How do keyword match types work in Google Ads?
Keyword match types determine what search queries can trigger your ads in Google. There are 4 keyword match types in Google Ads: broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match. Broad match will trigger your ads for the widest range of searches while exact will only trigger searches that match the keyword you input. We put together the graphic below as a quick reference point for differentiating between match types while setting up your campaigns.
Keyword match types defined:
As I mentioned earlier, broad match will trigger the widest range of search queries. This match type can trigger searches including misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations. If you’re wondering what “close variations” actually means, here’s what Google had to say:
Close variations include misspellings, singular forms, plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. So there’s no need to separately add close variations as keywords.
In our example, the keyword kid’s shoes can include pretty much include any search query that is related in some way to your keyword. As a result, broad match keywords will typically use up your budget the quickest. If you add your keywords to your account without a modifier, they will be added as broad match by default.
Broad match modifier
The next keyword match type is broad match modifier. By adding a plus sign before each term of your keyword, you are telling Google to include those terms (unlike broad match which might not include all of your terms). Going off of our last example, the keyword +kid’s +shoes can include any search query that includes your modified terms or close variations.
Phrase match keywords tell Google that you only want your ad to show for searches that contain your chosen terms without recording the terms. To add a keyword in phrase match, you can add quotation marks around the keyword you want to add. If you add the keyword “kid’s shoes” to your account, your ad can be triggered by any search including those terms in that order. For example, this keyword might include buy kid’s shoes size 6 but would not include buy size 6 kid’s shoes.
Your final option of the 4 keyword match types is exact match. Exact match is the most specific match type as it will only show ads for searches that are an exact match or close variation of your chosen keyword. In order to add a keyword in exact match, you’ll need to add brackets around the keyword. For example, the keyword [kid’s shoes] may include the searches kid’s shoes, kids shoes or shoes for kids.
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