Welcome back to my 7 part series on AdWords. In this post I cover Keyword Match Types and Billing Options in AdWords Post 1 was An Overview of AdWords, post 2 was about Campaign Types, post 3 covered Bid Strategies, Bids and Budget, post 4 addressed Ad Groups, and post 5 we dove into Keyword Research.

Keyword Match Types & Billing

Now that you are well versed in identifying the appropriate keywords for your campaign it’s time to set the correct match types. In this week’s post we’ll talk about keyword match types, negative keywords and different billing options. Enjoy the read!

Broad Match

This is AdWords default setting. If you don’t select a match type, your keywords will be broad matched. As the name suggests, Google has a lot of flexibility when matching a search term to your keyword. It will match misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.

For example, “low-carb diet plan” could match to “low calorie recipes.” To increase traffic, this search type has the advantage of matching to searches that you did not include in your list. But it comes with the risk of matching to irrelevant terms and wasting budget.

Broad Match Modify

This match type is similar to broad match but provides much more control. With broad match modify, you can specify that certain broad match keywords must appear in order to trigger your ad. This time, synonyms or related searches are not included.

To add a modifier you must add the “+” in front of one or several keywords. Here is an example of broad match modified keywords:

+pink +dress

Your keyword is now eligible for queries like “buy a pink dress,” or “cute pink dress.” If it did not have the modifiers, it could appear for searches like “rose skirt.” That’s because “rose” is a shade of pink, and a skirt is similar to a dress. The similarities are enough to trigger the ad for broad match.

Can you see the control gained and the power behind broad match modifier? Personally, I have noticed that many marketers are not aware of this match type or simply underutilize this option due to a lack of understanding. I hope you now can use this match type with confidence.

Phrase Match

Phrase match will trigger your ad for exact match searches and close variants, and when words are added before or after your keyword. Phrase match is important when the order of your keywords is important. Let’s say your keyword is “kitchen remodel.”

Your ads will show:

Kitchen remodel

Kitchen remodel company in San Diego

Best kitchen remodel

Your ads will not show:

Remodel kitchen

Home remodel

Note: For clarity purposes, I have liberally used quotation marks. But, phrase match actually requires quotation marks if you are uploading the keywords. Of course, while adding keywords in AdWords, you can also select the phrase “match as a match type” from a drop-down menu.

 Exact Match

A bit self-explanatory, exact match only triggers your ad when the search is an exact match or a close variant to your keyword. A natural output of using exact match is less impressions but higher click-through rates. It’s the keyword match type that is the most restrictive and gives you the most control. However, it also has the potential for providing the highest CTRs and conversions, assuming your ad copy and landing pages are highly relevant to the exact matched keyword.

Negative Keywords

A negative keyword prevents your ad from being shown. It tells Google not to display your ad when a certain word is included. Negative keywords are the most important when using broad match, but you will want an extensive negative keyword list for broad match modified and phrase match, as well.

Be sure to proactively think of negative keywords and add them prior to launching your campaign. Additionally, you will want to review the “Search Terms Report” frequently. If you see words triggering your ad that are not a good fit, simply add them to your negative keyword list.

MOZ has a great article on how to extensively account for Negative Keywords for Positive ROI.

When it comes to match type, each and every circumstance is different. On paper, broad match should only stretch to relevant variations, but anyone with extensive AdWords experience has seen some alarming matches that have wasted budget. I have also seen campaigns using exact match exclusively that have performed brilliantly and with a sufficient amount of traffic to support the client’s budget.

If you’re thinking that some instances of phrase match are exactly the same as broad match modifier, you are correct. Well, on paper, at least. Here is what I know for sure. Let’s take the word salon.

Broad Match Modified: +salon

Phrase Match: “salon”

They appear to be the same, right? Let’s say you ran two different campaigns, each with the keyword salon. Let’s say one of the campaigns used salon as phrase match and the other used it as broad match modified. To further illustrate, let’s assume your bids and ad copy were the same and you landed traffic on the same landing page. Guess what? Your metrics would not be the same. It’s possible the broad match modified keyword would provide more traffic, more conversions, and a higher CPA. While the phrase match keyword could provide less traffic and less conversions, but lower CPAs.

Each account is unique, and effective marketers know that the only way to achieve the ideal setup is to test, test, and test. Running a high performing AdWords campaign(s) requires the ability to formulate good ideas, test the ideas, and review the results. Use research and your business wits for ideas, and use the data to help guide you on the next adjustment to your account and decide on keyword match types.

AdWords Billing Options

Now that you are getting closer to launching your campaign, it’s time to set up your billing. You will have two billing options: automatic or manual.

Automatic Payments

With automatic payments, Google automatically bills the card on file once thirty days have passed since your last charge or new charges have reached your threshold. Your initial threshold is set at a certain amount and increases with time.

Manual Payments

costs are deducted from the payment that you made. This setting is typically used for advertisers that want a tighter grip on their advertising finances and want to avoid surprises.

To see a summary of all your past transactions, log in and click Transaction History. Your transaction history will show past payments, credits, adjustments, and costs related to your account. If you prefer to see the data in Excel, you can export the information by clicking the Export button on the grey toolbar.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for the last post in the series.

I own a San Diego Pay Per Company and I would love to help manage your PPC accounts. Have a look at our PPC Services and call me today for your no commitment quotation.

Email brian@rocketpilots.com or call me at 858-775-4110 or request your no obligation consultation.

Do you have experience with different keyword match types? Please share your comments and experiences below, we would love to hear from you.