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Google Ads – Keywords Match Types

Google Ads Matching

When creating ads in the Google search network, the system requires adding keywords, i.e. phrases, after entering which the recipient will display creative content. The keyword can be one or several words – for example the word “dress” as the whole phrase “retro cocktail dress”. The more general the keyword, the more searches it will get online, but this does not necessarily mean it will be more effective than a more specific keyword. What should you know when choosing keywords? How to apply Google Ads keyword matches? You can read about it in the article below.

What Is Google Ads Keyword Matching?

When using Google Ads, sooner or later you will always come across the term “keyword matching”. Each keyword in Google Ads can be added in three types of matching: exact, broad, and phrase matching. Which option you choose depends on how broadly the system will search for recipients to whom you should display your ad. Google Ads matching determines, in short, how exactly the phrase typed by the user in the search engine should correspond to the one we added as a keyword. Depending on the selected matching, the system may display the ad only to those recipients who have typed in the same phrase, or also to recipients who have made their keyword more specific with additional terms or have typed a phrase only loosely related to the keyword. What areas of meaning are covered by the individual matches?

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Verseo Ads Banner

Types of Matching

  • Exact match – is the most precise of all Google Ads matches. It reaches the narrowest group of recipients, but at the same time allows you to maintain the greatest control over who will be shown your ad. Using this type of matching, we reach only those users who typed in exactly the same keyword or phrase of the same meaning (or otherwise – related to the same search intent). When typing a keyword in exact match, we put it in square brackets, e.g. [men’s pajamas]. Then the ad will display similar keywords, such as pajamas for men, men’s pajamas, etc.
  • Phrase matching takes into account all of the same searches as exact match, and also allows you to display your ad for keywords you have specified. Still the ads will only show for searches that include our product or service, but it doesn’t have to be an exact repetition of the keyword. So this is a slightly more relaxed type of matching, but it still allows you to maintain a relatively high degree of control over how your budget is spent. We denote phrase matching by putting the keyword in quotation marks. If you type in the word “women’s boots,” for example, your ad will also show up in more specific queries, such as black women’s boots, comfortable women’s heeled boots, etc.
  • Broad matching allows the ad to be displayed also for queries which are very loosely related to the selected keyword. This allows, on the one hand, to reach a very wide group of recipients and, on the other, to have little control over the contexts in which the system shows our ads. Broad matching does not have any special characters, so when you enter a keyword into the system, without any additional characters – it has this type of matching by default. For example, if you enter a low sugar diet as a keyword, your ad may also show up in results such as low carbohydrate recipes or low sugar diet books.

Using Broad Matching Wisely

Does this mean that by using broad matching we’re wasting resources on users who aren’t going to buy our product anyway? Not necessarily. Showing ads to audiences that aren’t yet ready to buy is part of guiding them through the purchase funnel. So if an ad is shown to users who aren’t yet looking for our product but are interested in a particular topic, it can contribute to conversions later on.

However, to make sure your budget is being used optimally, it’s a good idea to use intelligent rate setting in every type of Google Ads match – and in broad matching in particular. Thanks to this solution, the system will decide what chance for conversion a particular recipient gives, and thus how high the rate should be in a given case. Taking into account how much knowledge the system has about the users, you can be sure that its predictions about the effectiveness of actions will most often be highly accurate. What does Google Ads take into account when searching for recipients? Among other things, it may be guided by the user’s last searches, the content of the page to which the ad leads, or other keywords from a given ad group.

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In addition, in each type of matching we can narrow down the search context by introducing the so-called exclusion keywords. By excluding certain words the ad will not be displayed if the user includes these words in the search term. This feature allows us to gain a little more control over the ad and prevent it from being displayed in contexts that we deem unprofitable.

Which Type of Broad Matching In Google Ads Is Best?

There is no clear answer to this question. Exact matching allows you to maintain a great deal of control over your spend, but on the other hand, it narrows your field and can deprive you of valuable audiences. Phrase matching gives you more freedom and broadens your audience, but your ads are still displayed only for keywords strongly related to your product or service. Broad matching, on the other hand, carries a potentially high risk of reaching uninterested recipients. On the other hand, we can reach completely new groups of recipients and learn about new keywords that are highly effective for our brand. So it’s worth simply using keywords that are tailored to the specific goal we want to achieve with a given campaign.

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