By: Les Finley
BROAD MATCH is the default option Google will use in determining the relevancy of your keywords to a users search. If you don’t specify, your keywords will be matched using this option. Broad refers to the span of keywords Google will consider when determining the placement of your ad. Plurals and other variations of your keywords are automatically included. Broad matches are the least targeted of keyword matching.
infant carseats will show your ad when a search for both words are used, in any order, or when either is used separately.
PHRASE MATCH refers to entering your keywords using quotation marks. Google will show your ad when a user searches for the phrase, in the order you placed it within the quotation marks, as well as other possible terms.
“infant carseats” will show your ad when a search for the complete phrase occurs. This allows a more targeted audience than broad match.
EXACT MATCH occurs when you surround your keywords in brackets. This will show your ad only when the exact keywords, in the exact order are searched, and will not include any other possible words. This is the most targeted search and should produce a higher quality (although a lower quantity) of clickthroughs.
[infant carseats] will show your ad when a search for infant carseats appears. It will not appear if the search has included any other words. The traffic you attract will be the most targeted to your keywords.
NEGATIVE KEYWORD gives you the opportunity to exclude words. For example, if you do not want the word used to trigger your ad, you may place a negative sign, -used, and your ad will not appear if that word appears anywhere in the search. This is helpful if you are trying to target specific traffic and there are certain very popular words that often accompany your keywords, but are not related to your ad.
So which option is the best to use? The very best option is to use all three, broad, phrase and exact matching for every keyword in your ad group. Doing so will result in impressions being calculated for every variation of your keywords. This produces a greater click-through ratio. Google will calculate statistics for each keyword, allowing you to track performance. Having a high click-through rate is a key element in raising your overall Google Quality Score, meaning your ads will appear more frequently than someone whose score is lower.
A standard recommendation of 25 unique keywords per Ad Group is then changed to 75 when all three-match options are used.
It may seem very redundant to include the three different match types, and it certainly means more data entry per ad group. But you are increasing the chances of the right people clicking on your ads. The quality of the traffic and your overall Google Quality Score are worth the extra effort.