People new to Google Adwords tend to simply go with Google’s suggestions for Campaigns or utilize the Express option to get started quickly. However, this is one of the easiest (and fastest) ways to lose your budget on Adwords. Educating yourself is the best way to avoid making costly mistakes when trying to promote your business and drive customers to your website. Therefore, the thing I want to talk about in this post are Match Types in Adwords. These are the determining factor in when your ads show on the Google Networks and for what keyword queries.
There are four Match Types that Google Adwords recognizes:
Broad Match Modifier
Let’s go into a bit of detail about each.
The Broad Match type is the default that Google Adwords will select for you when you first create your campaign. You will want to change this quickly if you haven’t already. The reason being that Google will have free reign over the queries that your ads can appear for. For instance, say you have a keyword shoes for sale. With Broad match selected, Google will look for all synonyms of this. So your ad would likely appear for search terms like sneakers for cheap, nike shoes, shoe clearance, shoes online, etc. This might seem great at first because you will receive clicks, but what if you only sell dress shoes and not sneakers? What if you don’t sell shoes online at all or even the shoes at your shop are not on clearance?
BOTTOM LINE: Broad Match should be avoided at all times!
Now there is a version of Broad Match that should be utilized when you’d like Google to find synonyms for certain words within your keywords. This is called the Broad Match Modifier and how it works is fairly simple. Any word that you DO NOT want Google to modify, add a + symbol in front. For example, a broad keyword such as website design services would become +website +design services. This would tell Google to keep the website design aspect of the keyword, but feel free to change the services to similar synonyms and related search terms.
BOTTOM LINE: Broad Match Modifier allows for greater control when you want to use broad keywords. Make sure you do some keyword research and add the modifier to the words you DON’T want altered by Google.
Next we have the Phrase Match type. Phrase Match is similar to Broad Match Modifier in that it allows you to control words within your keywords. The big difference is that by using the Phrase match type, Google will only allow your ads to show for search terms that include the exact phrase. To set a phrase match keyword, simply wrap the keyword in double quotes. For example: a keyword like “shoes for sale” would allow Google to run your ads for search terms like “Womens shoes for sale” or “shoes for sale in Maryland”. So you see, while it provides greater control than the Broad Match or Broad Match Modifier types, it still leaves room for error, which could lead to costly clicks that don’t lead to conversions.
BOTTOM LINE: Phrase Match is generally good to use. Just be careful about how you wrap your keywords and be sure to use negative keywords (more on negative keywords in a future post)
Last but definitely not least, we have the Exact Match type. If you are looking for COMPLETE control over your keywords, this is the type to use. When you use the Exact Match type, in a nutshell you tell Google to only show your ads when the search term is EXACTLY what your keyword is. Using this match type can save your budget tremendously and lead to more meaningful clicks from users who are actually looking for your products/services.
To use the Exact Match type, simply wrap the keyword in square brackets. For example: [shoes for sale] is a keyword that Google will not attempt to modify in any way. In addition, Ads will only appear when this keyword is exactly typed by a user searching for shoes for sale.
BOTTOM LINE: Exact Match is great to use when you know the terms that potential visitors are using. Be sure to do keyword research, and be prepared to pay higher CPC if you are chasing a highly popular keyword.
Getting started with Google Adwords can be confusing, but if you put time into fine-tuning your campaigns, it should work in your favor.
Until next time,
Owner and Lead Web Developer at Webmaster On Site.