Keywords are words or phrases that are used to match ads with the terms people are searching for. The keyword match types dictate how closely the keyword needs to match with the user’s search query so the ad can be considered for the auction. So, you could use broad-match to serve your ad on a wider variety of user searches, or you could use exact match to home in on specific user searches.
Keyword match types
Ads may show on searches that are related to your keyword, which can include searches that don’t contain the keyword terms. This helps you attract more visitors to your website, spend less time building keyword lists and focus your spending on keywords that work. Broad-match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned, so you don't have to specify another match type (exact match, phrase match or a negative match type).
The syntax for broad-match is to simply input the keyword. Below is an example of how broad-match works:
To deliver relevant matches, this match type may also take into account the following:
- The user’s recent search activities
- The content of the landing page
- Other keywords in an ad group to better understand keyword intent
Broad-match works best with Smart Bidding. The Smart Bidding system sets a bid for each individual auction of each query and bids up or down depending on how well the query is likely to perform. Smart Bidding benefits from matching to a wide set of searches so it can find the searches that work best for you. Learn more about how to grow your Smart Bidding campaigns with broad-match
Adding very similar keywords, such as 'red car' and 'car red', isn't recommended, as only one keyword would match both searches. However, doing so won’t affect your costs or performance in any way.
For example, the broad-match keywords 'red car' and 'car red' will be recognised as duplicates and the one with the higher Ad Rank will be used. Even though all your similar keywords may be eligible to serve on the same search, you'll have only one bid in the ad auction. Learn more about similar keywords in a Google Ads account
Ads may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. The meaning of the keyword can be implied, and user searches can be a more specific form of the meaning. With phrase match, you can reach more searches than with exact match and fewer searches than with broad-match, only showing your ads on the searches that include your product or service.
The syntax for phrase match is to put quotes around your keyword, such as "tennis shoes". Below is an example of how phrase match works:
Ads may show on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as the keyword. Of the 3 keyword matching options, exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and broad-match.
The syntax for exact match is to use square brackets, such as [red shoe]. Below is an example of how exact match works:
TipUse Smart Bidding with all match types to automatically optimise for your performance objectives. Smart Bidding works best with broad-match because the wide set of searches allows it to learn what works best for you. Learn more about Smart Bidding
You can use negative keywords to exclude your ads from showing on searches with that term. So if you’re a hat company that doesn’t sell baseball hats, you could add a negative keyword for baseball hats. Note, however, that negative keyword match types behave differently to positive match types. Learn more about negative keywords