Keyword Match Types

Keyword Match Types & Best Practices

There’s a lot to say about keywords and their importance for your eCommerce. To put it bluntly, keywords are the backbone of your advertising operations. They decide what people will see and how your store will gain more exposure. As you can already tell, it’s of the utmost importance to get your keywords to their most optimal. 

Don’t worry just yet, there is a plethora of information out there to help you through this endeavor. In this post, we will be condensing that information for you and talk more in depth about keyword match types. Our goal is to help you have a better understanding of keywords and allow you to decipher which of them will help your business succeed. If you have any questions while reading feel free to reach us at enjoy!

What Is a Keyword Match Type?

A keyword match type can be classified as a certain parameter or avenue that controls what type of searches trigger your ads. There are a few different match types that can be applicable to your store, all with their own significant uses. Here is a concise list of the different keyword match types:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

Broad Match

As the name suggests, this type of match type is a base-line approach for the exposure of your website. If you are more liberal with your approach to advertising, this match type might be best for you. You may not have an audience set in stone, and therefore would like to survey the land and see what comes. Let’s say you have a store that sells Halloween costumes, and really need your advertising to assist you in the month of October. This year you’ve decided to use the keyword “men’s Halloween costumes” for some of your ads. By using a broad match, a customer’s search may be as simple as “scary costumes” or even “Halloween mask for boys” for them to receive your ads. As you can see, the direct words of the keywords don’t have to be present for results. Although this can be certainly beneficial for your advertising efforts, and can also have a negative impact if things get too crowded with other advertisers. 

Broad Match Modifier

This match type is a slightly amped up version of the original broad match. It gives more control to you as it allows you to decide which words will have to be included in a search for your ad to appear. All you have to do is put a plus sign next to the word that you want to be included, and that word will be required in a search for your ad to appear. To continue the example of the Halloween costume store, your keywords may look like this: “+scary +Halloween +costumes”. If someone is to see your ads with those keywords, their search would have to be something like this: “scary costumes for Halloween” or “Halloween costumes that are really scary”. Obviously there are many other variations of searches that might trigger your ads, so it’s important to spend some time to decide what you want your keywords to be if you use this match type. It’s also important to note that close variants of your keywords can be applicable to your ads appearing, but nothing too far off. 

Phrase Match

This match type is similar to that of broad match in the sense that it has a loose association with the keywords being used. In this instance, the keywords are being used as a phrase and are followed as such while allowing close variations of the phrase itself. Along with this, it allows additional words to be included before and after the phrase to give a wider scope. An example of this match type for the Halloween store might be a simple phrase like “Halloween costumes”. As a result of this phrase, your ad may appear on searches such as: “funny Halloween costumes” or “funny Halloween costumes on sale”. As long as the phrase is being used, the user will be able to see the ad that you decided to put out. 

Exact Match

Last but not least, we have the exact match keyword type. This might be the most simplest of all of them, but is also the most stringent. For this match type there is a much smaller scope of possibilities where your ads can appear. As the name once again suggests, exact matches of your keywords will trigger your ad. There is a little wiggle room as very close variations of the exact term with the same meaning are accepted. By using the keywords “Halloween costume” for this match type, a user’s search would have to be something like “Halloween costume” or “costume for Halloween”. As you can tell this may be a very effective method because it’s cut and dry with your potential customers. However, using this will make choosing keywords a harder and more expensive endeavor. 

It can get very confusing differentiating between these match types and deciding which would be best for your store. If you want a more in depth analysis of each match type go here

To Sum Things Up

You’ll come to find that keywords truly are the backbone of any successful store. They can also become difficult to manage if you don’t have the proper information to apply to your efforts. I hope you were able to get a little more clarity on the subject itself and are ready to take your store to the next level. If you need additional help finding the right keywords for your store, Clever Ads offers a useful keyword planner for just that. Thanks for reading and best of luck!


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