07 Feb 2012

Keyword Match Types

February 07, 2012PPC Advertising

Setting keyword match types is an important step in creating a successful PPC campaign. You have the ability to designate these match types in both Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. However, if you are using them simultaneously, you should do so with caution. There are differences with the way these functions work in AdWords and in adCenter. It is crucial that you know these variances so you can get the most out of your PPC campaigns across the board.
The first match type you can set for your keywords is “Broad Match” which is the least specific. When you set this keyword, your ad may appear anytime someone runs a search query with a similar phrase or a variation that is closely related to your keyword. You do not have to use any denoting punctuation when setting Broad Match keywords.
By using Phrase Match, your ad will show on searches that have submitted that exact phrase. There is less of an opportunity here for your ad to show up on irrelevant searches. If you set the phrase as “rental car”, your ad could show on returns like “affordable rental car”, “family rental car” or “weekly rental car”. If you were to set the keyword to Exact Match it will only return ads with that phrase exclusively. So, if you chose [affordable rental car] as your exact match keyword (the brackets designate this function) your ad would only show when someone searched that exact phrase.
AdWords also has a more flexible match type that is deemed Broad Match Modifier (BMM). The modifier is a plus symbol affixed to a word in your keyword phrase. The affixed plus symbol tells Google to require that word to be present within the query regardless of the word order. For example, if I want an ad to show for queries that include “car” and “rental”, I would opt to use the broad match modifier +car +rental because the word order does not matter. It is less restrictive than Phrase Match but without the open door you get with broad keywords.
A negative keyword is another necessary match type in both AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. The approach is much friendlier in AdWords than in adCenter, and you can read more about the differences in this post about using negative keywords across PPC platforms.
Be sure to educate yourself about the differences before running multiple campaigns, especially if you are utilizing both AdWords and adCenter for your PPC campaigns. In most cases it is beneficial to use all match types within an account, being sure to monitor the search queries as well as the keyword’s ROI.