I think most of you had heard about the ‘Pay-Per-Click’ campaign or PPC. If yes, then you also had heard about Adwords Keyword Match Types. Most of the PPC users get confused how to use these match types. If you are one of them then don’t worry here we How to Blog team are going to give you full details about it.

Did you notice when you were searching something on Google and in search result you got some beginning links which had title ‘ads’ beside that link? No, see the below image.

Adwords ad

Such links appear on a search result with the help of PPC campaign. These links are paid means if you want to appear your site’s link here as an ad then you have to pay for that and this is managed by the PPC campaign.

The pay-per-click campaign is very helpful for those who want more traffic on their site. To show your link at the top you have to manage some keywords, so when that keyword will trigger your link will appear.

But there are many keywords for any specific content then how can we know what reader will search? and how can we set that particular keyword for the PPC campaign?

The keyword is like fuel for the car, you must need it and to find out the proper one you can use Google Adwords where you can examine which keyword was widely searched by the people last year? From this survey you can find the best keyword and now set up your campaign.

Adwords Keyword Match Types

Adwords keyword match types

You are thinking that now keyword is fixed, so our job is done. NO. Google Adwords provides various types of keywords ‘Match types’ and with a help of this, you can control your campaign nicely for maximum output. Every match type has their own pros and cons. So, here we will go through all match types one by one and then decide which one is more useful to you.

Broad Match

This one is the default match type when you add any keyword for your campaign. You don’t have to do anything special to assign Broad Match type, just type your keyword normally e.g. cheap blue jeans, best chinese food, online vegetable store etc.

Using broad match keywords your ads will be triggered on searches that have any of this word including the separate word. Apart from this searches that include misspelling, plural words and synonyms of your keywords will trigger your ad. Order of words does not matter.

This happens because Google helps you to reach the wider audience and that is why it is called Broad Match.


  • Trigger your ad for not related keywords
  • Clicks from irrelevant users


  • Help to get more traffic
  • To build brand

Broad Match Modifier

If you say Broad Match version 1.0 then Broad Match Modifier is version 2.0 means it is advanced version. You will get more control on keywords and it will help you to show your ads to the related audience.

To use broad match modifier you have to add ‘+’ sign before each word of your keyword e.g. +cheap +blue +jeans, +best +chinese +food, +online +vegetable +store. This helps to understand the search engines that we want to trigger our ads for these specific keywords only.

Now ads will appear only for these keywords unlike its synonyms and related words. But your ad may appear if it includes any of the single words from your keyword. For example, your ad for cheap blue jeans may appear for blue dress keyword. But compare to broad match you have more control ads.


  • Will not cover large audience
  • Less traffic as searching terms are restricted


  • No more irrelevant clicks
  • Helps to get good CTR
  • Better control over Broad Match

Phrase Match

This type is very restrictive but very useful if you really know which keywords you want to target. To use Phrase Match type you have to write your keyword inside double quotation mark (“”). Like “best thai food” and “latest songs”.

For phrase match, your ad will appear only when the exact word is searched and that is also in the same order. Any other text is included here before and after the keyword. Apart from that singular and plural form, misspellings and abbreviations will be taken into consideration.

Let’s understand it with an example. For your “best thai food” keyword search term could be best thai food in town, best thai food recipes but not thai food restaurants and best thai salad recipe.

I think now you got it, so I just want to tell you that just use this type only when you are sure about keywords. Why? Because as we have seen above that some keywords will not trigger your ad, so you will lose some traffic.


  • You may miss other important audience
  • Need quality work to list out keywords


  • High CTR
  • Your ads will appear in Bold
  • Campaign cost will be less and better ROI

Exact Match

This is the most restrictive type from all adwords keyword match types. As the name suggests it is the exact match, so here I want to warn you that use Exact Match only when you want to appear your ad for any specific keyword. No, any word will come before or after the keyword, so be more specific while you are listing your keywords.

To use this type, just write your keyword in square bracket ([]). For example [hp pen drives], [ethnic wears for men]

Now let’s understand what does this. For [hp pen drives] keyword, your ad will appear for the same keyword not for hp 16 GB pen drive or hp pen drives 16 GB.


  • It will reduce traffic
  • Less impression


  • Best control on keywords
  • High CTR and less campaign cost

Negative Keywords

In Broad Match, Broad Match Modifier and Phrase Match we have seen that our ads could be triggered by some non-related keywords also. To remove such inconsistency Negative Keyword is very useful.

By using such keywords, you are telling Google that does not show an ad for these keywords. This is very useful when you using Match, Broad Match Modifier and Phrase Match type, so don’t forget to add negative keywords to these three types.

To add negative keywords you have to use negative sign (-) before the keyword e.g. if your keyword is best veg restaurant and you don’t want to show you an ad for nonveg restaurant then add (-nonveg) (no need to place bracket) in the campaign to stop it.


  • You have to be more careful to use this because using too many negative keywords can restrict your ads


  • Improved ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Improved CTR
  • Improved campaign performance

Final words

Don’t get confused. All these types have their own benefits and you can use them according to your need. If your campaign is all about to improve brand awareness, then you should go for match types which give higher impressions. But, if it is about to get more conversions, then one should go for match types which are restrictive when it comes to impressions and clicks. If it is about to get more traffic, then you can go for a combination of Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier.

After assigning keywords and types you can change them anytime, so don’t be afraid to experiment because that’s how you will learn.

I hope this guidance on Adwords Keyword Match Types might help you to start your own PPC campaign. Please share with your friends also.

Adwords Keyword Match Types: All You Need to Know

One thought on “Adwords Keyword Match Types: All You Need to Know

  • February 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

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