Using phrase match

With phrase match, you can show your ad to customers who are searching for your exact keyword and close variants of your exact keyword, with additional words before or after. Phrase match is more targeted than the default broad match, but more flexible than exact match. It gives you more control over how closely the keyword must match someone's search term so your ad can appear.


Exact match keyword: Ads may show on searches for: Ads won't show on searches for:
"tennis shoes" red leather tennis shoes
buy tennis shoes on sale
red tenis shoes
shoes for tennis
tennis sneakers laces

How phrase match works

With phrase match, your ad can appear when people search for your exact phrase, even if they include one or more words before or after it. We'll also show your ad when someone searches for a close variant of your phrase match keyword. Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations and accents. Word order is important with phrase match, meaning that your ad won’t appear if someone enters an additional word in the middle of your keyword.

Phrase match is more flexible than exact match, but is more targeted than the default broad match option. With phrase match, you can reach more customers, while still showing your ads to customers who are most likely searching for your product or service.


We'll use your exact keyword – and not close variants – to determine your Quality Score and first page bid estimate.

How phrase match can help you

You can set any or all of your search-targeted keywords to phrase match to help you do the following:

  • Create ads with the same keywords your customers search on: You can view the search terms your customers were using when they clicked your ad. Then add the words and phrases you find to your keyword list, and use exact phrases in your new ads to reach customers who are more likely to be interested in your product or service.
  • Increase your click-through rate (CTR): Phrase match increases the likelihood of a click because your ad shows only when it matches the searcher's phrase. It also helps decrease unwanted impressions for search terms that don't match your phrase.

When other match types might be more helpful

  • Exact match is a better option if you know your customers well and want your ad to trigger with the exact words they search for.
  • Broad match may be a better option if you are trying to reach a wider audience than what phrase match can provide.


We suggest using a combination of two or more keyword match types to run an effective ad campaign. If you use broad and phrase match, for example, you'll reach a broader audience while also controlling who can see your ad.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue