Report shows you the specific search terms that were triggered by your keywords. By reviewing and analysing this data, you can identify irrelevant or underperforming search terms and add them as negative keywords. Furthermore, this report may reveal search terms that are not keywords but consistently deliver strong performance which can be added.

Both of these actions enable you to refine your targeting, enhance campaign efficiency, and ensure that your ads are presented to the most relevant audience.

Negative Keywords

It is crucial to manage negative keywords when it comes to keyword management. It’s essential to include negative keywords to filter out irrelevant searches and enhance your targeting. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to consistently analyse search query reports to spot irrelevant terms and include them as negative keywords, thereby preventing your ads from appearing in unrelated searches. This practice not only enhances your campaign’s performance but also reduces unnecessary expenditure in your account.

Analyse Performance

Keep track of your campaign’s performance metrics, including click-through rates, conversion rates, cost-per-click, bounce rate, and other key performance indicators. Analyse the data consistently to spot areas where improvements are possible, then make the necessary adjustments.

Assess Ad Copy & Landing Pages

Regardless of the match type strategy you choose, your ad copy and landing page must be as relevant as possible to the user’s search intent. A well-structured campaign will show the user an ad that is highly relevant to their query and direct them to an appropriate landing page. Broad match and Phrase match can make this a challenge. So ensure that you’re regularly checking the Search Term Report and adding negative keywords or restructuring as appropriate.

Lastly, but certainly not least.. Make sure you test, test, test!

Continuously test your match types to find the most effective combination for your campaign objectives. Monitor performance regularly, implement learnings, and adapt your strategy based on data-driven insights. But, most importantly, don’t be afraid to be bold when testing. Sometimes this can lead to the best results.

Remember, optimising match types is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and adjustments. By implementing these tips, you can refine your targeting, improve ad performance, and maximise the effectiveness of your keyword match types.

To Conclude…

Running successful Google Ads campaigns requires a thorough understanding and use of different keyword match types. Campaign targeting can be improved significantly by simply choosing the right match type.

Regularly check metrics such as the search terms report to see how your ads are performing. By doing this, you are able to make adjustments, such as adding relevant keywords and excluding irrelevant ones. Also, be flexible with how match types work as well as how your campaigns are run.

If you’re looking for any further advice on how you can best use Match Types in your Google ads account, get in touch with our expert team.