One of the biggest advantages of search engine marketing is the incredible level of "intent" that we as advertisers have.

With other ad formats, we are likely targeting a customer based on their demographic profile or likes. This is great and can be very accurate but, we're rarely targeting at the right moment.

With search marketing, we're able to show our products and services at the exact moment the potential customer is searching.

This intent is largely controlled by the keywords a searcher types in matching against the keywords in our campaign.

But, by understanding "match types" we can have even more control over what searches our ads appear against.

Keyword Match Types

So what are the different keywords and how can they be used effectively to maximise your ad campaign strategy?

Source: Google


The default keyword type is when you add a keyword to your campaign. This type means google automatically includes things like miss-spelling, similar variations. Broad matches mean you might match for any slightly relevant search term, which helps get your ad and business seen, but it might not serve people who are actually looking for your product.

For example, if your keyword was "men's hairdressers" then for a search of "women's hairdressers" your ads could serve as they had mention of some similar words.


With this keyword type, your ad would only show on searches that match the phrase but may have words on either side of the phrase. Your ad wouldn't appear if there were words in the middle of the phrase.

For example, if your keyword was "men's hairdresser" then for a search of "best men's hairdresser" your ad could appear but not for "men's local hairdresser."


Wrapped in [brackets] this match type means your ad should only show when the searcher types in a keyword that EXACTLY matches a keyword in your campaign. This gives you high control and reduces wasted spend, however, may mean you miss out on variations if you don't frequently review and add to your keyword list.


Negative keywords are used so that your ads do not serve when the negative keyword has been used. It's a useful way of removing your business from being associated with a search type, so that your branding is strong and that your budget isn't being wasted on search terms that aren't relevant to you.

For example, if your negative keyword was "women" then for a search of "women's hairdressers" your ads wouldn't serve.

How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Step-by-Step Guide

Source: SearchEngineJournal

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