When it comes to PPC solutions, effective keyword targeting is essential for success. Choosing the right keywords and matching them correctly can mean the difference between achieving your campaign goals and falling flat.
Keywords are words or phrases used to match ads with search terms. There are several different types of keyword match types available to gather similar or related keywords automatically to help improve your PPC campaign results.
Broad match types are designed to capture all the possible queries related to your keyword, including exact matches, phrase matches, and related searches. You can avoid repeating keywords in different match types by capturing all the relevant queries using one broad keyword. Broad match types can also help you capture more relevant searches for your keyword. By including related searches, you can target a wider range of potential customers who might not find your ads with a narrower match type, allowing you to attract more visitors to your website, reduce the time you spend on building keyword lists, and focus your ad spending on keywords that work. To deliver relevant matches, broad match keywords also use the user’s recent search activities, landing page content, and other keywords in an ad group to better understand keyword intent.
For example, if your broad match keyword is “productivity software,” your ad may show on searches for:
- Productivity management software
- Productivity app
- Productivity applications
- Productivity tools
Phrase match is a keyword option that refines your search engine results to ensure your ads are only showing up for relevant queries. With this, you can target searches that include the exact phrase of your keyword by adding quotes around them when creating a new campaign or ad group. Once your campaign is live, phrase matching lets search engines know that you only want to target searches that include the exact phrase of your keyword. Phrase match keywords allow you to reach more searches than with exact match but fewer searches than with broad match keywords.
For example, if your phrase match keyword is “best laptops,” your PPC ad may show on searches for the following:
- Best laptops for students
- Best laptop for home use
- Best laptop for work
- Best laptop brands
Exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ad. With exact match keywords, your ad will only show when someone searches for what you’ve specified. While exact match gives you more control over the leads you’re targeting, it can also result in fewer searches than phrase and broad match keywords. With phrase and broad match, your ads may show on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as the keyword, while exact match involves adding square brackets around your target keywords to only show your ads to searchers looking for products or services with that exact keyword.
For example, if your exact match keyword is “[shoes for women],” your PPC ad may show on searches for the following:
- Shoes women
- Women shoes
- Woman shoe
- Shoes for women
Like exact match keywords, negative keywords allow you to control which searches your ads are shown. The difference is that you can exclude your ads from showing on searches by adding terms to a negative keyword list. This means that you can target your ads more precisely, so you don’t have to waste money showing ads for searches that won’t lead to conversions. For example, if you’re a hat company that doesn’t sell baseball hats, you can add a negative keyword for “baseball hats.” That way, your ads won’t show up in related searches, saving you money and ensuring that your ad budget is being spent on the right audience.
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Regular expression, or Regex, is a standardized language for search terms. Similar to how the international phonetic alphabet uses a combination of funky characters to represent pronunciation, Regex uses custom character classes to represent search parameters. Although Google Ads doesn’t support Regex, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with regular expression patterns to filter your reporting and find potential negative keywords.
One fundamental of Regex is literal characters. Literal characters match themselves to a set of strings that align with their character pattern. Search patterns that use all literal characters is the simplest form of Regex and the same concept as searching for a specific set of characters in a given string. Let’s say you want to search for the word “search” in a string. You could use the Regex, /search/, to return the exact word “search”, or the first six letters of the word “searching.”
In most cases, using literal characters isn’t advanced enough to achieve a perfect match, so you’ll need to employ other fundamental techniques along with it.
Metacharacters are used to give literal characters different meanings, allowing you to take simple text searches and make them more powerful. By using metacharacters to filter your PPC reporting, you can define what types of characters you want to match, or where specific text should be located.
Creating a successful paid search campaign is no small feat—it requires strategy, research, and expertise. At Web Sprout, our team of PPC specialists take the time to understand your business, goals, and competitive landscape to craft ads using all keyword match types to target your ideal customer and deliver results. From targeting the correct keywords to selecting the right ad format, you get the most out of your campaign with Web Sprout.
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