Understand how different keyword match types work in Google Ads – WAU

Registering campaigns requires a lot of attention and in-depth studies to get the keywords right. Matching allows for interesting variations capable of capturing traffic. It is even possible to block some terms, according to the will of the marketing team. Know this fundamental theme and have more and more precise terms!

Digital Marketing is a reality that is already quite concrete and widely explored worldwide. Online campaigns are a great way to position your company on the web and, in this search, Google Ads is an indispensable tool for your ads to be found. Among other features, there, you set up keyword matching for your ad.

This functionality allows a broader search to result in the registered campaign, thanks to the ability of Google’s algorithm to understand different information. Knowing how to use this feature, it’s easier to get feedback on campaigns and position your content on first search results.

Are you ready to understand all keyword match variations? Next, learn more about the subject, understand this flexibility, how each works, and see how Google can be efficient in dealing with different words!

What is keyword matching?

When registering ad campaigns on Google Ads, different keywords can be registered, which, in itself, already allows a breadth when appearing in results.

However, these terms will not always be used in a user’s searches. There are recurring problems, such as typos or different entries, but with the same proposal.

Given these variations, Google decided to allow the understanding of research with different terms, understanding that they are directly related to the registered keyword.

For example, suppose you put the term “vegan restaurant in SP” in your campaign, but someone searched for “vegan restaurant SP”. With correspondence, even with the absence of the preposition “in”, this user will be directed to your content.

This update to Google’s algorithm enabled him to understand that these variations are simple details, but that do not cancel registered keywords.

After all, considering the example above, there is no doubt that the search term and the one registered in the campaign mean the same thing.

Motivation for change

Through its intelligence work, Google realized that, in many searches, there were misspellings, a number that reached a total of 7% of searches.

Given the gigantic volume of entries that were made each day, this represented quite expressive numbers. In practice, due to details, companies no longer have their campaigns and ads related to the search terms.

It was from then on that the movement started to make changes to the keyword matches.

These errors were not always spelling, due to lack of knowledge of the cultured norm. Many of them were mistakes when typing, which led to words that did not exist, but when read, easily identified as a result of these errors.

The gain from the changes was beneficial to all parties involved.

  • Google started to have more credibility and efficiency, confirming Ads as a fundamental tool for online campaigns;
  • companies are increasingly able to stay ahead of research, even if there are small errors;
  • finally, users have much more accurate and efficient results.

Generally and objectively, keyword matching is the set of parameters that, if met, will result in your ad. Thus, when registering a campaign, different ranges can be configured, always with a cost associated with them.

Dossier of Keywords

Match targeting

Keyword matching also considers settings related to campaign targeting.

For example, using the same keyword example, “vegan restaurant in SP”, it is possible to configure the search so that only results from establishments in São Paulo are shown, but in the Center. In that case, it’s a great way to make the result even more specific.

In this example, with the keyword matching setting, the establishment would appear in searches such as “vegan restaurant in downtown SP” or “vegan restaurant in downtown SP”.

Best cost campaigns

The more detailed your targeting, the less your ad will be activated by searches that have little to do with what you actually present.

The correspondences serve precisely to propose different filters, which are able to make the search even more detailed and precise.

In this context, there is an even more interesting issue: cost. Every time a user accesses your sponsored link after a search, Google charges for that visit, since there was a conversion.

However, if the keyword is not well configured, it is common that the result has not faithfully met what the user was looking for. In this case, the cost had no compensation, since that visitor will not be converted into a customer.

Given this, it is clear the importance of refine the configuration keyword matching. Otherwise, budget amounts are wasted and, in general, these errors will contribute to poor ROI rates.

What are the different correspondences?

To make it easier to register keywords, matches help you set up those terms associated with ad groups.

Patterns are created to extend campaign activation, or even prevent incorrect keywords from directing users to a page. This feature is a great ally for Ads users, who can have campaigns with an increasingly interesting ROI.

Keyword matching varies in 5 classifications: broad, exact, phrase, broad modified and negative.

Next, understand how each one works and on what occasions they are used!

1. Wide

The keywords configured as broad do not involve any restrictions, that is, they are open to be associated with several variations of the term originally registered in the campaign.

In Ads, they are basically the default keywords, as they have not undergone any changes so that, during the search, they are activated in the face of greater refinement of results.

When registering them in Ads, no correspondence code (“”, [ ], +, -), which makes room for associations with words with grammatical errors, misspelled and even in the plural.

For example, using the keyword “vegan restaurant in SP”, the ad will be activated in the face of searches such as:

  • “Vegan restaurant in São Paulo”;
  • “Vegan restaurant in downtown São Paulo”;
  • “Best vegan restaurants in SP”.

Broad match is a good option when the marketing team is still studying of the best keywords to use. By associating the campaign with broader results, it is possible to observe in detail which ones perform better.

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2. Exact

The exact match is one in which there is no flexibility in relation to search results.

Google only associates search terms with one campaign if it was typed exactly as registered by the campaign. In this case, exact match is an efficient way to limit broader occurrences, however, other types of variations can be considered.

If the marketing team checks for a recurring spelling error, for example, this way of writing can be registered as a keyword. This gives the campaign the exact scope so that only the intended results are connected to the company’s content.

The limitation also happens in case of phrases, that is, if there is a word before or after the keyword, the ad is not triggered.

In this case, the term registered in Ads is typed in square brackets: [restaurante vegano em SP]. The best way to use this type of correspondence is when the marketing team has been working on those ads for some time and knows exactly which terms are searched.

3. Phrase

This correspondence programs Ads to identify the keywords used in sentences, that is, a sentence in which the registered term appears.

The occurrence can be either at the end or at the beginning of the sentence, without this influencing the activation of the ad. The only restriction is that the keyword terms are in the same sequence as in the Ads register.

Misspellings, typos and plural terms are normally considered, according to the intelligent identification that Google is able to make.

Thus, considering the keyword “vegan restaurants in SP” (in this correspondence, it must be inserted with the quotes), results will be accepted as:

  • “Best vegan restaurants in SP”;
  • “Vegan restaurants in SP Centro”;
  • “The vegan restaurants in SP with the lowest price”.

The use of this correspondence is very common when there is a desire to capture more research, but still keep the registered terms faithful, without any changes. Thus, the flow of users can be greater and equally qualified.

4. Modified broad

The modified broad is an optimization of the first correspondence on this list, however, with greater possibilities for variations of the registered terms.

In addition to spelling errors, abbreviations and acronyms are also understood by Google algorithm, which fires the ad normally.

To use this type of match you must use the “+” symbol before the chosen keyword.

Thinking about it, suppose that a restaurant won the award as the best vegan establishment in São Paulo. Thus, the campaign would be activated in the face of terms such as:

  • “Best vegan restaurant in SP 2019”;
  • “Vegan restaurant in SP awarded”;
  • “Best vegan restaurant award in SP”.

The use is also aimed at achieving a greater number of searches, however, with a minimum level of segmentation that proves to be very accurate.

5. Negative

Negative keyword matching focuses on preventing any chance of an ad being triggered in the face of a given registered term.

For this, just register the keyword with a “minus” sign (-) before it. The most common use is to eliminate terms that make no sense to the company or refer to a competitor, for example.

Keyword matching is an important mechanism that empowers campaigns to be increasingly filtered and targeted. Thus, qualified traffic is captured by companies, in addition to serving as a way to preserve the budget and maintain satisfactory ROI rates.

Want to deepen your knowledge of Google ads? So enjoy and also read our complete guide to Google Adwords!

Google Adwords Guide