A New Guide Explains the Keyword Matching Process for Google Ads

Google Ads’ Keyword Matching Process Detailed In New Guide

Introduction to Google Ads’ Keyword Matching Process

Welcome to our in-depth guide on the Google Ads keyword matching process! In that realm, keywords play a vital role in connecting your ads with potential customers who are searching for the products or services you offer. By understanding Google Ads’ keyword matching process, you can more effectively reach your target audience and boost the performance of your advertising campaigns.

Keyword match types help control how closely an individual’s search query needs to be related to your chosen keyword to trigger your ad. Higher control offers more precision, but may result in less visibility. Lower control gives a wider reach but may attract irrelevant traffic. Discovering the optimal balance is critical for running successful, cost-effective ads.

In this guide, we’ll review the different keyword match types available within Google Ads, explaining their location and when it’s advantageous to implement them. Following that, you will find an introduction to negative keywords, which function as a filter to exclude unrelated searches. Let’s dive in!

1. Broad Match Type

Broad match is the default match type selected when adding keywords to your Google Ads campaign. It represents the broadest possible reach and requires minimal input from advertisers. Google automatically displays your ads for search terms it identifies as relevant, albeit indirectly, to your target keywords.

Keep in mind that utilizing the broad match type may result in your ad appearing for an extensive range of user queries, some of which may not be relevant to your business. That said, leveraging this feature could be helpful for small businesses in search of exposure or those on a tighter budget.

To better understand how broad match works, consider the following:

A clothing company targeting the keyword “women’s dresses” might have their ad triggered by search queries like:

  • women’s clothing
  • evening dresses
  • women’s skirts
  • fashion accessories
  • summer dresses for sale
  • cheap women’s apparel

2. Modified Broad Match Type

Modified broad match functions as an intermediary between broad and phrase match types. This option requires the addition of a “+” symbol before any keyword terms that must be present in the user’s search query. The result is potentially greater precision while still maintaining significant search volume.

With this method, ads can appear for close variations, misspellings, synonyms, and even some related searches containing the specified terms. There will still be some room for unrelated matches, but your ad relevancy should see improvement as compared to regular broad match type.

To illustrate modified broad match, assume you target the keyword “+women’s +dresses”:

Here are some possible search queries that could trigger your ad:

  • women’s evening dresses
  • cheap dresses for women
  • women’s dress sale
  • designer womens dresses
  • party dresses for ladies
  • womens dress sizes

3. Phrase Match Type

Phrase match type is more specific than modified broad match and is indicated using quotation marks around your targeted keywords (e.g., “women’s dresses”). In this case, ads will only display if a user’s search query contains the exact keyword phrase with all its terms in the specified order, though additional terms may appear before or after the keyphrase.

A major advantage of employing the phrase match type is improved relevancy, ensuring your ad displays for audiences with a higher likelihood of interest. Still, its narrower approach could lead to less overall visibility and potentially missed opportunities.

For instance, targeting the keyword “women’s dresses” using a phrase match type might trigger ads for search queries such as:

  • buy women’s dresses online
  • women’s dresses on sale
  • designer women’s dresses
  • plus size women’s dresses
  • women’s dresses near me
  • evening women’s dresses

4. Exact Match Type

Exact match offers the most precise control of all match types, indicated by enclosing keywords within brackets, like this: [women’s dresses]. Utilizing exact match means ads will only appear if the users’ search query matches exactly, although close variations like misspellings and plurals may still be included.

Though exact match drastically reduces the chance of appearing for irrelevant searches, it also significantly narrows down visibility. That said, the selectivity may make sense for niche or highly specialized businesses seeking only well-targeted traffic.

If you opt for an exact match type with the keyword [women’s dresses], your ad might appear for search queries resembling:

  • womens dresses
  • woman’s dresses
  • women’s dress
  • womans dresses
  • women dresses
  • womens dress

5. Negative Keywords

Negative keywords function as an exclusion filter, preventing ads from displaying when specific words are present in the search query. They shield advertisers from potentially irrelevant or unrelated traffic, saving money by refining audience targeting and optimizing ad spend.

Typically taken from previous search data and user behavior analysis, negative keywords should be regularly reviewed and updated. By proactively identifying and eliminating terms that do not align with your business objectives, you can maintain a more relevant and effective advertising campaign.

Imagine you want to add the negative keyword “-cheap” for your women’s dresses campaign:

When users search for phrases like the following, your ad will not appear:

  • cheap women’s dresses
  • women’s dresses for cheap
  • cheap ladies dresses
  • discount women’s dresses
  • women’s inexpensive dresses
  • cheap designer women’s dresses

Summary Table:

Match Type Symbol Example Keyword Description
Broad None women’s dresses Ads may show on searches with any words related to women’s dresses.
Modified Broad + +women’s +dresses Ads may show on searches containing both words, in any order, along with other terms.
Phrase ” “ “women’s dresses” Ads may show on searches containing the exact phrase in order, plus any additional terms before or after.
Exact [] [women’s dresses] Ads may show on searches exactly matching the keywords, with some close variations allowed.
Negative -cheap Ads will not show on searches containing the negative keyword.

We hope this guide benefits your Google Ads journey by assisting you in understanding and utilizing different keyword match types. Mastering this aspect of advertising can make a tremendous difference when it comes to ad relevance, audience engagement, and overall return-on-investment.