Using match types to maximise your AdWords campaign performance

Google Adwords2
A principle step in designing campaigns for Google AdWords is choosing a set of keywords that your adverts will appear in response to. When you carry out this step of designing your campaign, you will also be able to choose a keyword match type. What this means isn’t immediately self-evident but ignoring the differences between the different choices can make your campaign more expensive or less effective than desired.
Google Adwords2Google AdWords allows you to choose from three types of keyword match types: broad, phrase and exact (negative keywords, which this post won’t discuss, can also be effective). Each of these will suit different businesses and campaigns. In this post, we will explore each of them to help you gain a sense of which type suites your business.
Broad

By default, your keywords will be set to broad match. This means that your ad can appear for any search terms that contain a word from your keywords. So if your keyword was ‘red car’ then your ad could appear in response to search terms like “car hire”, “blue car” and “red shoes”. Clearly, for many people, this will not be the most desirable setting.

Broad match should be used if you expect your customers to not really know what to type to find your product (and so you need to cover a large number of keywords to reach them). This setting can also be useful if you’re trying to increase brand recognition rather than directly sell a product. Broad match can also end up costing a lot of money without leading to many conversions (though sometimes the bid price for these keywords is lower, for this reason).
You can add a + to the front of any of these keywords to force the keywords to appear in the search term. So if your keyword was ‘red +car’ then your ads might display in response to searches for “blue car” but they won’t appear in response to searches for “red hats”.
Match Types
Phrase

If you enter a keyword in double quotation marks (“red car”, for example) then this indicates a phrase match for these keywords. This means that your ad will only appear for search terms involving the exact phrase. So your ad would appear in response to searches for “big red car” or “new red car” but not “new red colored car” or “blue car”. This allows you to run a cheaper campaign that still doesn’t force people to find your business by searching for some specific phrase.
Exact Match

Exact phrase is even more strict than this and is indicated by surrounding your keywords with square brackets. For example, [red car] will return only search for “red car” and no other searches whatsoever. This will tend to lead to a low number of impressions but is very targeted and hence can be a very cost effective approach.

Which keyword match types do you use in your AdWord campaigns?
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