All You Need To Know About PPC Keywords

Once you’ve created your ad campaign, it’s time to create one or more ad groups with – keywords, ads, and PPC Keywords. But before we move on to that, let’s understand what are the different keyword match types. This will help you understand the relationship between the keyword you put into your ad group and the actual search term that an internet user looks for.

PPC Keywords are the words, ideas, phrases, and topics that define the content you create. In SEO and PPC terms, they’re words and phrases that a user enters into search engines. These searches are called ‘search queries’. PPC Keywords are important because they are the bridge between what people are searching for and the content you are providing to fill that need.

Your goal should be to use the right PPC Keywords in a way that your ad is shown to the right target audience. From a PPC point of view, let’s look at ‘keyword match type’. These phrases help control what searches on Google should trigger your ad to be listed.

For e.g. Broad matches are used to show your ad to a wider audience. Exact matches show your ad only to a specific group of customers.

There are five different keyword match types:

  • Exact Match Type
  • Phrase Match Type
  • Broad Modifier Match Type
  • Broad Keywords
  • Negative Keywords


Exact Match Type Keyword

This is the most targeted match type keyword, and interestingly, the match type that can trigger the fewest potential searches. Search terms that contain your keyword in it with nothing before it, after it, or in between relates to an exact match keyword.  

So, if you are advertising a clothing store and are bidding on the keyword ‘pink dress’ in exact match, a user searching for the search term ‘pink dress’ and only ‘pink dress’ will see your ad. This match type may be the most precise but will also bring in the fewest number of possible searches. Search terms that are close variants to them such as misspellings, will also match to an exact match keyword.

Phrase Match Type Keyword

Using the keyword ‘pink dress’ as a phrase match type has the probability of being seen by far more people looking to get a pink dress. This is due to the fact that phrase match keywords can be triggered by any search that includes those two words in that specific order.

So, while a search for ‘pink dress’ can trigger the keyword, a search for ‘pink dress shop’, ‘cute pink dress’, or even ‘where’s the best store near me to purchase a pink dress for a friend’, can also trigger the keyword. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, including some that aren’t positive such as, ‘second-hand pink dress’.

This search indicates that the user’s intent is not to have service conducted by a professional. You might also get an irrelevant phrase match such as ‘pink dress for your dog store’. Just like how exact keywords work, phrase match keywords also match with search terms that are close variants to them such as misspellings of the word. 

Broad Modifier Match Type

A broad modifier match keyword is much less targeted than a phrase match keyword as it doesn’t require the different words to be in the same consecutive order. Also, if there is a verb in the keyword, a search term with different conjunction can trigger the keyword. For example, a user searching for ‘buying a pink dress’ could trigger the keyword +pink +dress in a broad modifier. You can easily imagine all the different ways this can trigger irrelevant searches. Someone searching for ‘dog who wore a pink dress for fashion show’ could trigger your keyword. 

Broad modifiers become more powerful and targeted when you add more words to them such as +shop, +clothing or +female. By adding these words, it becomes more difficult to obtain irrelevant searches.

Broad Keywords

Broad keywords go beyond the word itself and target other phrases that could mean the same thing. Broad keywords give you the widest possible reach. Say you bid on the keyword ‘pink dress’ in a broad match, a search such as ‘lube job’ or ‘routine car maintenance’ can trigger the keyword. 

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords help combat irrelevant search terms. Once your ad is live and you start getting clicks or calls, there may be times that you obtain the wrong types of leads or calls. You can block these unnecessary leads by using negative keywords. These words when added to any ad group, specify to search engines to block certain words from appearing in search terms for that group. 

In order to control the search terms for every ad group, the campaign encompasses, try adding your negative keywords in the beginning. This, in turn, can be done by using any of the three subcategories – ‘negative broad’, ‘negative phrase’, or ‘negative exact”.

Negative Broad

Broad negative keywords require the actual words in the term to be closely associated. For example, adding the word ‘doll’ as a negative word will prevent searches like ‘pink dress for dolls’ from being triggered by the keywords ‘pink dress’ in a phrase match. In the above case, the word ‘doll’ is a type of broad negative keyword. If you select a two-word broad negative keyword, will eliminate both of those words regardless of their order of appearance in the search.  

Negative Phrase

If you use a negative phrase keyword, you eliminate all searches that contain that keyword in consecutive order. When you use a negative phrase keyword, you will eliminate all the words that contain those keywords in that consecutive order. For example, the negative phrase ‘how can I’ will eliminate the search term ‘how can I stitch a pink dress’ since those words are in the search in that conservative order.

Negative Exact

Just like exact match keywords, negative exact keywords will only eliminate the term that exactly matches the keyword and nothing more than that. This means that if you are bidding on the phrase match keyword ‘pink dress’, with the negative exact keyword ‘expensive pink dress’ in the ad group, the keyword can be triggered by a search for ‘pink dress’, ‘get an expensive pink dress’ but not by ‘expensive pink dress’.