Keyword Matching Strategies

PPC Keyword Matching Strategies: Use and Significance

As we have discussed before that keywords have great importance in Pay-per-click advertising. It significantly affects your search engine ranking. Google provides three main keyword matching strategies. Each keyword matching strategy has special usage. All are dependant on the sequence of keywords. They are as follows:

Exact Match

In this case the result will be displayed to the user only if the word entered by the user exactly matches with the keyword used in your ad. Exact matches are entered by enclosing them in “[]” square brackets.

[SEO Services] will match with ‘SEO services’ entered by the user. It will not match with ‘SEO Services’.


  • This is used as most effective campaign management tool.
  • By using this strategy you can also measure, how specific terms used in your ads really show increased Click thru Rate (CTR).

Phrase Match

Phrase matches occur when a user given keyword phrase exactly matches with the order of the keyword phrase specified by you in your ad. The exact order suffixed or prefixed with other terms will work.

Suppose you have used “SEO Services” in your ad and the user is searching “Affordable Services SEO”, in this case it will not match and your ad and will not be displayed in PPC result pages. If the user is searching for “SEO Services”, or "Affordable SEO services" then your ad will be displayed, because the user has used the exact order of the keyword phrase in his search.


  • This is one of the effective measurement tools.
  • Once the basics have been established, it can be used as an effective campaign improvement tool.

Broad Match

Among the various strategies used by Google Adwords, broad match is one of them. Broad match keywords are simply entered into the Adwords system with no special formatting or characters. e.g. SEO Services

This will show the list of ads that contain SEO and services. It will match with ‘SEO Services’, etc. It will also match with other derivatives of terms.


  • It helps to amplify the number of times your ad is displayed and also helps to increase the supply of your ad impression.
  • In this case the more your keyword phrases will match with the search words of the user, the more your ad will be exposed to general visitors.

Negative Match
This is an effective strategy adopted by Google Adwords to save you from unnecessary ad-spend. In this case Google Adwords keep certain restrictions for your ads. In negative match strategy, your advertisements will not be displayed for certain keywords or keyword phrases

For instance, if a visitor is searching for the key phrase ‘website design and optimization and you do not offer ‘website designing’ services, then Google will use the keyword ‘design’ with ‘-‘symbol to avoid your advertisement being show in the results, e.g., ‘-design’.

It is used to remove poorly targeted customers who may be looking for unrelated topics.

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