Why Keyword Match Types Matter for PPC and SEO

June 24, 2023

If you’re running ads as a business owner in 2023, having a list of specific keywords is crucial for the success of your campaign. To make the most out of your keywords, however, it’s essential to understand how to use them effectively in conjunction with keyword match types.

Keyword match types help ensure that your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO) target the right audience, ultimately saving you money in the long run. Let’s dive deeper into keyword match types and why they matter for PPC and SEO.

Understanding Keyword Match Types

Utilizing keyword match types allows you to control when your ads appear in a search. There are four main types of keyword matches: broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative match.

Broad Match

Broad keyword match is the default match type for ads on Google. Though it casts a wide net, it isn’t necessarily great for capturing a hot audience. Your ad may pop up for users whose search is only arbitrarily related to your keywords. Because they may not be looking for your keywords, what you offer simply might not be what they need. You could end up with countless clicks on your ads—costing you money—when your ad isn’t what they’re looking for.

Phrase Match

A phrase match will show your ad or website when a user searches for a more specific version of your keyword. However, words can’t be added to the middle of your keyword—only to the beginning or end. For example, your keyword might be “outdoor pillows.” When someone searches for “bohemian outdoor pillows” or “oversized outdoor pillows,” your ad will surface. On the other hand, it won’t pop up when someone searches for “outdoor throw pillows.”

Phrase match offers slightly more control than broad match. The audience is more refined, meaning users are more likely to truly be searching for what you offer. Put “quotation marks” around your keywords within your keyword list for phrase match.

Exact Match

Exact match types are just that—they require an exact match. Put your keyword in [brackets] within your keyword list for an exact match. This type provides the most specific audience, as users must type exactly your keyword for your ad or site to pull up—although it includes singular and plural forms of your keyword and any typos.

Exact match offers the most control over your keywords, and it helps hone in on an audience who knows exactly what they’re looking for and is ready to buy.

Negative Match

A negative keyword list helps you rule out your ad or website for people who are searching for certain things that aren’t relevant to what you offer. For instance, if you offer dog grooming services but don’t groom cats, you might have “cat” on your list of negative keywords. A negative match helps you avoid clicks on your PPC campaigns that don’t convert to purchases.

Why Keyword Match Types Matter

All match types have their time and place—whether you want to cast a wide net to attract new customers or hone in on an already hot audience whose ready to buy. However, it costs money every time a user clicks on your PPC ad campaign, so if your ads aren’t attracting the right audience, you could spend unnecessary money.

Properly utilizing keyword match types mean you’ll attract customers who already know what they want. When you know your audience is ready to buy, you’ll end up saving money on ad campaigns in the long run and increasing your ROI.
Understanding the pros and cons of each match type and how to properly use them for SEO and PPC can be challenging. It can take time to get a firm grasp on how and when to use them. If you’re looking for additional support with SEO or your PPC campaigns, hire PPC experts to help you make the most of your budget.

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