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Keyword Match Types

Monday, June 4th, 2018
Written by Content Team

What are Keywords match and why should we use them?

Keywords are words or phrases that can determine where and when your ad can appear and match types help control which searches on Google can trigger your ad.

In general, when using a broader match type, you can get more traffic and impressions that can potentially lead to conversions but at a higher cost. Using a more specific match type your ads will probably not show as often but the searches will be more related with the search term. Therefore, you more likely have what the user is looking for, which increases the possibility for more conversions.

Keyword Match Types

Broad match – Shows your ads based on keywords and close variants like misspellings. So, if you have a keyword like football shoes, someone searching for “buy shoes for football” might see your ad. This can also cover synonyms e.g. football shoes could show for a search like “soccer trainers”.

Example keyword: football shoes

Example search term: buy shoes for football

Broad match modifier – shows your ad based on the broad match but it must contain all words in the keyword in any order. In this match type you must include the symbol “+” before the keyword.

Example keyword: +football +shoes

Example search term: shoes for football

Phrase Match – shows your ads based on exact phrases and close variants. In this match type you must include the quotation marks. As long as the phrase is in the search term, your ad will show.

Example Keyword: “football shoes”

Example search term: buy football shoes

Exact match – shows your ads based on the exact keyword and close variants. In this type you must include square brackets around your keyword.

Example Keyword: [football shoes]

Example search term: football shoes

Negative match – This prevents your ads from showing if the keyword is in the search term. In this type you must include the minus sign before the keyword.

Example Keyword: – football


Keyword: football shoes    
football trainersXXX
shoes for footballXX
buy football shoesX
football shoes

Close Variants

Close Variants include misspellings, acronyms, abbreviations, plural/singular, and accents. Keep in mind that close variants do not include synonyms.

Close variants will always match broad match or broad match modifier keywords, and will sometimes match phrase and exact match.

This can save a lot of time by not having to add all the possible misspellings, abbreviations, etc of the keywords for a search term to match. One of the best ways to control this is with appropriate negatives.