February 3, 2021

minutes read

Keyword Match Types

We all know that keywords play a very important role when it comes to increasing the digital presence of your online business.

It doesn’t matter if you own an ecom store, provide Saas, or are involved in teaching classes online. If potential customers can’t find you or know you exist your business won’t grow.

It’s very important to use a tool such as Google Ads and get your business on the first page of the google search results.

That’s because 98 percent of the people work with the businesses that are on the first page of google.

We’ve all heard the saying “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of the Google search results.”

The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of the Google search results.

Creating a well-crafted and effective keyword strategy is not a piece of cake, especially when advertising your business with Google Ads.

In this article, we will discuss the keywords match types and different ways to organize them in Google ads. Let's first discuss what the different keyword match types are.

Keyword Match Types

There are four different keyword match types that you can use while creating a text ad campaign, which are:

  • Broad Match
  • Modified Broad Match
  • Phrase Match
  • Exact Match

Each of the match types mentioned above comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss each type in detail.

Broad Match Type

It’s the default keyword match type that allows you to reach the maximum audience.

It makes your ads eligible to show up even if the search query of the user contains only a single word that exists in your key phrase.

The drawback of this keyword match type is that it even appears on the searches which are irrelevant to your business.

This is not a good option because you can find yourself wasting a lot of you budget showing your ads to the wrong prospects.

A good keyword strategy lets you “show the right ad, to the right prospect, at the right time.”

Modified Broad Match Type

As the name suggests, it’s the modified form of Broad Match. It’s also considered as a middle ground between more restrictive match types and broad match types.

It provides functionality to reach a wide audience but in a controlled manner by using the “+” sign.

The “+” sign means that you want to include the specific term in the search query.

Phrase Match Type

The phrase match type allows you to add even more restrictions.

 It means that your ad will only appear if the user follows the words and their order that completely matches your keywords.

But it allows the ads to show up if a user adds more words after or before his/her query that matches your keyword.

Exact Match Type

The Exact Match type, as the name suggests, will only allow your ads to show up when the user's query 100 percent matches your keywords.

However, Google has recently made some changes in the Exact Match type.

Now your ads might show up if the user's query contains plurals, synonyms, or some other keyword variations.

Keyword types

Best ways to Organize Match Types!

When you have more than one keyword in your AdWords account, then it is easier for them to trigger Google to show your ad to them.

Bear in mind that the constraints and the functionality can go beyond just the keyword match type and you can limit when Google shows your ad by time, location, etcetera.

Google doesn’t always show the phrase match over the broad match type and exact match type over phrase match. We recommend you use the following strategies to make the best out of your Google Ad Campaigns.

Add More Than One Match Type to Your Same Ad Group!

Consider adding the same keyword to the same ad campaigns multiple times with different match types. This strategy comes with the following advantages and disadvantages.


Applying this strategy gives you fewer ad groups to make and optimize.

Not only does it save you money, but it also saves a lot of time on creating additional ad groups and maintaining them.

This strategy is the best for business owners that don’t want to spend excessive amount of time reviewing and managing their ad campaigns.


The biggest disadvantage of this strategy is that you cannot write your ads by the match types.

The exact match allows you to guess the intent of your users, so you can create specific to the keyword ads.

On the other hand, the broad match doesn't allow you to guess your user intent, so you'll need to write a general ad copy in order to include your keyword.

For example, if you own an ecommerce store and you use the phrase match “evening dress” your ad can show up for “red evening dress”, “black evening dress”, “blue evening dress”.

This is great, unless you only sell black evening dresses and that the product page that you send the searcher to.

Restrict the Match Types by Different Ad Groups

If you want to advertise your business on both phrase match and exact match terms, you can create multiple ad groups that contain each match type.


This approach comes with several advantages, and the very first one is that all the queries with proper keyword match will display your ads in the search results.

This way, you can also write your ad copy for different match types.


By far, the biggest disadvantage of this strategy is that your AdWords account will suddenly have a lot of ad groups.

This method can cause you to spend a lot of time daily managing your ad account.

Restrict the Match Types by Your AdWords Campaigns

This strategy is the most comprehensive one, but it takes a little more work as compared to the rest.

That's because you'll also have to add all the negative keywords by the match type.

This way is the most time consuming to set up and in the initial stages but can be very beneficial over time.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to allocate the required budget for each campaign. Otherwise, your campaigns will not generate enough traffic for you to optimize your campaigns.

Not having enough allocated to each campaign comes with the following advantages and disadvantages.


The biggest advantage of this strategy is that it allows you to adjust both the budget and bids by the match types.

Just like the second strategy, you can also write your ad copy for keyword and match type organization.


The biggest disadvantage of this strategy is that you’ll very quickly have a lot of  campaigns to manage.

This can cost you even more money and time. That’s why this strategy is not recommended for business owners who have limited time and budget.


None of the strategies to organize the match type are inherently better or worse.

It depends upon your requirements and the current situation of your digital presence, and each strategy can serve you well from time to time.

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Jaimi Saunders

Need a Digital Marketing Agency that Maximizes Customer Value and Lower Cost Per Acquisition?

I’m the founder of Keystone Ad Agency and we help small businesses optimize their media strategy to lower cost while increasing revenue.

Questions? Contact me at KeystoneAdAgency.com

J'aimi M Saunders

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