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Understanding AdWords Keyword Match Types

Understanding and using the right keyword match types can make or break your AdWords campaigns. This video takes a look at the four match types and explains when (and when not) to use each of them.


Video Transcription

[00:00:11] That was the epic intro because this is epic stuff. Keyword match types. This is the basis, the foundation that your Adwords campaign is built on. If you don’t get it right you waste a lot of money. So we’re going to take a look at broad match keywords, exact match keywords, broad match modified keywords, phrase match keywords, all this nerdy glorious stuff that you might not know about now, by the end of this video you’re going to know which types to use when and how to get the most value out of each of them for your Adwords campaign. So let’s jump into the nerd factory.

[00:00:40] First I’ll take a look at what the four key word match types are in AdWords. In this little chart here courtesy of Cardinal Path, then we’ll jump across to some real AdWords accounts that we look after and explain how they all work in practice.

[00:00:53] So the first match type is broad and we do not like broad. OK. Repeat it after me. We hate broad, broad is no good. It’s no good because it wastes your budget. You know nine times out of ten if someone’s telling you “I tried AdWords and it didn’t work for me” the reason it didn’t work for them is because they’d probably just jumped straight into AdWords and typed the keywords straight in on Broad Match and it’s wasted all their budget.

[00:01:17] And the reason it wastes their budget is because Broad will pull in misspellings, synonyms, related searches, close variants, all sorts of wild and wonderfully related or very loosely related terms to the keyword that you’re using.

[00:01:30] And it’s Google that decides what these related terms are and what sort of related terms to show your ads for. So, let’s explain that a little clearer because I just stumbled over my words a bit there.

[00:01:42] In this example, ‘Bike Shop’ is an example of a broad match keyword, but it will match to ‘cycle store’ because it’s sort of similar to bike shop. It will also match to any keyword that someone is typing in that uses the word bike or any keyword that uses the word shop. So it could match for ice cream shop or record shop. So broad is bad. It wastes your budget. Don’t use it.

[00:02:04] Broad match modifier on the other hand is pretty decent. Now a broad match modified keyword looks like this. It has a plus in front of each word in what used to be the broad keyword here. Now what that does is tell Google that these words need to be in the search term.

[00:02:22] So it could be a search term that has other words in it but these two words have to be in it. So coming back to this example. Bike and shop are in there as broad match modified, so your ad would show for bike shop but it would also show for ‘bike repair shop’. It would also show for ‘mountain bike shop’. It would also show for you know ‘Balmain bike shop’, for example, the suburb we’re based in.

[00:02:47] So it basically just allows you to tighten up the targeting of your broad keywords but also allow the benefit of having your ads show for all sorts of wild wonderful terms that people will search for.

[00:03:00] Jumping down to phrase. You’ll see a phrase keyword that has these little inverted commas around them. Basically, these are search terms, well phrase matched search terms have to use that exact key word in it as is shown there.

[00:03:15] So coming back to our example here ‘bike shop’. It will show for a term like ‘local bike shop’. And again it would show for ‘mountain bike shop’ but it wouldn’t show for ‘cutting edge bike repairs and maintenance shop’ because it’s got ‘repairs and maintenance’ in between the words ‘bike’ and ‘shop’, so it’s basically these two words have to show in the same order in the search term.

[00:03:41] Now coming down to the last one exact match. This is essentially where you’re telling Google you want your ads only to show for that exact keyword or a really, really close variant of it. So you have to put it in these little brackets here. And in this example ‘bike shop’ will show for ‘bike shop’ but it won’t show any other terms because you’re specifically saying “Google I want you to only use this” so you have a lot more control over the search terms that are triggering your ads.

[00:04:06] So this is basically the match types. Let’s jump into AdWords and show you why broad is bad but also why the other three match types are not too bad.

[00:04:16] Let’s take a look at Broad match keywords first. We’re in an account these guys came to us to do a little bit of an audit of how their AdWords is set up and I can tell it’s not set up very well. This is why. Here is the keywords that they’re targeting, for their vasectomy and circumcision campaign.

