Are you getting confused for each keyword in your Google AdWords campaign? Should your AdWords ad only appear if the keyword is entered exactly as you have entered it? Or, should your AdWords ad also appear if the user has used another word in addition to your keyword, or your keywords are in a different order? You can specify with which searches your keywords appear with the Keyword Matching Options from Google AdWords. You can significantly reduce your costs and also increase your ROI by using the Keyword Matching Options.
There are four keyword matching options in Google AdWords:
- Broad match
- Phrase match
- Exact match
- Negative keyword.
1. Broad Match
Definition: “Broad match” is the most comprehensive option and the default setting. The words in your keyword or key phrase can appear in any order. Other words may also appear in the search that are not in your keyword.
Example: If your keyword is Chicago Restaurants, then your ad will appear when a search is made for Chicago Restaurants, as well as Restaurants Chicago, Chicago Italian Restaurants, Chicago Seafood Restaurants, Downtown Chicago Restaurants
Advantage: This option tends to save your time because you no need to type in all possible combinations and additional keywords.
Disadvantage: Your ads may be displayed for searches that have nothing to do with your intended target, e.g. Fire Accident in Chicago Restaurant. That means your conversion rates for this keyword matching option may not be as high as you would like as with the other keyword matching options.
2. Phrase Match
Definition: If you enter your keyword in quotation marks, your ad will appear when a user searches on the phrase in exactly the right order.
Example: If your keyword is “Chicago Restaurants” (note the quotation marks), then your ad is not displayed for Restaurants Chicago or Chicago Italian Restaurants, but is displayed for Chicago Restaurants or Downtown Chicago Restaurants or Chicago Restaurants Open Times. The words in your keyword must be in the same order .
Advantage: With this keyword matching option, your ads are more targeted and your conversion rates improve.
Disadvantage: The user must enter your keywords in the right order.
Activation: Enter a keyword in quotation marks to activate this option for the keyword.
3. Exact Match
Definition: If you surround your keywords in square brackets, your AdWords ad is only displayed if the user searches exactly for the words in the keyword and in the exact same order. No other words can be included in the search.
Example: If your keyword is [Chicago Restaurants] (note the square brackets), then your ad appears only and exclusively with a search for Chicago Restaurants and not with a search for Restaurants Chicago or Chicago Italian Restaurants.
Advantage: This keyword option is the most targeted. With this option, you can specify precisely for which searches your ad should be displayed. Only the users you expect visit your site.
Disadvantage: This keyword matching option excludes many searches, so that your keyword may receive only a few searches.
Activation: Enter a keyword in brackets to activate this option for the keyword.
4. Negative Keyword
Definition: This keyword option is somewhat unusual in that it affects all other keywords in the Ad Group or the campaign. If you enter a keyword preceded by a minus sign, then this keyword is a negative keyword. That means your AdWords ad is not turned on, if the query contains the negative keyword.
Example: Let’s say your keyword list contains the keyword Chicago Restaurants and the negative keyword – open times (note the minus sign before “open times”). If someone then searches for Chicago Restaurants Open Times or Chicago Open Times Restaurants, your ad does not appear.
Advantage: This keyword matching option is very powerful because it allows you to exclude many searches that are not of interest to you. For example, it is worth it to add the -free negative keyword to nearly every Ad Group or campaign, so that your ad is not displayed for people that are looking for something.
Disadvantage: Be careful when using negative keywords, because you can easily exclude many searches that could be your potential customers.
Activation: Enter a minus sign before a keyword to turn it into a negative keyword. Additional suggestions for negative keywords are available in Increase your ROI with Negative Keyword Research Tools.
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