Which Keyword Matching Options Should You Choose?
Don’t feel alone if you can’t make sense of Google AdWord’s matching options in your keywords list. Each type of punctuation — brackets, quotes, hyphens, or the lack of — tells Google whether a certain search query should trigger your ad.
In other words:
- A minus sign means "Don’t show my ad if this word or phrase is in the searcher’s query."
- Brackets mean "Show my ad ONLY if this matches exactly what the searcher typed—no more and no less."
- Quotation marks mean "Show my ad if this phrase is present (and in this order) in the search query."
Where PPC advertisers get into trouble is using no punctuation at all.
Guess what the most expensive matching option is.
You guessed it. If your keywords have no brackets, quotes, or hyphens, you’ve elected to pay extra for broad match.
Do you want your ad to show up for a broad range of queries, even those just barely similar to your keyword/phrase? It’s fine if you’re more concerned with exposure and branding, but if not, broad match is going to burn through your advertising budget before you know what hit you.
The smart advertisers pay a pro to research every possible phrase and word order people might use. That way they can use phrase or exact match and save money.
Priced out of the action but wanting to bid anyway? Then exact match will go easiest on your wallet and will deliver only the most targeted visitors. You won’t have to worry that the searcher’s query contained a term that’s a deal-breaker.
Negative match is your very best friend. This match type works like a filter to keep your ad from showing if certain words are in the searcher’s query. Embedded match is simply a negative phrase rather than just a word.
Needless to say, the proper amount of keyword research before bidding will determine whether you waste your money or spend it wisely on PPC.
By using the right matching option for each keyword, your Google AdWords campaign has the best chance for being cost-effective and successful!