Google Ads keywords and search types

In Google Ads, using keyword match types correctly is important because they help you better reach your intended audience while avoiding so-called unnecessary clicks that don’t bring business to your business.

When you add keywords to your ad groups, you can choose to Ads of the four types of keyword research which option you want to use for each keyword. The search type options are: broad match, broad match editing, phrase search, and advanced search. Each type of search has its pros and cons.

We went through each type of search from wide to narrow.

Broad search

Broad match is the broadest of all keyword search types, so be careful. With broad match, your ads can appear with very broad search queries that you might not even think of yourself. Therefore, broad match keywords show your ads on many more words than just the keywords you add.

When you use broad match, your ads can appear when your search phrase includes your exact keyword, your keywords in any order, synonyms of your keywords, and other words added to your keywords.

Additionally, your ads may appear on close variations of your keywords. Related variations include misspellings, acronyms, singular and plural forms, derived variants, abbreviations, and various spellings.

The good thing about broad match is that you get a lot of impressions and clicks on your ads. The search terms report allows you to detect new and longer keywords that triggered your ad.

The downside of broad match: You get a lot of searches and clicks that lead to high costs. Clicks and impressions may not produce the results you want because your ads may appear on many different search terms.

Example of a broad match keyword match type:

your keyword is men’s shoes. Your ads may appear on the following search terms:

  • Men’s shoes: your exact keyword
  • Men’s footwear: Footwear is synonymous with shoes
  • Order men’s shoes: a word has been added in front of the keywords
  • Men’s black shoes – a word has been added in the middle of your keywords
  • Men’s shoes online: A word has been added after the keywords

Edit broad match

With broad match editing, you can improve the relevance of your ads because your ads are no longer synonymous with your keywords. Your ads will appear when a search term includes the keywords you’ve added, in any order, and their close variations.

Benefits of editing your broad match: Your ads will appear when your keywords are in any order in the search query, and you can add words before, after, or in the middle of your keywords.

The downsides of broad match editing: You get fewer searches than broad match, and you can still show your ads on so-called unnecessary searches.

Example of the broad match search type:

your keyword is men’s shoes. Your ad may appear for the following search terms:

  • Men’s shoes: Your exact keyword
  • Order men’s shoes: a word has been added in front of the keywords
  • Men’s shoes online – added keywords after keywords
  • Men’s black shoes: a word has been inserted between your keywords

Your ad is not showing:

  • Men’s footwear: Synonym

You can use the broad match custom search type by adding a plus sign (+) in front of your keywords. In this case, it would look like this + men + shoes

Phrase search

With phrase search, your ads will appear on your exact keyword and whether words are added before or after the keyword. Your ads will also appear on close variations of your keywords. Phrase search gives you much more control over which words trigger your ad.

Pros: You can better target your ads to successful searches, and your ad won’t appear on synonyms, and your search phrase must include the keywords you add in the correct order.

Disadvantages of Phrase Search: You get less traffic.

Example of a search term for a phrase match keyword:

your keyword is men’s shoes. Your ads may appear on the following search terms:

  • Men’s shoes: Your exact keyword
  • Men’s shoes online: A word has been added after the keyword
  • Order men’s shoes: a word has been added in front of the keyword

Your ad would not show for:

  • Men’s footwear: Synonym
  • Men’s black shoes: a word has been inserted between your keywords

You can use the phrase match type for your keyword by enclosing the keyword in quotes (“”). In this case, it would look like “Men’s Shoes”.

Exact search

With advanced search, you show your ads only when a person enters their exact keyword as a search phrase. It’s a good idea to use Advanced Search when you know exactly which word works well.

Advantages of Advanced Search: You know exactly what word(s) your ads are showing on, your ads are sure to match what you’re looking for, and you know exactly how you’re getting results.

Disadvantages of Advanced Search: You get less traffic. Advanced search will only trigger your ad if your exact keyword is entered as a search phrase, without adding any other words, and will not pull new keyword ideas from the search terms report.

Exact match keyword match type example: ¨

your keyword is men’s shoes. Your ads may appear on the following search terms:

  • Men’s shoes: Your exact keyword

Your ad is not showing for the search query

  • Men’s footwear: Synonym
  • Men’s black shoes: a word has been inserted between your keywords
  • Order men’s shoes: a word has been added in front of the keywords
  • Men’s shoes online: A word has been added after the keywords

You can use the advanced search keyword by enclosing the keyword in square brackets ([ ]). In this case, it would look like this. [miesten kengät].

Summary of Google Ads keyword search types

Without the correct use of keyword match types, making an Adwords account profitable is next to impossible. They save you money and allow you to better reach the audience you want.

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