About keyword matching options
Keyword match types help control which searches can trigger your ad. For example, you could use broad match to show your ad to a wide audience or you could use exact match to hone in on specific groups of customers.
This article explains the different match types that are available. Learn more about adding keywords.
How they work
In general, the broader the keyword matching option, the more traffic potential that keyword has. Conversely, the narrower the keyword matching option, the more relevant that keyword will be to someone's search.
Understanding these differences can help you to choose the right options and improve your return on investment.
When choosing the appropriate match type for a keyword, we typically recommend starting with broad match to maximize your potential to show your ads on relevant searches. And you can use the search terms report to monitor which keyword variations triggered your ads.
Different match types
Each match type will trigger your ad to show for a customer's search in different ways. Next, learn a little bit more about each type.
Keep in mind
Keywords aren't case-sensitive, which means they're matched without regard to uppercase or lowercase letters. For example, you don't need to enter "women's hats" and "Women's Hats" as keywords—just "women's hats" will cover both.
As you'll learn in next sections, symbols have special meanings in AdWords, so you should generally avoid using them. Also, keywords can't contain any non-standard characters like: ! @ % , *
Broad match (example)
Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.
- Example keyword: women's hats
- Example search: buy ladies hats
Broad match modifier (example)
Ads may show on searches that contain the modified term (or close variations, but not synonyms), in any order.
- Symbol: +keyword
- Example keyword: +women's +hats
- Example search: hats for women
Phrase match (example)
Ads may show on searches that match a phrase, or are close variations of that phrase, with additional words before or after. Ads won't show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase, or if words in the phrase are reordered in any way.
- Symbol: "keyword"
- Example keyword: "women's hats"
- Example search: buy women's hats
Exact match (example)
Ads may show on searches that match the exact term or are close variations of that exact term. Close variations here may also include a reordering of words if it doesn’t change the meaning, and the addition or removal of function words (prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and other words that don’t impact the intent of a search).
- Symbol: [keyword]
- Example keyword: [women's hats]
- Example search: hats for women
Negative match (example)
Ads may show on searches without the term.
- Symbol: -keyword
- Example keyword: -women
- Example search: baseball hats
Close keyword variations
So that you don't miss out on potential customers, we'll show your ads for close variations of your phrase and exact match keywords to maximize the potential for your ads to show on relevant searches. Close variations include misspellings, singular forms, plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. So there's no need to separately add close variations as keywords.
For example, if your phrase match keyword is "kid's scooter," you'd still want to show your ad when someone searches for "kids scooter" or "kid scooters."
Keep in mind that even though we show close variations of your phrase and exact match keywords, these match types still give you more control than broad match. That's because broad match keywords also show for synonyms and related searches, which aren't considered close variations.
For app install campaigns, we may extend the scope of some of your keyword match types in ways that are specific to apps. Here's how this can work:
- For exact and phrase keywords, we may make small changes to search terms (like adding or removing the word "app") to better match with your targeted keywords.
- For broad match keywords, we may use app category information to improve both your targeting precision and reach.