What are Keyword Match Types? All You Need To Know in 2022.

Once your Google Ads account is ready, there is only one thing left to explore: keyword match types. If you are here, you know that keywords are important to Google. They are at the core of search engine optimization and pay-per-click ad marketing.


Managing a Google Ads campaign for your business requires a lot of time and research. Have the best Google Ads experts at MK WAY manage it for you while you manage your business. Get a quote today.


Cost-per-click (CPC) and the volume of the keywords matter. But, even a tiny misspelling by searchers can leave your keyword non-functional. So, there is much more that goes into knowing how to choose PPC keywords.

man holding a large coin indicating financial success when you choose proper keyword match types

How to choose PPC keywords? Using Google Keyword Planner.

So, the next step in your business’s growth is advertising. And, for that, you need a structured Google Ads campaign. Looking up PPC ​​keyword match types related to your business is easy and you can do it easily through Google’s Keyword Planner or other online free/paid keyword match types tools.

You start with opening up your ad’s landing page and a word document or sheet. Then, you note down words that relate to what you will be advertising. Once the list is ready, enter them into Google’s Keyword Planner. You can do it through your Google Ads account.

The Google Keyword Planner and keyword match types tools show you the volume of traffic related to the keywords. And, it will give a rough idea of what the cost-per-click for those keywords will be. This way, you can easily plan your budget and deal with negative keyword match types.

What Are Keyword Match Types: The First Step

Keyword match types need attention if your aim is to make every click count. Through Google Ads, you can bid on specific keywords that you feel will boost your business on Google. As an advertiser, you can choose to focus your ads towards:

    • clicks,
    • impressions,
    • conversions on your website,
    • target views for videos,
    • creating awareness for your brand,  and
    • getting engagements for your business.

Google uses keyword match types to differentiate between types of keywords. Keyword match types decide how closely the keyword needs to match with the user’s search query. Based on this, Google decides whether the ad can be considered for the auction. The keyword match types define the different ways users might enter keywords.

There are four keyword match types:

    • broad match,
    • broad match modified,
    • phrase match, and
    • exact match.

Broad, Modified Broad, Exact, and Phrase: Four Keyword Match Types Explained

Different keyword match types serve your ad to different kinds of users. It gives you the control to advertise to a wider variety of user searches or focus on specific user searches. Or, keep changing between the four kinds depending on at what stage your campaign is.

Are you wondering what will happen if you use these keyword match types together? Google Ads Help clears out that there are match types that do not boost your visibility when used side by side. A broad keyword match type covers all the search queries for the same keyword in phrase and exact match. So, there is no performance benefit if you were to repeat the same keyword in many match types within a campaign.


But how would you know?

Simple. By understanding the difference between the four types of keyword match types. The game is all about knowing which keyword match types trigger the ads for which keywords.

What is a broad match keyword?

The broad match keyword is the default keyword match type in Google Ads. It reaches the most number of people as it gives your ads the broadest field of visibility. This means the keyword match type contains searches that do not have the keyword terms as well

To create a modified broad keyword match type, add a plus sign (+) between words in the search query. For eg, +walking+canes.

What does the broad match keyword include?

The broad match type triggers ads when a user searches for:

    • the exact keyword phrase,
    • similar phrases,
    • singular forms,
    • plural forms,
    • synonyms,
    • misspellings,
    • variations, and
    • any other related searches.

The broad keyword match type gets you a lot of search term data to help you find new keywords. But, you still have to check the search terms report for the negative keyword match types. This is to reduce irrelevant clicks. To deliver relevant matches to the users, this match type also takes into account:

    • User’s recent search activities
    • Content of the landing page
    • And, the other keywords in your ad group to better understand keyword intent
light bulb drawing

How does broad match keyword work?

Broad match works great with the Smart Bidding system. There it sets a bid for an individual auction of each query. And, then it bids up and down based on how well the query is likely to perform.

Broad Match + Modifier (BMM): What is a modified broad match keyword?

The Broad Match + Modifier (BMM) type allows more visibility. It also gives more control than the broad keyword match type. By choosing it, you can decide which keywords must appear in the search. And, this match type will also show results of close variations of your keyword, but not synonyms.

