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Understanding Match Types Tutorial

3.2 Introduction

Hello, I am Brad Geddes, the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the founder of Adalysis, and the PPC Faculty Chair for Market Motive. In this video, we're going to look at keyword match types.

3.3 Reminders

Now just as a reminder, a search query is what a user types into a search engine. Your keyword is what you put into your paid search account. And so the purpose of match types is to determine how closely related your keywords must be to the search query before your ad can be displayed. And there's four types of match types that we'll examine.

3.4 Exact Match

Now, the most restrictive match type is known as exact match. This is often displayed in brackets, and in some engines you may have a drop down box to pick the match type. And your search query must match the keyword. Now, it must match the word, but you can show for things like misspellings, singulars, plurals and different stemming. So, lets look at some examples. So, lets say we have the exact match keyword in our account: brew coffee makers. We have a list of queries. The question is did this query make your ad show? If you have the exact match Brew Coffee Makers. So, if we have the query Brew Coffee Makers, yes it's going to show is the exact word. If we have Brewing Coffee Makers It's just a stemming variation your ad can show. If we have brew coffee maker the word coffee is misspelled. You can also show cause you can show for misspellings in singular and plural words. If we have coffee makers brew It's a different word ordering. So, our keyword is not going to trigger the ad. if we have black brew coffee makers, there's an additional word in the search query than our keyword. We're not going to show in that case. So, exact match is the most restricted match type, where the query has to match your keyword. But you can show for slight variations of stemmings, plural, singular, so forth.

3.5 Phrase Match

The second most restrictive match type is known as phrase match. This is often displayed in quotes. The search query must contain the keyword in that same order. But there can be additional words before or after the query. And also, just like exact match, your words can show if the query is just a misspelling, or singular plural different stemmings. So let's take the same keyword, Brew Coffee Makers, but let's put it in phrase match, in quotes. So if we ask did the query trigger this ad? Brew Coffee Makers. It's the exact word, your ad does show. Brewing Coffee Makers. It's just a stem you can also show. Same for the third one, Brew Cofee Maker. A misspelling of Coffee, you can show. Exact match, words, and phrase match, those can all show the same way. Where phrase match is different, is there can be words before or after. But if we take a word like Coffee Makers that Brew, the word ordering is different, you're not going to show. But for a query like, Black Brew Coffee Makers, there's an additional word, Black, which is in the query but not in our keyword. But because the rest of the query contains our words in the same order, Brew, Coffee, Makers, then we can show for that particular query. Now this formatting of brackets and and quotation marks, they're just in your account. The user doesn't have to search with these particular operators in their actual formatting of their query.

3.6 Broad Match

So Broad Match is the most liberal of the matching queries. This is often displayed without any formatting. And the search query must be somewhat related to your key word. You can again, still show for misspelling, singular plurals and related words. So, if we use that same example, Brew Coffee Makers. We have a list of queries, and when we say, can this query trigger our ad? Well, Brew Coffee Makers, it's the exact word, it can show. Brewing Coffee Makers, it's a stemming, it can show. Brew Cofee misspelled maker, yes it can show. Now where Broad Match is tough sometimes is a word like coffee pot. Well, I coffee maker or coffee pot, they're similar, even though the word brew is not in that query, it's likely to show as it's related to the query. Where like, Starbucks coffee, you might show, you might not, it's related. Starbucks sells brew coffee makers, it's coffee, Starbucks is highly relevent to the terms coffee, and this is where Broad Match is very difficult, to say, can you show for a query or not? Because an engine can kind of turn the dial more liberal or more restrictive to see how they're doing from an advertisers stand point and monetary standpoint. And so with Broad Match, you can never say this query will show for this keyword when you get into somewhat related words such as Coffee pot or Starbucks coffee. And this why examining search queries is so important with broad match is often what advertisers believe are related and search engines believe are related, are not always the same thing.

3.7 Modified Broad Match

>> Now, to have the advantage of Broad Match, though, is that the word orderings don't matter. That's one of the real advantages. But Broad Match can be pretty liberal. So, we have what's also known as modified Broad Match. Now, this is still known in accounts as BrMatch itself. If you see a drop down list of match types, you'll still be picking Broad Match as that match type. But what you can do, then, within that match type is add a plus symbol before one or more of the keywords in a keyword phrase that you want to be highly related to the query. And then, words without that plus symbol will be considered Broad Match. And we'll walk through some examples because this is a bit confusing at first. But from our example standpoint, if we say the key word is plus brew plus coffee plus makers, what we're saying is that the query has to have something highly related to each of those words in the query. But there can still be more words in the query than we have. So, if we take a word like brew coffee makers, it's exact word, it's going to show. If we say black coffee makers, the word brew is not in that query. We're probably not going to show. And, again, you can't use absolutes always with search engines. But most likely would not show for that. If it were true Broad Match we probably would show for black coffee maker query with the Broad Match word brew coffee makers. With modified Broad Match would probably would not show. Coffee makers that brew. Yes, we would show all the words who are in that query. Different order doesn't matter with Broad Match types. But word like coffee pot, we're definitely not going to show for modified Broad Match. Starbucks coffee we're definitely not going to show. So, Broad Match types have this advantage that the word orderings don't matter. Broad Match can be liberal in it's showing, modified based upon where you put those plus symbols. And that phrase determines how closely relevant, or how far away, that query has to be to that modified broad keyword.

