PPC Keyword Research: Difference Between Broad, Exact, Phrase

 The Google Adwords Keyword Tool (now known as the Adwords Keyword Planner) is an excellent resource for determining what keywords and keyword phrases to target for your pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign, and as well as for organic search engine optimization strategies.

For the sake of this blog post, we’ll focus on conducting keyword research for PPC campaigns. When conducting keyword research for PPC, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool interface is pretty intuitive overall.

PPC Keyword Research

You simply type in the keyword phrase you think might best suit your target audience and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides search volume of your keyword – and a list of similar or related keywords – based on either Broad, Exact or Phrase match.

PPC Keyword Research: Match TypesIn the left hand column of the Adwords Keyword Tool, you can filter which type of match you’d like to see search volume for for the specific keywords you’re researching.

So what’s the difference between Broad, Exact and Phrase match on the Google Adwords Keyword Tool?

Here’s a quick breakdown of what these terms mean and how they apply to targeting keywords for your PPC advertising campaign:

Broad Match

PPC Keyword Research: Broad MatchThe Adwords Keyword Tool will always default you to Broad match.

Broad match keyword volumes take into consideration not only the exact keyword that you’ve typed into the Adwords Keyword Tool, but also relevant variations of your keyword as well.

It also applies for Keyword variations with synonyms, singular and plural forms, misspellings, and phrases containing your targeted keywords.

For example, a Broad match term for the keyword phrase “Custom Window Blinds” would also trigger your ad to display for the closely related keywords such as “Discount Window Blinds” or “Types of Window Blinds.”

If you don’t optimize your PPC campaign correctly, setting up broad matching terms can be potentially detrimental to the success of your campaign. If you’re not trying to attract customers who are searching for “Discount Window Blinds” because your company offers more high-end Custom Window Blinds, having your ad display when someone searches “Discount Window Blinds” on a Broad match is money out of your pocket.

If you are using Broad match for your PPC campaign, be sure to eliminate keywords that don’t apply to your business with the Negative Keywords section on the Adwords Dashboard.

Exact Match

PPC Keyword Research: Exact MatchExact phrase match is just as it sounds. Your PPC ad will display ONLY when a user searches EXACTLY the keyword phrase that you’re targeting.

So if you’re targeting the keyword phrase “Woodworking in Atlanta” your PPC ad will ONLY display if someone searches for “Woodworking in Atlanta.” Your ad will NOT trigger to display for such keyword phrases as “Atlanta Woodworking” or “Custom Woodworking Atlanta.”

You can identify Exact match keywords by the brackets surrounding the keywords in the Adwords Keyword Tool interface.

Because of the precision that Exact phrase match has, you’ll notice that the volumes of the keywords on the Adwords Keyword Tool have significantly decreased as opposed to the Broad match. The Exact match filter is highly beneficial for conducting keyword research for organic SEO strategies because you get an accurate assessment of what the exact volumes are for keywords that you want to rank on organically.

Phrase Match

PPC Keyword Research: Phrase MatchThe final match type that you’ll see when conducting keyword research for on the Adwords Keyword Tool is Phrase match.

You can identify a Phrase match by the quotation marks the keywords have around them. In Phrase match, your PPC advertisements will display when someone conducts a search that includes the keyword phrase that you’ve targeted.

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword phrase “Motorcycle Jackets” with Phrase match, your PPC advertisement will display on related keyword variations such as “Motorcycle Jackets for Men” and “Leather Motorcycle Jackets.” Your ad will not trigger, however on keywords such as “Motorcycle Leather Jackets” or “Jackets for Motorcycles.”

We hope you’ve found this blog post to be helpful as you conduct some of your own keyword research to determine what keywords you might want to target for your organic or PPC advertising campaign. If you have any questions about PPC or need help managing your PPC campaign, contact us today!