The Broad Match + Modifier (BMM) type gives you way more control than simple broads. Yes, the search volume remains high, but it is more targeted than simple broad keyword match types. 

What does the modified broad match keyword include?

Broad Match + Modifier (BMM) includes everything that the phrase keyword match type includes. But, not everything that simple broad does. This, in turn, gives them more freedom to use their funds better. Though, you still have to track the search terms report for negative keyword match types. In this, the close variants of keywords include:

    • misspellings,
    • singular and plural forms,
    • and words ending in “ing” (like craft or crafting). This means the ads will show for these terms.

The order of the terms in the keyword phrase does not matter. But, care is important.
Converting Broad Match + Modifier (BMM) type keywords to phrase match does impact the performance of the ads.

What is a phrase keyword match type?

The phrase keyword match type deals with the meaning of the keyword and its implications. This keyword match type is more flexible than the exact match. But, it is more targeted than the default broad keyword match type.

What does the phrase keyword match type include?

The phrase match allows your ad to show up before searchers looking at two things. First, the exact phrase, and second, the phrase with terms either before or after it. Phrase match allows you to reach people they are sure are looking for their products. And, it also allows the ad to appear before people who are most likely to buy your product/service. This match type provides a high degree of control over the search query. But, you may also have some irrelevant searches.

What is an exact keyword match type?

The exact keyword match type has been the narrowest keyword setting in Google Ads. These days it shows on searches that have the matched meaning or matched intent as the keyword. This was not so early when it would match the keyword. keyword match type

man holding a tablet with exclamation marks over his head

What does an exact match keyword include?

Of all the keyword match types, the exact match gives you the most amount of control over who sees the ad. With the exact keyword match type, only two kinds of searchers will be able to see your ad. First, those who search for the exact keywords that you have in your campaign. Second, those were the intent of the user’s query that matches your exact keyword.

In the exact match type, close variations include:

    • reordering of words,
    • misspellings,
    • singular or plural forms,
    • “ing” words, abbreviations (like, etc. as opposed to etcetera),
    • accents,
    • reordered words function words (like in or to),
    • conjunctions (like for or but),
    • articles (like a or the), and
    • other words that don’t impact the intent of a search.

Using the exact match results in a higher click-through rate (CTR). This is because you’re targeting a very tight phrase/intent. But, it also reduces your ability to discover new keywords.

What are negative keyword match types?

We talked a lot about removing negative keyword match types, it is time to know more about them. They are search terms that you want removed from your ad campaign’s target search query. They allow you to focus more and tighten your keywords to target relevant users. Negative keyword match types include keywords that are similar to your keywords. But, in reality they are catering to users that are not buying your product. 

The different types of negative keyword match types are:

Negative broad match

In this negative keyword match type, your ad won’t show if the search contains all your negative keyword terms in any order. Even if the order of the term included changes, the ad will not show. But, if the ad contains only some of the negative keyword match types, it will show. 

For example, if your negative keyword term is “walking canes” your ad will not show up for “walking canes white” and “canes walking over”. But, it will show up for “walking over” and “canes white”.

Negative phrase match

In this case, the ad will not show only when the negative keywords terms are used in the search query in the same order. Even if the words around the negative term change the ad will not show as long as the negative term remains the same. And, there should be no change in order, or the ad will show.

For example, if your negative keyword term is “walking canes” your ad will not show up for “walking canes” and “walking canes white. But, it will show up for “walking over”, “canes white” and “canes walking”.

Negative exact match

Here, the only case your ad will not show up is when the search term is the exact same as your negative term, and nothing else. If the search contains the exact keyword terms, in the same order, without extra words, the ad will not show. It will show if there are additional words in the negative search term.

For example, if your negative keyword term is “walking canes” your ad will not show up for “walking canes”. But, it will show up for “walking canes over”, “canes white” and “canes walking”. 

man inspecting a large report

In Conclusion: Keyword Match Types Take Time and Tracking

With negative keyword match types, it becomes quite clear how time-taking the task is. Google Ads require close tracking and continuous research. Even with the right keyword match types, you will find the need to make changes often in your campaign, when trends change.
MK WAY you get more than just a salesperson, or an advertising guy to help you out. Instead, you get a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) who guides you with empathy. While the Google Ads experts at MK WAY work to advertise your business the best, you are free to take care of your business.  

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