Using Keyword Match Types in Google AdWords

A big part of running a successful AdWords campaign is ensuring that you are not only using relevant keywords in your ad groups, but also ensuring that you are making full use of the five different keyword match types:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match
  • Negative keywords

Each match type has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each!


Broad Match:

The most basic match type, this is type of keyword can capture all and any searches made that include the keyword itself, searches similar to your keyword and searches that include one part of your keyword.

The advantage with broad match is that it is the easiest way to get a lot of traffic to your website, but the disadvantage is that a lot of this traffic may not be relevant to your business. It’s important to evaluate the keyword itself, and the bid you assign to this keyword, before running it in your campaign.

Broad Match Modifier:

This keyword is similar to broad match, but using the + symbol in front of each word within your keyword phrase, you are able to ensure that your ad shows for more relevant keywords.

For example: +Google +AdWords in Dubai can trigger ads for people who are looking for Google AdWords services, but your ad may show to people looking at ‘Google AdWords classes in Singapore’, or ‘free Google AdWords in London’.

You can try to make your keyword more relevant by using ‘+Google +AdWords in +Dubai’, and combine this with using negative keywords.

This match type can be very powerful to use, as it can combine high quality keywords while you are still capturing high volume.

Phrase Match:

This keyword is used with quotation marks before and after it, and will show only to people that are making a search that includes your keyword as part of the part.

For example: “Google AdWords in Dubai” will show to people who search for this keyword as it is quoted, but can also show for people who are searching for “free Google AdWords in Dubai”.

Exact Match:

This keyword is used with square brackets before and after it, and will show only to people that are making a search using that exact keyword, with no other words in their search phrase.

For example: [Google AdWords in Dubai] will show only to people who have searched exactly for Google AdWords in Dubai. It will not show to people who have searched for ‘Google AdWords Classes in Dubai’ or ‘Free Google AdWords in Dubai’.

It is the best way to show ads to the most relevant searches, as you know for sure that you are reaching your target market. However quality can be limited, and this is where broad match modifier can be great to use.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are the best way to ensure your ads don’t show for irrelevant searches.

Suppose you started running your AdWords campaign, and suddenly feel that you are getting a lot of calls for job inquiries, it’s possible that people are searching for employment with a company offering your services. The best way to ensure your ad is not shown to these people is to use negative keywords that job seekers would use, thereby blocking your ads from being shown to them.


Are you unsure about how to use all five match types in your campaign? Contact Mapto Media now, and we can give you so much more from your AdWords campaign!