Not understanding match types in Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) can mean the difference between throwing away thousands of dollars away in your PPC Campaigns that don’t yield the desired return on investment (ROI), or acquiring a steady stream of new Customers and making money from paid traffic.
Let’s focus on Google Adwords (similar to other PPC ad platforms) for now- the default setting of keywords you enter is “broad”, so if you set up your Adgroups with only broad match keywords, then you will burn through your hard earned money by showing up for non-commercial intent variations, and then be part of the masses that say that ‘PPC just doesn’t work these days’.
What Does a Match Type Keyword Do?
The match type of a keyword tells Google Adwords how much control you want to have over how & when your ads are being triggered for display by searchers typing in their queries into Google’s search engine.
Ideally, you should be constantly balancing the reaching of the widest audience possible for your specific offering without sacrificing relevance to your offering and keeping all of that within your PPC marketing budget- no small goal indeed.
Different Match Types:
Let’s use an example of a “credit card processing” company that sells systems for bank and credit card acceptance to businesses, so that those businesses can offer debit and credit card acceptance for the products/services that they sell to their customer base.
Let’s focus on one service this type of company provides and use the keyword “credit card terminal” (you know the machines at the counter where you swipe/insert your bank/credit card to pay).
- Broad Match looks like this: credit card terminal
- this tells Adwords to display your ad whenever a searcher types up ANY phrase that has the words “credit”, “card” and “terminal” in it regardless of the order, misspellings and synonyms can come into play for infinite unintended possiblities
- here’s a money making example: “Where can I buy a card terminal that accepts credit cards?”
- here’s a money burning example “terminal illness resulting from credit card bankruptcy”
- benefit (s): reach the most number of people with variations of queries you never even thought possible
- disadvantage (s): variations of queries you never even thought possible costing you each time someone doesn’t look or read and just starts clicking thinking that your ad might solve their problem
Modified Broad Match
- Modified Broad match looks like this: +credit +card +terminal
- this tells Adwords to display your ad when a searcher types in any phrase that definitely has the words you want to be in the query that you have marked by the “+” symbol in front of the word
- here’s a money making example: “how much can i buy a wireless credit debit card terminal for?”
- here’s a money burning example “credit and bank card atm terminal for kids”
- benefit (s): reach more people than “phrase” and “exact” through more possible keyword variations, and have more control over relevancy to your chosen keywords
- disadvantage (s): still can be too varied, especially if you have a small budget and can’t afford to experiment to see which variations you didn’t think of can bring targeted traffic
- Phrase Match looks like this: “credit card terminal”
- this tells Adwords to display your ad when a searcher types in your chosen keywords in that exact order, however, words can be in front or after that phrase
- here’s a money making example: “need asap virtual credit card terminal for shipping office”
- here’s a money burning example: “i hate credit card terminal scam companies”
- benefit (s): reach less people than “broad” and “modified broad”, yet more than “exact”
- disadvantage (s): although less restrictive than “exact”, the more control you choose, the less traffic through ‘impressions’ and ‘clicks’
- Exact match looks like this: [credit card terminal]
- this tells Adwords to display your ad ONLY when these exact words, in the exact order with NO other words added to either end are typed in by searcher
- here’s the ONLY example: “credit card terminal”
- benefit (s): usually the best commercial intent
- disadvantage (s): lowest amount of traffic/ impressions because you are limited by chosen exact keywords, order and with no exceptions
Understanding The Basics is Just the Beginning…
Now that you have enough of an overview to begin- is it enough knowledge to get the results you want without weekly investing elbow grease and time (that you don’t have because you are trying to run your business)?
If you want to participate successfully in online PPC marketing, then you need to set aside a budget for PPC Management, regardless of whether you want to invest in a small or large way in the actual cost of the clicks.
It is worth every penny to have professionals manage your PPC advertising because even though PPC allows unprecedented tracking and measurement of everything you do, and therefore gives you the necessary data to analysis, how would you know what to do with that mountain of data?
Results oriented agencies like SBOC, invest 1000′s of man hours in education and 1000′s of dollars in software tools to do the job right and you get to leverage all of those resources. Create successful ROI yielding campaigns at a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee to do it in-house (even if you had the know-how and software tools) or an inexperienced agency to do it half-right or completely wrong.