Keyword Match Types Explained (with a handy reference chart)

Are you confused by Google Ads keyword match types?  If so, you’re not alone!  Check out our handy dandy chart below with keyword examples (these are real live examples that we took from one of our accounts).

A few notes before you dive into the chart: 

  • Syntax is simply the way the keywords are entered into Google ads (for example, if you want to enter in the exact match keyword liposuction sacramento, you would add brackets to denote the keyword should be exact match, as in [liposuction sacramento]).
  • Close variants are something that google introduced a few years ago, and they can help advertisers capture additional relevant traffic for phrase and exact match keywords. Close variants of keywords include the following:
    • Singular/plurals
    • “ing”, “ed”, “er”, etc
    • Abbreviations
    • One word being split into two words
    • Two words being combined into one
    • Numbers spelled out/numerical value used
    • Anything with a * in the chart below is a close variant
  • There is not necessarily a “best” match type to use.  Most of our accounts use each of the match types to some degree.  The general rule of thumb is to start out with broader match types – this will give you ideas for additional keywords to add as you see which searches you show for.  However, advertisers should be careful running straight broad match as it can match liberally to unwanted traffic.  Monitoring traffic closely and adding negatives is essential – and sometimes forgoing straight broad match (in favor of broad match modified, phrase and exact) may be necessary.

*Denotes close variant

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  • July 13, 2018