3.8 Modified Broad Example: Cake

Let's look at some examples. So I was working on an account that had the word, wedding cake in it Broad Matched. And unfortunately, the top search query triggering their ad was how to make a Dora Cupcake. These aren't highly related terms, but from the search engine standpoint this was close enough that they were actually showing for this term. They were also showing for things like Wholesale Wedding Supplies. So, that's not good matches. In Broad Match you can show a lot. It's great to do research and find a universe of words out there you might not have. But if you want to control costs and really focus on conversions, Broad Match can be pretty difficult. So let's look at how we could do Modified Broad Match in some example queries we could show for. So if we put in our account the keyword. +Wedding and then the word Cake. What we're saying now is the word Wedding matters, right, the event type, but the pastry type, cake, doesn't so we might show for things like Wedding Cupcakes, Wedding Cake, the actual query. How to make Wedding Cupcakes, red velvet wedding cake. But the word Wedding is in our query or something very closely related like wed could be in our query. Now if instead we said, well we don't care about the event type. Wedding, Broad Matched +Cake. The word Cake is Modified Broad Match. Now we're saying the even doesn't matter. The pastry type does. So we want it to show for Wedding cake, Anniversary cake, How to bake a wedding cake. And again, that word cake could be cakes, like a plural, you could have a misspelling in there. But now we're matching to a pastry and not the events. We could use it for all the words, to say +Wedding +Cake. Now we're going to show for Wedding cake. Red wedding cake. How to bake wedding cakes, plural. Compound words are difficult. Wedding cheesecake. You usually show for compounds, but not all always.

3.9 Modified Broad Example: Shoes

Let's take another example. Let's say you're selling Nike shoes. So, if you did plus red Nike shoe, you're telling the engine that the color matters. But the brand and the shoe type doesn't, so you could potentially show for red Adidas sandals. Adidas and Nike are just brands. Shoes and sandals are footwear you might show for that. Now if we did something like red plus Nike plus shoes, we're saying the color doesn't matter, but it's gotta be a Nike and it's gotta be a shoe type. So we might show for green Nike shoes, Nike shoes without a color, grey Nike shoes. So now we're saying, we want to narrow this down on the Nike shoe part, but we don't really care what the color or size. We're just modifiers. And so with modified broad, every word could have the plus sign, only one or two words within in, your keyword phrase could have that plus sign, it's up to you. Generally, most advertisers find good success with modified broad match when they put the plus sign in front of all the words that really matter. So words that might not matter are our stop words, like in or the, and, you often don't want to modify broad match those. But Nike shoes is important, now if you brokered out your ad groups to be red Nike shoes, green Nike shoes, yellow Nike shoes. And you have different ads and landing pages by color variation. You'd want to make plus Red modified broad match too with the term Nike shoes, so that it only shows from that ad group. because if we have one ad group with red plus Nike plus shoes. And a different ad group with green plus Nike plus shoes. A query like green Nike shoes, could show from either ad group, because that color's broad. If all the colors are just variations of a key word withIn one ad group, then you might now have to modify broad matching.

3.10 Match Type Organization

You can have an ad group with every match type in it. What you want to do in those cases is make sure your exact match which is the highest user intent. You know what the user searched for. Should be your highest CPC. Your phrase match, a little lower. Your modified broad, a little lower. Your broad match the lowest. So that when the user query is specific to your keyword, the most specific keyword shows in your account. This keeps your stats cleaner so that your modified broad is not capturing exact match queries and it makes your bidding better. So you can mix and match them in an ad group. Another common organization is to do it by campaign types. Say here's our exact match works, they're in one campaign. Our phrase match, a different one. And you've got to use negatives, we'll touch on in a next video to make sure that the correct campaign shows. But it's a pretty easy organization and this way exact match is going to be your best converting word. Therefore, it's your highest budget outside of potentially brand items. Phrase match, you know the second most about what a user searched for. Your second highest budget, and then modified broad would often remain manipulate your budget to hit any run rates or targets.

