Keyword Match Types

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For business owners attempting to run their own paid search campaigns, this basic outline of keyword match types should be helpful in assisting you in getting better ROI on your PPC campaigns.

First off, let’s discuss keywords, why they are important, and some things to know about them, especially as 2020 gets underway. There are 9 different types of keywords that exist: Short tail, long tail, short term, long term, product defining, customer defining, geographical, latent semantic indexing, and intention. All 9 are important, and we will cover them next week in detail.

Today, however, we are focusing on the keyword match types when setting up a campaign in Google Ads or with Bing, for example. There are four major match types, and understanding them is very important in understanding how to optimize your PPC campaigns.

The first type of keyword match type is broad match. To enter a broad match term into your keyword list, all you need to do is type the term in. So, if you are a mortgage lender, a broad match keyword you might include would be:

get a mortgage

These terms require no modifications, and can appear in searches that include: misspellings (get a morgauge), synonyms, related searches (get a home loan), and other variations. These cast the widest net when plugged into the search engine, and will most likely bring in lower intent searches at a higher cost per click. Not to say you shouldn’t use them, as, if you’re not, then you are not competing with others in your industry.

Similar to a broad match keyword, there are also modified broad match terms. These are similar in that they will still pull in variations of the term, however, synonyms will not be counted. So, for example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce business and you want to promote your line of men’s shoes. Your search terms would be:



This will not capture searches for men’s footwear. By adding the “+”, you’re telling the search engine that the query must contain that term +mens or +shoes, precisely.

A third type of keyword match type is the phrase match. To use this type of keyword, simply put the term in quotation marks. So, for example, using our mortgage term, it would be:

“get a mortgage”

This will allow for variations to display for longer forms of the query. So your ad would display for “get a mortgage in Michigan” or “how do I get a mortgage.” Phrase matching is a powerful tool to use in almost every industry.

Exact Match is fairly self-explanatory. Or, it was, until 2017, when Google updated their algorithm and other search engines followed suit. An exact match keyword had to appear exactly as entered for the ad to display. An example would be:

[mens shoes]

This would trigger the search engine to exclude anything but that precise term. With the introduction of close variants, terms like men’s shoes or some minor misspellings would also be included.

Another note would be to be mindful of negative keywords. These are terms you want to exclude and prevent your ad from displaying for.

If you’re a real estate agent, and you do not want to work with rentals, you can put in the term:


This will exclude searches for things like “houses for rent” or “rental homes in Chicago.”

Keyword match types can seem daunting to the paid search novice. If you’re running paid search ads and aren’t seeing results, contact POSH Digital Media today.

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