Keyword matching is vital because it determines the kinds of searches on Google that can trigger your ad. You get the freedom to choose whether your ads can be shown to a wide audience or specific groups of customers. The options that provide you with this freedom are the broad match and exact match.

The steps to choose the keyword matching option to use in Google Ads campaigns should start with the broad match option. You can later use keywords that are oriented towards negative matches to exclude the searches that are not related to your business either directly or indirectly. 

You can watch this video to get more details on the options you have when it comes to keyword matching: The Specific Options Available in Keyword Matching.

Google provides you with a number of options to make sure you match your keywords correctly. These options are categorised as main and advanced to ensure you can choose your campaign’s specific option.

The Main Options

All the keywords are assigned a broad match since it is the default option. This particular option shows almost every kind of ad, including Google ads with spelling mistakes and synonyms. If your keyword is “men’s shirts,” even a person searching for “buy shirts for men” and “men’s shoes” may see the ad.

Another type of match in the main option is the use of negative keywords. These keywords are purposely meant to exclude your ads from any search that has the term that you use. If you sell clothes, but you do not deal with children’s clothes, you can add the term children’s clothes on the keyword. You can also add a negative sign (-) on the keyword to confirm that you do not deal with the specified type of clothes.

Advanced Options

If you are an advanced advertiser trying to segment particular sets of searches, you are better off using the advanced options. These options include a broad match modifier, which is almost the same thing as broad match except that you must use the plus (+) sign in front of the keyword for your ad to show. By using +men’s shirts, only the ads with this term or its close variation will show.

Another type in the advanced options category is the phrase match. This option only shows ads that match the phrase or the ones that are close to the phrase. It also shows ads that match the phrase but have additional words in front or behind the phrase. If the additional words are added in the middle of the phrase, nothing will show because the meaning of the phrase changes. For the phrase match to work, the relevant phrase must have quotation marks.

The third type in advanced options is the exact match. This option allows ads that match the term and those with close variations to show. The ads with close variation include those that use different words but mean the same thing as the original term. The exact match is usually designated with brackets to show that it is exactly as the original term.

Choosing the Ideal Keyword Match Type

It is paramount to know the exact strategy to use while choosing the ideal keyword match type depending on the results you want. The most effective strategy is the broad-to-narrow strategy. In this strategy, you have to start with the broad match option so that you can increase the chances of your ads showing on the most relevant searches. You do not have to do anything else after adding your keywords since this is the default option for all the keywords used.

After adding your keywords, you should keenly watch their performance and if you find that they are showing up for many variations of the keyword, use the negative keywords. This will make sure that your keywords are showing up only for the relevant searches. You can also narrow this more by using advanced options such as exact match, broad match modifier, and phrase match.

Knowing The Search Terms That Trigger The Ads You Have Used

By using the “search terms” report, you can tell the specific terms that the people who came across your keywords were searching. You can use the information on the ‘match type’ column to establish how the phrases that triggered your ads relate to your keyword. You can also use the ‘see keyword ideas’ option to learn about some keyword you had not thought about. Furthermore, you can get more negative keyword options by using the ‘get negative keyword ideas’ from the report.

You can learn more about keyword match types and how to use them by visiting the Google Support Center page on keyword matching options and this page on choosing the right keyword match types.

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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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