Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, offers three different keyword types and if you are not correctly using the three categories you won’t get the best possible results or ROI for your campaign. The three different keyword categories are broad match, phrase match, and exact match. Each of the keyword match types was created to pull in different types of searches.
Google Ads won’t advise you on what type of keyword category, so it’s up to you to decide when each should be used.
Broad Match keywords will return hits for your keywords in any order. For example, if you run an ad for “Chicago best SEO company” not only will your ad show for someone searching for “Chicago best SEO company” but it will also show for “best SEO company Chicago.” For most industries, broad match campaigns bring in significantly more traffic. The downside to Broad Match campaigns is that it may bring in traffic that was actually looking for something else, so depending on your keywords, you may need to add in some negative keyword matches.
Phrase Match narrows down the search parameters since your ad only shows when someone searches for your keywords in the exact order you have them in the campaign. For example, if your phrase is “Chicago top web design firm” your ad will not show for “top web design firm Chicago,” but it will show for “downtown Chicago top web design firm.” Phrase Match helps narrow in on people searching specifically for your keyword phrase and helps to weed out off-the-wall results.
When entering in your keywords, to mark a keyword phrase as a Phrase Match you use quotation marks. For example, “Bucktown best content writers.”
With Exact Matches your results only show when a person types in your exact phrase in order with no additional words. Exact Match keyword phrases have been shown to convert much better than Broad Match or Phrase Match keywords, but the overall amount of monthly hits is much lower.
When setting up an Exact Match phrase ad campaign, you put your keyword phrases in brackets, like this [best web development company in Chicago].
Setting up a Good Ad Campaign
A good AdWords campaign will use a combination of all three keyword match types. If you focus only on one keyword type you will lose out on potential customers. For example, if you focus entirely on Exact Matches, then you will garner a lot fewer impressions, but your conversation rate will be higher. Of course, if you’re only getting ten impressions per month and are converting half of them that is still only five conversions. A healthy campaign uses all three types of matches to ensure a high number of impressions and conversions.