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Keyword Match Types


Keyword Match Types in the SEO space refer to parameters used to control how closely a search query must match a keyword in order for an ad or content to be triggered. These match types help advertisers and SEO professionals refine targeting and control the relevance of their ads or content to search queries.

Example of how you can use Keyword Match Types

Let’s say you’re managing a Google Ads campaign for a bakery. By using different keyword match types like broad match, phrase match, and exact match, you can control the specificity of the search queries that trigger your ads. For instance, using an exact match keyword like “artisanal bread” ensures that your ad only appears when users search for that exact term, while using a broad match keyword like “fresh bread” allows your ad to appear for a wider range of related search queries.

Key Takeaways

  1. Keyword Match Types include broad match, phrase match, exact match, and broad match modifier, each offering varying levels of control over ad targeting and relevance.
  2. Broad match allows ads to be triggered by a wide range of search queries related to the keyword, offering maximum reach but potentially lower relevance.
  3. Phrase match restricts ad triggers to search queries containing the keyword in a specific order, providing more control over relevance compared to broad match.
  4. Exact match restricts ad triggers to search queries that exactly match the keyword, offering the highest level of relevance and precision.
  5. Broad match modifier allows ads to be triggered by search queries containing the keyword or close variations, providing a balance between reach and relevance.


What is the difference between broad match and phrase match?

Broad match allows ads to be triggered by a wide range of search queries containing variations of the keyword, while phrase match restricts triggers to search queries containing the keyword in a specific order.

How do I choose the right match type for my keywords?

Choosing the right match type depends on your advertising goals, target audience, and desired level of control over ad relevance. Broad match offers maximum reach, while exact match offers maximum precision.

Can I use multiple match types for the same keyword in a campaign?

Yes, you can use multiple match types for the same keyword in a campaign to capture a broader range of search queries while maintaining control over relevance and targeting.

Do match types affect keyword bidding strategies?

Match types can influence keyword bidding strategies by affecting the volume and relevance of traffic generated by keywords. Higher precision match types like exact match may justify higher bids due to their higher relevance.

How do negative keywords interact with match types?

Negative keywords are used to exclude certain search queries from triggering ads. They can be applied at various match types to control ad visibility and ensure relevance to the target audience.

Do match types affect Quality Score?

Yes, match types can indirectly affect Quality Score by influencing ad relevance and click-through rates. Higher relevance and CTRs associated with more precise match types like exact match can lead to higher Quality Scores.

Can match types be adjusted after a campaign has started?

Yes, match types can be adjusted at any time during a campaign to reflect changes in advertising goals, audience targeting, or keyword performance.

What is the default match type in most advertising platforms?

The default match type in most advertising platforms is broad match, which offers the widest reach but may result in less precise ad targeting.

How do match types impact keyword research and selection?

Match types influence keyword research and selection by guiding the choice of keywords based on their level of specificity, relevance, and anticipated performance in targeting the desired audience.

Are there any match types specific to organic search optimization?

While keyword match types primarily apply to paid search advertising, similar concepts like keyword intent and semantic relevance are important considerations in organic search optimization for maximizing visibility and relevance to user queries.

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