3.11 Which Match Types to Use?

So we think about which match type should be used. See, these are right and wrong answers. They're different ways of reaching users and they have different attributes to them. So for instance, when you think about your keywords, broad match is going to have more impressions in exact, but it's going to give you less control. So the least amount of impressions but the most control is exact. Then phrase, then modified broad, then broad. So if you want every possible impression, you're going to use some broad match. If you want a lot of control over when your ad is displayed, you're going to use a lot of exact match. Now this also gets into spend and feedback by match type. So if you have a really high budget, often you're going to get into phrase modified and broad match. If you want lots of query expansion, broad match is good. Again, do you want control or do you want impressions? Do you have a low budget or a high budget? This will help you determine, by thinking through these questions, which match types you want to use. So if you're on a low budget you're probably going to start with exact maybe some phrase match get some ideas of what's working and then expand to modify broad. Now if you have a low budget but you're only advertising in a small city, then you might start with modified broad. If you have a medium budget, you want to learn about what users are searching for, take a look at your keyword queries and then create ad groups as necessary or add more match types and control. Then you'll often start with exact modified broad. And then you'll be adding phrase match as you get this data. If you have a high budget but you want control. You might start with three of these exact phrase and modified broad match. Because that way you've got this combination of control. And with modified broad you can reach some pretty high budget limits. If you have a really high budget and you really want to learn about users, first, see your stats everywhere, get a fast jump on your account and then take control once you get data. Then you'll often start with Modified Broad, maybe some Broad Match and then add Exact and Phrase over time. So there's not right or wrong by match sites. It's all about control vs impressions vs budget items. The most control is exact match, the least amount of control is broad matched. Modified broad is a great match type to start with as well in any circumstance because it gives you the ability to show for highly related queries but the word orderings don't matter for those queries. The modifiers before and after the queries don't matter. So you can get a lot of data quickly and then decide what works well, you make an exact match. And we'll talk about negatives in a different video. But that stops your ad from showing if certain queries don't convert for you.

3.12 Recap

So, when you think about match types, first you've got restrictive match types. So, exact match shows, when the query is the same as your keyword. There can't be words before or after your keyword in the query. If there are, your ad won't show. Phrase match shows when the query contains your words in the same order but there can be something before or after, or both, your keyword. Now, both of these can show for singulars, plurals, misspellings, alternate stemming and so forth. Broad match words. You've got broad match. True broad match shows when the query is somewhat related to your keyword. And somewhat's a vague term, but it's often difficult to tell what an engine will or won't match you to with broad match. So, be careful of using it. It can be really, really broad. It's good, if you just want to capture every possible related term, it's great. If you have a research budget, that's not our ROI budget, you're trying to learn about users, it's great. If you're really controlling spend, you don't want to use a lot of broad match. Now, modified broad shows when the query's highly related to your word, assuming you used plus symbols in most of the query or most of your keyword. But again, the word doesn't matter, it's a great match type to start with. It's a good middle ground between control and impressions. But in both cases, broad or modified broad, the word ordering of the query no longer matters. So, just as a reminder, the search query is what the user typed into an engine that made your ad show. So then, what you want to is look for queries to words you want to remove or queries are shown for that aren't in your account that you want to add, to then control these over time. And so, in our next video, we'll get into negative words which stops your ads from showing, and how to find the queries that users are actually using that trigger your ads, so you can take even more control of your ad serving with positive words and negatives. Just remember, there's not a best or worst match types, all right. Match types are all about control versus spend versus impressions. And so, if you want amazing control, exact match is wonderful but it's not going to show for any expansion of words. Modified broad is a great one to start with because work ordering don't matter but you might not want to use it on all your words. So, you might even have scenarios. Where you've got words that are two word combinations, high search volume, you only use exact match on them. When there are other words that have lower search volumes, but are more related to your business, use modify broad match. S,o every word in your account doesn't even have to have the same match set. You can have some really high volume words exact match. Modified broad is great for long tail words. And so, as you do your keyword research and you structure your ad groups, keep in mind, the match types you want to use, whether it's one or multiple for those keywords. Based upon your budgets, the user intents, where the user is in the buying funnel, so that you can control your budget and make sure that you're only spending your budget on words that are going to help you reach your overall marketing goals. While making sure you're not missing big parts of the keyword, you never stop there because you were too restrictive in your match types. So, if you want to control exact match, lots and lots of impressions broad match. Modify broad for most companies is a great starting place, then you can refine things from there, which we'll look at in our next video. But controlling match types helps you control budgets, while still getting lots of good conversions in your account. So, you've got a nice profitable paid search account to work with in your marketing efforts.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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