[00:04:34] You can see they’ve got ‘Doctor’, ‘find a doctor’, all sorts of generic doctor terms on here on broad match. This is not good, you know here it’s telling Google to show your ads when ever anyone in your target area is searching the keyword ‘doctor’, but they could be using the word doctor with all sorts of weird and funky stuff that you don’t want your ads to be shown for because it’s never going to lead to a sale.

[00:04:58] So if we jump over to the search terms report here, here are all the terms that people have been searching.

[00:05:09] We do not want this stuff. We don’t want people searching for ‘Dr Porn’ or ‘doctor sexy movies’ or ‘Dr sexy Bob Dr sexy boob’. So great spelling there, you know as a medical centre that is just a waste of money, they spent a dollar sixty seven on that click. They spent 26 cents on this. They spent four dollars eighty on this click.

[00:05:29] And you can see this is just all through their search terms report. All sorts of junk, pure junk. So really there’s no reason to ever to be using broad match keywords. What a lot of people do when they set up their AdWords account is you know they think ok I am a doctor, I want to target the term doctor, but they don’t realize that with broad match, Google is going to throw out your ads for all sorts of terms using the word doctor like ‘Doctor porn’ and ‘Doctor sex com.

[00:05:59] So just don’t use broad match.

[00:06:01] Broad match modified keywords and exact match keywords are where all the action really happens in AdWords. So let’s have a look at that. I’m in a car transport company’s AdWords account here and you can see I’ve set up a broad match modified ad group trying to capture generic car transport searches.

[00:06:21] So I’ve done that by setting up a broad match modified keyword for ‘car’ and ‘transport’. So this is telling Google to show these ads whenever someone is using a search term that includes both the words ‘car’ and ‘transport.

[00:06:33] Let’s jump across to the search terms tab. Here are all the search terms that have been clicked on and triggered a click essentially in AdWords and over on the right hand side you can see all of these keywords have converted.

[00:06:46] So although I’m only using one keyword, ‘car transport’, because it’s a broad match modified, it’s coming in for all these different search terms here that are using ‘car transport’ in them and generating conversions and making this campaign in one month do over 64 conversions at a cost of six bucks per conversion.

[00:07:06] So this is a good example of how having one broad match modified keyword means that you are able to bring in all sorts of different keywords related to what it is you offer. So that’s why I like broad much modified.

[00:07:19] The downside of it is that you can bring in irrelevant keywords and have them trigger your ads. What you want to do with that is expand your negative keyword list to prevent your ads showing for the terms you don’t want them to. I’ve got another video on how to do that. So check that out. But the plus side is with broad match modified keyword targeting you can have your ads show for all sorts of different terms that you wouldn’t have thought of when you were setting up the campaigns.

[00:07:45] Exact match keywords are where you have the most control over what is triggering your ads. So we’ll jump back in this car transport account and we’ll go to a different campaign.

[00:07:55] So this campaign is Melbourne to Sydney so it’s specifically wanting to find people that are in Melbourne moving their car to Sydney and I have three different exact match ad groups set up for ‘car relocation’ type terms ‘car transport’ type terms and ‘vehicle transport’ type terms so let’s jump into the keywords tab.

[00:08:14] This is what it looks like, very targeted terms. In each of those ad groups. You can see it has got these brackets on the terms which is telling Google that these are exact match terms.

[00:08:25] If you jump over to the search terms report for the past month, this is it. You know it’s pretty low key because I’m using such tight keyword targeting. But you can see that you know most of these keywords they’re converting. So it’s a good thing because you can identify keywords that are performing well from the other campaigns and break them out and target them. So let’s say in your broad match modified campaign you might identify that car transport from Melbourne to Sydney was a really good keyword because it showed up a few times and it converted. You would then move that into an exact match campaign where you can bid more aggressively on that keyword and give it its own budget and give yourself the best chance of having more conversions.

[00:09:09] So exact match keywords are definitely very important in the mix. And I always like to set my accounts up so that it has a mix of broad match modified it to try and cast the net wide and then exact match to really go after the high converting keywords and spend the budget where the leads are going to come from.

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