What Are PPC Matching Options

PPC Match Type, milkshake-factoryThere are five AdWords match types: Broad Match, Modified Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, and Negative Match.

1. Broad Match

When using the broad match option, your advertisement may display whenever someone enters your keywords into the search box, regardless of what order they appear in or what additional words are added. For example: a search query for Melbourne Marketers, or Marketers and Online Melbourne could trigger your ad.

The goal is to bring in the maximum amount of visitors as possible.

A broad match keyword will be entered into your keyword list, without quotes, brackets, or other symbols.

The immediate drawback of using broad match phrases is that while you will get a larger volume of traffic to your site, this traffic will likely not be as targeted and therefore has a lower chance of converting. You have limited control over what search terms your ads are displayed against, and you may not agree with what Google interprets as being relevant to your ad and your business.

This can easily lead to high advertising costs with low or no return on investment (ROI) in the short term. You can avoid this by including Negative Keywords in your broad match.

2. Modified Match

To use modified broad match, append a plus sign to one or more terms in your keyword phrase to force Google to only match your ad against search queries that include that term.

For example, if your keyword is +Melbourne Marketers, Google will only match your ad against queries that include the word “Melbourne” (or a very close variant), but they query needn’t contain the word “Marketers.” So your ad might match against a search for “Melbourne Strategists” but not “Melbourne Marketers.” If your modified broad match keyword is Melbourne +Marketers, on the other hand, your ad will only display in response to queries that contain the word “Marketers” or “Marketing.”

The benefit of using the modified broad match option is that you have more control over how frequently your ad is displayed, so your traffic will be more targeted. However, narrower targeting will also reduce the overall traffic you bring in from those keywords.

3. Phrase Match

When using the phrase match option, your advertisement will appear for searches that include your keyword phrase in the correct order, but can still display for queries including additional words.

To use the phrase match option in AdWords, enter your keyword phrase in quotation marks, indicates to Google that your advertisements should only appear when someone has entered a search term that includes this exact phrase, but additional terms in the query are OK.

For example: “Melbourne Marketers” indicates to Google that your advertisements should only appear when someone has entered a search term that includes this exact phrase, but additional terms in the query are OK. For example your ad might match against queries such as “Melbourne Marketers for online strategy” or “Melbourne Marketers Digital Strategy.” This match type is also quite handy when bidding on keywords that change in meaning depending on the order of the terms, such as “camera store” and “store camera”.

This match type will not usually bring in quite the volume of traffic that the broad option does, but it is more targeted to your niche.

4. Exact Match

The exact match option is the most targeted option available and will only let your ad display when people search for the exact phrase in the exact order in which the phrase is entered.

Enter your keyword phrase with brackets around the words: [Melbourne Marketers]. If you bid on this keyword, your ad would not appear for “melbourne marketing” or “Melbourne Marketers Strategies.”

This match type drastically limits your ad being displayed but you reduce your overal costs. The drawback to using this match type is that you will not be able to capture long-tail data to expand your keyword list.

 5. Negative Match

Negative keywords are used in conjunction with the broad and phrase match options. When using broad and phrase match keywords, there is a risk of generating a large amount of traffic that is not truly relevant to your offering and unlikely to convert. These clicks can quickly become costly and deplete your budget. So it’s crucial to use negative keywords to keep ROI high while employing the broad and phrase match options.

To create a negative keyword, place a minus sign in front of the term. For example, if you only sell PPC digital strategies, setting “SEO” as a negative keyword (-SEO) will prevent your ad from displaying when someone searches for “SEO Melbourne Marketers.”

To find negative keywords, try using a negative keyword tool as well as regularly consulting your search query reports in AdWords to see what your ads are matching against.

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