AdWords For Dummies: Google Keywords

Adwords for Dummies


Navigating Google AdWords can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding the nuances of Google keywords and their match types. Fortunately, our marketing team have created a simple guide to help you understand the match types in more detail.

What are keyword match types?

When you embark on setting up an AdWords campaign, one of the critical decisions involves selecting the right keyword match type. There are three main types to choose from: Broad, Phrase, or Exact.

Each type dictates how Google will display your ads based on user searches and it’s a real balancing act between not limiting your keywords so much that you lose out on search volume, but not being too broad and wasting money on irrelevant clicks which don’t convert. When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC), you need to make sure that every click is going to be worthwhile.

What is broad match?

This is the default match type that AdWords uses, and with it, you’ll reach the widest audience. The major downside of Broad Match is that your ads will show for any search term that includes ANY word in your key phrase, and in any order, along with variations that might not be relevant.

Broad Match is essentially the same as putting an advert on a bus stop or a billboard. You’re going to be reaching a wide audience but there’s very little targeting and control over who is seeing the advert.

As you’re paying for each interaction, you don’t want your wedding cake business targeting the word cake as a broad match because your ad will then be shown to people looking for crab cakes or even something like a nappy cake. 

What is phrase match?

Phrase Match offers a lot more control over the keywords. By adding full quotation marks (“ ”) around your keywords, you’re telling Google to show you ads for that phrase.

This does also include close variations, and allows Google to add any words before or after. For example, a company that makes wedding dresses could use the phrase match “wedding dress design” which could lead to somebody searching “bespoke wedding dress design makers” actually seeing their ad, which is great.

By narrowing down the search, you’re still allowing for a broader range of people to come across your advert. However, as these Google keywords still allow for some variations, they can sometimes show irrelevant ads to people leading to a wasted click.

What is exact match?

Exact Match is the most restrictive but precise option, showing your ads only if the search query exactly matches your keyword or phrase. This is ideal for targeting a niche audience but can be limiting due to potential low search volumes.

To use Exact Match, place square brackets around your keyword or phrase, e.g., [wedding dress design in Lincoln]. You’re telling Google the exact words, in the exact order that will trigger your ad being shown to a customer.

Although exact match can seem limiting, if you’re in a niche industry they will allow you to ensure you’re not wasting money on clicks which are irrelevant and ensure only the right people are being shown your ads. Exact match types can also be a great way of managing smaller Google ads budgets.

Which Google Keywords mach type is right for me?

You’d be amazed how much of a difference you can make on your campaigns, just by having an understanding of keyword match types. Not only can you save money by reducing your wasted spend, but you’ll also gain the confidence and clarity to test and trial new match types.

As part of managing a Google ads account, it’s important to conduct a Google ads audit regularly which should include looking at your Google Keywords and their match types. You should also review your search terms and adjust your keywords accordingly.

If you need help ensuring your Google Keywords are optimised for your account, get in touch with our marketing team today.

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