Keyword Matching

Exhibit 18.12   Google’s keyword matching types.

The four match types shown in Exhibit 18.12 determine what searches on Google could trigger your ad.

A broad match triggers the ad for searches that very broadly match the keyword. Misspelling, synonyms, related searches and relevant variations are included enabling the ad to serve a wide audience.

At the other extreme, an exact match hones in on the exact keyword, substantially narrowing down searches as well as the audience. As can be seen from Exhibit 18.13, each level progressively filter the matched searches.

Exhibit 18.13   Google’s keyword matching types progressively filter the matched searches.

Additionally Google also supports a negative keyword that prevents the ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Ad is not shown to anyone searching for that keyword.

For example, an ad for Dove body wash could use “-shampoo” if the brand’s manager does not want the ad to appear for searches of “Dove shampoo”.

Keyword matching helps marketers direct their ads to the desired target customers. Broad matches attract high traffic, whereas phrase and exact matches generate higher conversion.

To refine keywords with matching, advertisers should start with broad keywords, and repeatedly refine them with modifiers, phrase matches and exact keywords.

This also benefits users. By filtering out advertisements of limited relevance, well matched keywords improve their experience.

Importantly, Google rates phrase matches and exact keywords higher on ad quality than broad keywords. This further enhances the performance of the ad.

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