What is keyword matching options?

  • Use matching options with your keywords to help control which searches can trigger your ad.
  • When choosing the appropriate match type for a keyword, we typically recommend starting with broad match to maximize your potential to show your ads on relevant searches.
  • Use the search terms report to monitor which keyword variations triggered your ads.

Keyword match types help control which searches can trigger your ad. For example, you could use broad match to show your ad to a wide audience or you could use exact match to hone in on specific groups of customers.

In general, the broader the keyword matching option, the more traffic potential that keyword has. Conversely, the narrower the keyword matching option, the more relevant that keyword will be to someone’s search. Understanding these differences can steer you in choosing the right keyword matching options and can help you improve your return on investment.

About keyword match types

How To Use Keyword Match Types on the Search Network
Learn about the different keyword match types (broad, phrase, exact, and negative) and how selecting the right ones for your keywords can help you reach your AdWords goals. Find a takeaway article that you can keep as a reference guide here: http://goo.gl/Ck3xYG Subscribe to AdWords Help on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/adwordshelp

Each match type, which is specified by a special symbol, will trigger your ad to show for a customer’s search in different ways.

The chart below serves as an introduction to the different match types, ordered from broad to narrow. We’ll give more information on each option in the sections below.

Match type Special symbol Example keyword Ads may show on searches that Example searches
Broad match none women’s hats include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations buy ladies hats
Broad match modifier +keyword +women’s +hats contain the modified term (or close variations, but not synonyms), in any order hats for women
Phrase match keyword women’s hats are a phrase, and close variations of that phrase buy women’s hats
Exact match [keyword] [women’s hats] are an exact term and close variations of that exact term women’s hats
Negative match keyword women are searches without the term baseball hats

Keep in mind

  • Keywords aren’t case-sensitive, which means they’re matched without regard to uppercase or lowercase letters. For example, you don’t need to enter women’s hats and Women’s Hats as keywords — just women’s hats will cover both.
  • You can use keyword match types with campaigns that show ads on the Search Network. On the Display Network, keywords are treated as broad match.

 

Close keyword variations

We’ll show your ads for close variations of your phrase and exact match keywords to maximize your potential to show your ads on relevant searches. Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor andflooring), abbreviations, and accents. So there’s no need to separately add close variations as keywords.

We show your ads for close variations so that you don’t miss out on potential customers. For example, if your phrase match keyword is “kid’s scooter”, you’d still want to show your ad when someone searches for “kids scooter” or “kid scooters”. Keep in mind that even though we show close variations of your phrase and exact match keywords, these match types still give you more control than broad match. That’s because broad match keywords also show for synonyms and related searches, which aren’t considered close variations.

How to choose the right keyword match types

When choosing the appropriate match type for a keyword, we typically recommend using a “broad-to-narrow” strategy. Start off withbroad match keywords to maximize your potential to show your ads on relevant searches. Monitor your keywords’ performance over time and make your keyword match types more specific if you find that your ad is showing up for too many irrelevant variations of your keywords.

Once your broad matches have gathered impressions and clicks, review the search terms report to monitor which keyword variations triggered your ads. A few tips on using the information in the report:

  • Look at the “Match type” column to see how closely the search terms that triggered your ads on Google are related to the keywords in your account. This information will give you an idea of which match types you might want to use for your keywords. For example, if you find that most of the variations shown in your search terms report are irrelevant to what you’re advertising, consider making your keyword match types more specific.
  • Add new search terms with high potential as keywords.
  • Weed out any terms that aren’t as relevant to your business by adding them as negative keywords.