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  • Will Staber

Navigate The Sea Of Google Ads Keywords Without Sinking

In the expansive realm of Google Ads, where every click holds the potential to steer a user towards your business, the choice of keywords becomes an art in itself. Yet, as any seasoned digital marketer will tell you, not all keywords are created equal.

The secret lies in the match types – those subtle modifiers that determine how closely a user's search query must align with your chosen keywords.

So, let's set sail on a journey to unravel the mysteries of match types and explore how they can chart your course to success.

Broad Match: The Uncharted Waters

Imagine casting a wide net into the vast ocean of online search queries. That's the essence of the broad match type. This type embraces variations, synonyms, and related searches, allowing your ad to show up for a broad spectrum of search terms. While it may cast a wide net, it might also reel in irrelevant clicks, draining your budget with users who weren't exactly seeking your offering.

Modified Broad Match: Setting Boundaries

Enter the modified broad match, a slightly more controlled version of its predecessor. By affixing a '+' sign in front of important keywords, you signal to Google that these terms must appear in the user's search query. This adds a layer of precision, ensuring your ad shows up for queries that contain the specified terms. It's like exploring the waters while sticking to certain landmarks.

Phrase Match: Navigating by Landmarks

Picture sailing with a fixed set of landmarks in sight. That's the essence of the phrase match type. Your ad will be triggered when a user's search query includes your chosen keywords in the exact order you've specified, accompanied by potential words before or after. This offers a balance between reach and precision – your ad surfaces for queries that maintain the core intent of your keywords.

Exact Match: Anchoring in Precision

When you want to drop anchor right on the target, the exact match type comes into play. Your ad appears only when the user's search query precisely matches your chosen keyword – no variations, no synonyms, no extra words. This match type ensures laser-focused targeting, but be cautious of limiting your potential reach.

Broad Match Modifier vs. Phrase Match: A Navigation Dilemma

The broad match modifier and phrase match might seem similar, but they have their distinct nuances. The broad match modifier retains a broader reach, including variations, whereas phrase match locks in the sequence of your keywords. If you're torn between the two, consider your campaign goals and the level of control you desire.

Negative Keywords: Charting Safe Waters

Just as sailors avoid treacherous reefs, you can steer clear of irrelevant clicks using negative keywords. These are keywords that prevent your ad from showing up for specific search terms. By listing terms that aren't relevant to your offering, you ensure that your budget is invested in attracting the right audience.

Finding Your True North

Choosing the right match type is a delicate balancing act. It hinges on understanding your audience's search behavior, your campaign goals, and the intricacies of each match type. While broad match might cast a wide net, phrase and exact matches offer more refined targeting. Modified broad match walks the line between reach and precision.

In the vast expanse of Google Ads, your keyword strategy is your compass. It's a blend of science and art, data and intuition. Whether you're a daring explorer of broad match or a precise navigator of exact match, remember that the sea of possibilities is ever-changing. Stay attuned to shifts in search behavior and keep refining your strategy to ensure your Google Ads campaign remains on course.

Shoot us an email at or schedule a call through our website to learn more about Google ads management plus how we can help your business elevate itself in the digital space.

Will Staber

Digital Marketing Strategist


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