Despite the fact that their names are pretty self-explanatory, it can be tough to determine whether to use exact, phrase or broad match keywords in your Google AdWords ad campaigns. As their names suggest, exact and phrase match keywords target the exact terms people are searching for. These match types allow you to optimize your ads and landing pages to appeal to those very specific keywords.

Broad-Phrase-Exact-Match-KeywordsMany of the new PPC clients that I work with have existing AdWords accounts that were either setup by themselves, a friend or even another Internet marketing company. Upon initial review of many of these accounts, a mistake that I always see is when a campaign consists of only exact and phrase match keywords. While there might be a place for this type of account setup in some instances, that typically is not the case. Broad match keywords are just as important as their more specific counterparts. What’s the point of PPC anyway? To bring quality, targeted traffic to your website. So don’t limit that traffic by leaving out crucial broad match keywords.

John Wiley, the lead designer for Google Search, said about 15% of Google’s search queries have never been searched before. That equates to about 60 million brand new, completely unique searches taking place each day. Simply put, your ads will not show up for these new searches if all of your campaign’s keywords are exact or phrase match.

Many advertisers are concerned that broad match keywords are just that, too broad or vague. No one wants to overspend on less-targeted traffic, or even worse, completely irrelevant traffic. A solid negative keyword list will balance the flexible reach of broad match keywords with the specificity that is associated with exact and phrase match keywords. Negative keywords go hand-in-hand with your broad match campaigns. Without broad match keywords, you are limiting your account’s ability to grow and you might miss out on a lot of high-quality traffic that wouldn’t land on your site otherwise.

Did you know that you can see the actual search terms that people used to find your ads? To do that, log in your AdWords account, select your campaign, go to the Keywords tab, click the Details button and under Search Terms click on “All.” This section of AdWords is one of the best kept secrets – even though it’s not really a secret. You can use this information to find new keywords that you aren’t already targeting as well as to add additional negative keywords that you don’t want your ads to show up for.

Gain more quality traffic. Combine the use of broad match keywords with a negative keyword list and watch it happen.

By , Owner – Kite Media

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