Setting up your Google Ad’s keywords can be as easy as choosing the most relevant phrases to your business. However, to get your ads positioned perfectly, you can use your keywords more precisely. There are four primary keyword match types: broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, and exact match. You can also use negative keywords, to refine your ads further, and dynamic keywords, to generate marketing content.

Match Types:

Broad and modified broad match type:

Broad-match keywords are the most open type of keywords and are the default for Google Ads. Ads with broad-match keywords will show up in searches for synonyms, misspellings, relevant topics, and related variations. For example, an ad for men’s shoes will show up for searches like “male footwear” and “men’s clothing.” Broad match keywords are great for saving time, but your product may not be relevant for the audience. Modified broad match type, on the other hand, will only show up if the keywords, or close synonyms, are present. There can be words between the keywords, but the keywords must be included. For example, men’s shoes will show up in a search for “men’s socks and shoes” but not for “men’s clothing.” The benefit of modified broad match is you get to be more targeted but still keep a broader audience. To get more specific you’ll need to use phrase match and exact match types.

Exact and Phrase match type:

To appear in more specific searches, you’ll need phrase and exact match types. Much like the modified broad match, phrase match will match the search query to the keywords, or close substitutes. Extra words may also be around the keywords. However, no phrases are allowed between the keywords. For example, a phrase match would allow “red men’s shoes” not “shoes for men.” Phrase matches are useful for increasing click-through-rates because they are more relevant to the audience. Meanwhile, exact match keywords only show up for searches where phrases are the exact word or phrase you are bidding on. For example, a men’s shoe ad will show up in a search for “shoes men” not “blue men’s shoes.” Exact phrases are the most difficult to master but can help conversions. Exact phrases are highly relevant to the audience, so they are easier to convert.

Negative Keywords:

Negative keywords make your ad more relevant to the audience by eliminating irrelevant search queries. Negative keywords tell your ad not to show up in certain searches. Adding negative keywords, such as “women’s shoes,” to a men’s shoe ad, will prevent it from showing up for searches on women’s shoes. Thus, the ads become more relevant to the audience. The best part about negative keywords, they’re free! You can have as many as 5,000 negative keywords per list.

Finding Effective Keywords:

Rather than scratching your head for effective keywords, you can let Google do it for you. In your Google Ads account, you can use the Keyword Planner to find new relevant keywords. Search for a relevant phrase and the Keyword planner will show you a list of potential keywords, their cost, their competition, and the average number of searches. This tool can help you find better keywords and narrow down new niches. You can also use this list as inspiration for negative keywords. Keep an eye out for any phrases you don’t want your brand to be associated with.

Other ways to use keywords:

Dynamic Keywords:

Unlike the other keywords in the list, dynamic keywords aren’t for ad placement optimisation. Dynamic keywords replace ad text copy with the keywords searched by the user. When creating an ad headline, you can enter the main keyword that will be swapped for the search term. Entering the headline will look like this, “Highest Quality {KeyWord: Shoes}”. When someone searches for “leather shoes,” your headline will be “Highest Quality Leather Shoes.” This makes your ad highly relevant to the audience.

Branded Keywords:

Branded keywords are phrases that include your brand name, your domain name, or your branded products. Branded keywords are not a match type, they’re a tool you can use in your match type. It may seem unnecessary, however, bidding on your brand can give you more control and prevent your competitors from taking your customers. By bidding on your brand, you’ll show up in both the organic and the paid search results. This makes your customers think you’re the primary authority in your product category. Plus, unlike organic search results, you can format your message for your audience. As for the competition, bidding on your brand prevents them from doing so. If the competition bids on your brand, your customers will see their ads, not yours. Branded keywords have the added benefit of being potentially cheaper, due to specificity, and can capture higher quality leads. Since people are looking for your specific brands and products, they’re more likely to convert.

To master your Google Ads campaigns, contact the experts at SBIM on +61 7 3325 0505 or email