You’ve probably heard of Google Ads keyword match types, but what does that really mean and how does it affect your ad campaigns? In this blog, we’ll be lifting the lid to explain exactly what they are so you can create ads using the right Google Ads Keywords for your business.

You can also watch this video where Uzair went live on this topic and answered some of your questions.

So What Are Google Ads Keyword Match Types?

Essentially, they are just the keywords or phrases you use in your ads that match the search terms people are looking for. The match types will determine how specific the searches need to be to display your ad. So we need to start by looking at the three different Google Ads Keyword Match Types.

Broad match is the least specific and based on loosely matching search results that are related to your keyword, even if the keyword itself didn’t appear in the search. This match type delivers relevant results by considering the user’s recent search activities, the content of visited landing pages and other keywords in an ad group that helps to better understand keyword intent.

Working example: Your keyword phase might be low-carb diet plan. The search could be low calorie recipes or carb-free foods, and the ad may still appear.

Phrase match offers moderate matching as ads will only show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. This is like your middle ground: there’s still some flexibility around your keywords, but it’s more targeted for those most likely looking for your product or service.

Working example: You might choose tennis shoes as your keywords. If a user searches shoes for tennis or tennis shoes on sale, your ad may still appear. However, if the search used was tennis rackets and training shoes, it wouldn’t appear.

Exact match offers greater targeting and gives you the most control over who sees your ads. Your ads will only be shown where the search has the same meaning or intent as your Google Ads Keywords.

Working example: Shoes for men is your chosen exact match phrase. Your ad will appear for searches such as shoes men, shoes for a man or men shoe. But if the searched term were shoes for boys or men’s tennis shoes, it wouldn’t appear, as the intent on that search isn’t exact.

Choosing your keyword match type will depend on the objectives of your campaign and how far you want a campaign to reach. If your campaign is a brand awareness exercise, a broad match will bring you higher numbers. But if the objective is specific to conversions, exact match keywords will likely perform much better.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Knowing the keywords you want to target is only half the game when it comes to effective Google Ads strategy… knowing keywords you want to exclude from ads will help you increase performance over time. For example, if you’re a hat company that doesn’t sell baseball caps, you don’t want to spend your budget on click throughs that will never convert.

Just like their positive counterpart, keyword match types apply, but you’ll need to do a little more work. You’ll need to be more specific with your exclusions including plural versions of a keyword and misspellings. So, let’s give a quick overview of each of the negative match types.

Negative broad match means if all your chosen negative keywords appear in a search, your ad won’t be displayed. However, if only one word appears, then so too may your ad.

Negative phrase match keywords mean your ads won’t appear if the search term appears in the exact same order, even where additional words are in the search.

Negative exact match will only exclude the specific keywords chosen when you set up your Google Ads campaign.

What’s important is choosing your negative keywords carefully – too many and your ads will potentially reach fewer customers. Read more, including more detailed examples of each negative match type, on the Google support site.

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Do You Want To Learn More About Google Ads?

We hope you found this blog useful and can use the information to create more meaningful Google Ads keyword match types for your campaigns.

We also have a library of helpful videos over on our YouTube channel. You can watch us create live Google Ads campaigns here.

About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
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