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Google and Bing offer four different match types. Broad, modified broad, phrase, and exact. The match type you choose will depend on the amount of traffic you're expecting from your keywords and the negative keywords you had in place. You should have a negative keyword list in place at the campaign or ad group levels. If you'd like to learn more about this see my video on negative keywords. Please, they're important. So what match type do you use, where and why? And don't panic yet. I have one really basic rule of thumb to think about whenever you're not sure what to do, which is to use a phrase match to start with.
You can always change it later. So if you're in the process of building an account right now and don't have the bandwidth, either time or mental capacity, this is a good place to start. Otherwise, let's walk through the different match types. What they mean. And how you might use them. Once again, using our example of our imaginary dog collar product line. Let's talk about Broad match. This is the most all-encompassing match type. And can include misspellings, similar terms and does not pay attention to word order in keywords of two or more. For example, the keyword dog collar in a broad match could bring in queries around collars for dogs, dog collars on sale, red collars or dog accessories.
So depending on how popular your keyword is, you might want to avoid this match type, especially if you're just starting out. If your keywords are in longtail, more than three words and have less traffic expectations, like dogs collars for seeing eye dogs. Or by green leather dot colors, then this is the match type to use. Modified broad. This is the match type that confuses the most new advertisers, so I hope you're still with me. This is the match type I recommend when you're in that in-between space of a popular or highly trafficked product or service that a long-tail, broad-match keyword might pull in too many unrelated queries for.
But you want to try and garner a high volume of clicks and impression still. Modified broad allows you to add in an anchor, in the form of a plus sign, any word or all of the words in your keyword. For example, using our dog collars for seeing eye dogs long tail keyword, you might want to add anchors on the seeing an eye words. This tells Google that those two terms must appear somewhere in the user's query in order to trigger an ad impression. So, the keyword would look like dog collars for seeing eye dogs and, as a result, wouldn't show for dog collars for large dogs.
This match type allows you to utilize the broad matching capability in a more controlled sense. However, if you find yourself adding anchors to all of the words in the keyword, you should probably be considering a phrase match for any keyword over four words in length. Simply because it would be easier to manage and maintain and you wouldn't have to come to your negative keyword reports as often looking for outliers like, dog collar for seeing adult pictures, dog harnessing iDog to add to your list of negative keywords. Phrase, this match type, as I said previously, is a good place to start when you're just not sure and want to watch and see how things go, especially if you're very budget conscious.
We'll capture keywords in the plural form, but it does respect word order, unlike Broad. So if our keyword is large dog collars. Our ad will trigger for queries like large dog collars online or buy large dog collars, but not for dog collar large or collar for large dog. Exact. This match type is pretty much what is says, exact. The query must match the keyword exactly in order for the ad to display. This includes word order. Whether it's plural or not. Literally exactly as it is. However this is only if you check the box in your campaign settings under keyword matching options.
In AdWords at the campaign level, the choice for keyword match type is set to include plurals, misspellings and close variants. And will therefore display for both dog collar and dog collars. So if it's important to you, you need to go in and check the correct radio button. Navigate to the campaign of your choice, click on the settings tab, and look for the keyword matching options area. Expand the selection and select the appropriate radio button for your needs. How much does this option matter? Well, it can very much make a difference depending on your industry. For example, I had a client that sold wedding invitations online.
The exact term wedding invitations converted at a five to one rate. Whereas the keyword wedding invitation only had a three to one rate. For me, this made a difference in how much I was willing to bid on each of the terms and by time of day. Now that we have been through the introduction of match types, how do you know what type to apply and when? Well good news. I made a chart. This chart is a very basic generalization to help you determine a starting point based on monthly estimated search impressions from the Google keyword planner. Keep in mind, this is a baseline only.
You should do what makes sense for you and your business. This is simply to help you get started. How a match type will react to your keyword list and business goals varies from industry to industry and from campaign to campaign. Note that impressions and clicks are influenced by a lot of other factors too, like your budget, keyword bids, competition and historical data in your account. Which means that keeping an eye on your account after your launch a new campaign or ad group is a must. Remember, match types exist to give you flexibility with your keywords on how closely you do or do not want Google or Bing to show your ads.
With the search engines reporting nearly 60% of the queries they are receiving as new, never before seen searches, it's important to pay attention to match types in relation to your conversion rate, so that you can get the most out of your paid search efforts.
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