16 April 2013

PPC Marketing: Keyword Matching Options.

In this post we will talk about a cornerstone of PPC marketing: Keyword Matching Options.
What are they and how to use them.

Google AdWords Screenshoot: Keywords Tab.
Google AdWords Screenshoot: Keywords Tab.

In the following paragraphs we will discover that Keyword Matching Options allows us to increase the traffic relevancy for our ads.
Once created our ad text, we have to add our relevant keywords (see image above) obtained in our previous Keyword Research and choose the most appropriate match type.

Match Types

There are 5 match types:

In the image below, we can see the description of the matching options of Google and Bing.

Keyword Matching Options of Google and Bing.
Keyword Matching Options of Google and Bing.

We will talk about  "Content Match" (Bing) in the following paragraphs.

How to choose the best Keyword Matching Option

This is the link of the image: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/deadliest-catch/photos/seabrooke-pictures-2013.htm
Deadliest Catch, Discovery Channel. 

We could compare the Match options to the mesh size (diameter) of a fishing net for a crab catcher (do you remember Deadliest Catch?).
  • Broad Match is the fishing net with a smallest diameter: we can catch a vast number of species but at the end of the day a large amount of them could be released in the sea (irrelevant traffic).
  • With Phrase and Exact Match we can create a more appropriate fishing net  to our needs: we will catch a less number of fishes but more crabs (increase traffic relevancy).
  • Negative Keywords will help us to avoid catching too small crabs and the female ones (they have to be released in the sea) or other undesired crab species. According to Google, with Negative Keyword you can "prevent your ad from showing to people searching for or visiting websites about things you don't offer".

So, what kind of Keyword Matching Option should I use for my ads? A good idea could be starting with Broad Match and little by little refine...the diameter of our fishing net using Broad Match Modifier, Phrase and Exact Match. The key of success is to periodically monitor the performance of our ads and see if our ROI is improving or not.

Tip: There are some differences between Google and Bing match types. In the image below the results of the search "women's hats" in Google and Bing.

Comparing searches results in Google and Bing.
Comparing searches results in Google and Bing.

We can find Broad, Phrase and Exact Match also in Google AdWords Keyword Tool (see image below).

Screenshoot of Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
Screenshoot of Google AdWords Keyword Tool. 

Update May 2013: Google Keywords Tool and Google Traffic Estimator will be replaced by Google Keyword Planner.

Exact and Phrase Match option for Google Search Network Campaign Settings

In Campaign settings, "Google Search Network only" and "Google Search Network and Display Network" there is an option (see image below) that allows us to "include plurals, misspellings and other close variants" (default option) or "not include close variants" to our Exact and Phrase Match options . Which one to choose? With the default option our keywords will include automatically close variations  such as (quoting Google AdWords Help) "misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents".

Again, it is important to monitor our campaign performance in order to establish which option is more profitable to us. In case of CTR bad results, we could decide to not include close variants for our ads.

Google Search Network only Campaign settings: Keyword Matching Option.
Google Search Network only Campaign settings: Keyword Matching Option. 

Dynamic ads

We can also use our Keyword Matching Options to create great dynamic ads!
Both Google and Bing have a feature that allows us to customize our ads to a user's search query: Dynamic Keyword Insertion (Google) and Content Match (Bing). This is a very important feature since, according to Advertising.com, inserting the exact keyword into a paid listing improves CTR by 38% on average.

Dynamic ads offer a great advantage: we can use one Headline across multiple keywords! In that case we will use in our Headline Ad Text the following syntax: {keyword: defaulttext}
This feature allows us to dynamically update our ad text with the keyword that's used to target our ad.

Check out my previous post to know more regarding Dynamic Keyword Insertion. PPC Hero wrote a great post regarding Bing's dynamic insertion.

That's all folks! What is your favourite Match option? What is your experience regarding DKI? Leave a comment below!


  1. Thanks Francesco - that is very useful. Helps plug some of the gaps as I missed last week. Caught up on the video - but was still unsure on a few things.

  2. Dear Cyril, thank you for your comment! In the last lesson we talked about how to setup a Search Network only Campaign. I wrote a post regarding this matter: http://francescogarofano.blogspot.ie/2013/04/Setup-Google-Search-Network-Only.html
    I hope you will like it!


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