The Road to AdWords Success: A Guide to Keyword Match Types

adwords keyword match typesThey say the Romans built solid roads that ran to every corner of their empire to best control their territories. We can take a tip from the Romans here by building an AdWords account on a solid structure in order to experience more success and have greater control.

To produce the most conversions at the lowest cost per acquisition, we’ve developed an account structure strategy called Strategic Segmentation at PPC Professionals. Strategic Segmentation structures accounts by keyword match type which means that Broad, Phrase and Exact are segmented into separate campaigns or ad groups.

Because match types are so often misunderstood, it is necessary to have a base knowledge of the various keyword match types before you start segmenting. To make life easier, here’s a complete guide to keyword match types.

AdWords Broad Match Type

Your ad will display for any word in your keyword phrase in any order, as well as misspellings, synonyms and closely related searches. Broad Match keywords will also allow for the addition or removal of keywords from your phrases. If these keywords are not properly managed with negative keywords, they can produce irrelevant traffic that result in wasted ad spend.

AdWords Modified Broad Match

This match type means exactly what it sounds like; it’s a modified version of Broad Match. By placing a “+” in front of a keyword (or all keywords) within a keyword phrase, you are stating those keywords indicated with a “+” must be present in the search query in order for your ad to display. This gives us more control because these modified keywords now cannot be removed from keyword phrases.

AdWords Phrase Match Type

Order is key with Phrase Match; the search query must contain your keyword phrase in the exact sequence you have defined in order for your ad to show. Although it is possible for keywords to be added before or after your keyword phrase, we maintain control of search queries because your keyword phrase must remain unaltered.

AdWords Exact Match Type

Exact Match keywords used to be just that, but now with AdWords forcing close variant matches they could include misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, acronyms, and abbreviations “exact” acts a bit more like broad match. Even so, this match types gives us the most control and is a big part of the reason we like to segment traffic into match types.

Strategic Segmentation – A Solid Foundation

AdWords is continuously A/B testing everything to try to get the most clicks and conversions (to their benefit of course).With Strategic Segmentation we take control back and tell Adwords what to do. Segmenting keywords by match type allows you to optimize for cost per acquisition at a more microscopic level because now you can see which match types are producing the most conversions at the lowest cost per acquisition.

Typically the Google AdWords Keyword Planner will show a lower cost-per-click for Broad Match keywords rather than Exact Match keywords. We find the opposite to be true after Strategic Segmentation. We published a case study recently where Exact Match keywords yielded 75% of total conversions with a CPA 60% lower than other match types.

Too bad Exact Match is going extinct.

Strategic Segmentation can help you optimize your campaigns even with the Exact Match changes, and can be implemented into any Google AdWords or Bing Ads account for businesses in any industry. For more info, contact the team at PPC Professionals.

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Maria Perilli

Maria Perilli

Maria Perilli is the Vice President of Marketing and Operations at PPC Professionals. Maria is a seasoned online marketing professional with over 7 years experience. She honed her holistic marketing approach by overseeing all channels of marketing, including PPC, SEO, email marketing and social media marketing while working for various companies. Maria has that rare combination of people skills, deep knowledge of subject matter and an ability to provide hands-on solutions to complex problems. She is a collaborator on the AdWords Best Practices Tutorial created by PPC Professionals.

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