By John Fraze
Many folks who jump into using AdWords might miss out on the usefulness of keyword matching options.However, planting only broad match keywords (keywords that trigger related searches, synonymous searches and other relevant variations) can be detrimental to your AdWords spend and bring you unqualified traffic. Why pay for clicks from people looking to rent a Mazda when you are trying to sell a Mazda? Use keyword matching to avoid paying for irrelevant and unqualified clicks. After all, relevance is the name of the game when using AdWords.
Broad match is the default matching option. If you have entered a keyword into your AdWords campaign without any modifying symbols it will be broad match. Broad match is a catch all- It’s going to trigger your ad in searches that are exactly what you are looking for and searches that you will cringe to have paid for.
I’d advise against broad match unless you are a compulsive campaign monitor. It can be a fantastic way to find new keywords for your campaign that attract the traffic you are looking for and it can also help you add negative keywords. It will be keyword research at a cost, though.
The broad modifier is like a tighter version of broad match. You can use broad modifiers in your campaign by placing a + sign in front of the keywords. For example use “+Mazda +Dealer” instead of “Mazda Dealer.” Broad modifiers will show close variants of your keywords in any order while excluding synonyms and related searches. This is a good way to increase the relevance of your ad to those searching. You won’t show up for rentals when you are trying to sell a car (and you won’t pay for ads that show to an unqualified consumer).
Broad modifier matching is a great way to get a campaign started. If you use “+Mazda +CX5 +Dealer” your add will trigger on queries like “Best Mazda CX5 Dealer” or “Mazda Dealer 2013 CX5” but not for “Mazda CX5 Rental.”
Phrase match dives a little deeper into the AdWords rabbit hole. By encapsulating your keyword in quotation marks, (“Mazda Dealer”) you are telling Google that your keyword phrase should remain untouched but other keywords can be appended to the front or back of the query. For example, if your keyword is the phrase match term “Mazda Dealer” your search will trigger ads for people who search ‘Local Mazda Dealer’ or ‘Mazda Dealer NJ’ but not ‘Mazda CX5 Dealer.’
You should rely on phrase matching when you want your keyword/phrase to remain intact in a query to trigger an ad but want a little more leeway than exact match. Phrase match is a good modifier that is less restrictive than exact match. It will catch appended versions of your keyword/phrase that exact match would not trigger an ad for.
Exact match is just that: an exact match on your keyword/phrase. To use exact match, put your keyword in [bracket]. If you want an ad to trigger for [Mazda Dealer] and nothing more, exact match is your modifier. It is quite the opposite of broad match and allows for a very concentrated and concise keyword strategy.
Broad match is the modifier you want to use when you need a truly exact match. If you find that broad match, broad modifier and phrase match are triggering ads on keyword searches that are not relevant then exact match can be part of the remedy.
Negative matching is a great way to block certain keywords from triggering your ad. If you run a broad match keyword “Mazda Dealer” and notice that ads are triggering on searches for “Mazda Rental” or “Mazda Sales eBay Craigslist” you can strike them out immediately by copying those phrases into your campaign and putting a minus sign in front of them. Put “-Mazda Rental” in your campaign’s keywords to stop people searching for Mazda rentals from triggering your Mazda sales ad. If they click on your ad you will be charged, even if they never had any intent to buy a Mazda from your store.
Negative matching is a great way to increase the relevance of your ad and decrease unqualified traffic. If you can strike early and remove keywords that bring customers that aren’t interested in your product to your site, you can save money and attract a more relevant audience.
Remember that the key to using Google AdWords is relevance. If your ads are relevant to your audience you will not pay for unqualified clicks, you will attract customers that are ready to shop with you and you will increase your CTR (click-through rate) and thus your quality score, which can increase your ad position and lower your costs even more. If you take one concept with you on the journey into the Kingdom of AdWords make it relevance.
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