google adwords match types


Did you know that using the right keyword match types in your AdWords campaigns can significantly impact your advertising success? In fact, studies have shown that choosing the appropriate match type can increase click-through rates by up to 30%. Understanding the different match types, such as broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, and exact match, is crucial for effective ad targeting. In this article, we will explore each match type and provide insights on when to use them to optimize your AdWords campaigns for maximum performance.


Broad Match

Broad match is a keyword match type in AdWords that allows your ads to be shown when a search query includes any variation of your keyword. This match type offers both advantages and disadvantages for advertisers.

One advantage of using broad match keywords in AdWords is the potential for reaching a wider audience. By including variations of your keyword, you can capture relevant traffic that you may have missed with exact or phrase match. This can lead to increased visibility and potential conversions.


However, the downside of broad match is the potential for irrelevant clicks and wasted ad spend. Since your ads can show for a wide range of variations, you may attract clicks from users who are not actually interested in your products or services.


To optimize the performance of your broad match keywords, it is important to regularly review and refine your keyword list. Use the search terms report to identify irrelevant search queries and add them as negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing for those queries.


In a case study of successful campaigns using broad match keywords in AdWords, it was found that a combination of broad match and negative keywords resulted in improved performance and increased conversions.


When comparing broad match to modified broad match, it ultimately depends on your campaign goals and budget. Modified broad match provides more control over keyword variations, but may also limit the potential reach of your ads.


Modified Broad Match

One alternative to broad match in AdWords is the match type known as modified broad match, which offers advertisers more control over keyword variations. Modified broad match allows advertisers to specify which terms in a keyword phrase must be included in a user’s search query, ensuring a higher level of relevancy.


Benefits of using modified broad match include:


  • Increased control: Advertisers can specify which terms in a keyword phrase must be included in a user’s search query, ensuring more relevant clicks.
  • Improved click-through rates: By targeting specific variations of a keyword, advertisers can attract more qualified traffic and increase their click-through rates.
  • Cost-effective: Modified broad match can help advertisers save money by only showing ads to users who are more likely to convert.
  • Flexibility: Advertisers can easily add or remove variations of a keyword to optimize their campaigns based on performance data.


To optimize campaigns using modified broad match, it is important to avoid common mistakes such as using too many variations or not monitoring performance closely. Advertisers should regularly review search term reports and add negative keywords to refine their targeting.


Case studies showcasing the success of modified broad match demonstrate its effectiveness in reaching a wider audience while maintaining relevancy. In comparison to other match types in AdWords, modified broad match offers a balance between broad reach and precise targeting, making it a valuable tool for advertisers looking to optimize their campaigns.


Phrase Match

Modified broad match provides advertisers with control over keyword variations, and now we will delve into the next match type in AdWords, which is phrase match, offering a higher level of specificity.


Phrase match allows advertisers to target their ads to appear for searches that include the exact phrase or a close variation of it. This match type is denoted by placing the keyword phrase within quotation marks.


The advantages of using phrase match include increased targeting precision and better control over the search intent of the users. By focusing on specific keyword phrases, advertisers can ensure that their ads are shown to users who are actively searching for products or services related to their business.


However, it is important to note the limitations of phrase match. While it provides more control than modified broad match, it may still show ads for searches that include additional words before or after the keyword phrase. This can lead to irrelevant clicks and wasted ad spend.


To make the most out of phrase match, advertisers should follow best practices such as regularly reviewing search terms reports, adding negative keywords, and utilizing ad group organization techniques.


In a case study conducted by Google, a company saw a 35% increase in click-through rate and a 43% decrease in cost per click by using phrase match instead of broad match.


To optimize phrase match campaigns, advertisers can employ techniques such as using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches, utilizing ad extensions to enhance the visibility of their ads, and constantly monitoring and adjusting their keyword bids.


Exact Match

Exact match provides advertisers with the highest level of precision and control over their keyword targeting in AdWords. With exact match, your ads will only be triggered when a user’s search query matches your keyword exactly. This match type offers several benefits:


  • Increased relevance: Exact match ensures that your ads are shown to users who are actively searching for the exact keyword you have targeted. This leads to higher click-through rates and better conversion rates.
  • Cost efficiency: By targeting specific keywords, you can optimize your budget and avoid wasting ad spend on irrelevant searches.
  • Improved ad ranking: When using exact match, your ads are more likely to appear at the top of the search results, increasing visibility and driving more qualified traffic to your website.
  • Better control over ad messaging: Exact match allows you to tailor your ad copy to closely align with the user’s search query, resulting in a more personalized and compelling ad experience.


While exact match offers many benefits, there are some common pitfalls to be aware of:


  • Limited reach: Exact match can restrict your ad’s visibility since it only triggers when the search query matches your keyword exactly. This can result in missed opportunities for reaching potential customers.
  • Keyword variations: Exact match does not account for slight variations or misspellings in search queries, potentially causing you to miss out on relevant traffic.


To optimize your exact match campaigns, consider the following strategies:


  • Regular keyword monitoring: Continuously monitor the performance of your exact match keywords and make adjustments as needed to maximize results.
  • Negative keywords: Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search queries that may trigger your ads. This helps to further refine your targeting and improve campaign efficiency.


To see the effectiveness of exact match campaigns, it’s helpful to review case studies that showcase successful implementation. These studies can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your own campaigns.


When to Use Each Match Type

To effectively utilize the different keyword match types in AdWords, advertisers must carefully consider when to use each match type based on their campaign goals and target audience. Broad match is advantageous for reaching a wider audience as it allows ads to be shown for related searches, even if the exact keyword is not included. However, it is important to monitor and adjust broad match keywords to avoid irrelevant clicks. Modified broad match offers better targeting by allowing advertisers to specify certain keywords that must be included in the search query. This helps to narrow down the audience and reduce irrelevant clicks.


Phrase match is beneficial for more specific keyword targeting. It allows ads to be shown when the search query includes the keyword phrase, regardless of the order of the words. This can be useful for targeting specific audiences or capturing long-tail keywords. On the other hand, exact match is ideal for highly precise ad targeting. It ensures that ads are only shown when the search query exactly matches the keyword, providing maximum relevancy. This match type is often used for targeting specific brands or products.


To optimize keyword match types for better ad performance, it is essential to regularly review and refine the keyword list. This involves analyzing search term reports, adding negative keywords, and adjusting bids accordingly. By constantly monitoring and optimizing keyword match types, advertisers can improve ad relevance, increase click-through rates, and maximize their return on investment.



In conclusion, understanding the different keyword match types in AdWords is crucial for successful online advertising campaigns. Broad match allows for a wider reach but may result in irrelevant clicks, while modified broad match provides more control over search terms. Phrase match and exact match offer even more precise targeting options. The choice of match type depends on the advertising goals and budget. Interestingly, a study found that using exact match keywords can improve click-through rates by up to 30%.