Google has made much ado about the relaunch of broad match in January of 2023. While there may be a whole new world of broad match adoption coming our way, we can’t forget about implementing a best-practice phrase and exact match keyword strategy. When you’re creating a new text campaign or adding additional keywords, we recommend using keyword match type parity for these two match types. This ensures visibility for a tight set of relevant search terms and improves overall efficiency in your account. Before we dive into why keyword parity is important and explain how you can verify that your keywords exist across match types, let’s start with the basics.
What is keyword match type?
Keywords are the words or phrases used to match ads with the terms people are searching for on Google. The keyword match types dictate how closely the keyword must match with the user’s search query so that the ad can be considered for the auction. There are three keyword match types: broad, phrase, and exact.
Broad match is the default keyword match type in Google Ads. It allows your ads to show for search queries that include variations of your keyword, including synonyms, misspellings, related searches, and other relevant variations. Historically, broad match could quickly generate a lot of impressions and clicks, but it could also result in your ads matching irrelevant searches, or it could misconstrue search intent, quickly depleting budget without return. Recently, broad match has been refreshed to understand search queries on a deeper level and better identify a user’s intent.
Phrase match allows your ads to show for search queries that include your keyword phrase in the same order as your target keyword, with some additional words before or after the keyword phrase. Phrase match is indicated by enclosing your keyword phrase within quotation marks. This match type is a good option if you want to reach a more targeted audience while retaining some flexibility for variations of your target keyword.
Exact match allows your ads to show for search queries that exactly match your target keyword phrase, with no additional words or variations, aside from plurals and misspellings. Exact match is indicated by placing square brackets around your target keyword. Exact match provides the most precise targeting, but it also has the least potential for reaching a broad audience, and sometimes comes with significant competition and high Costs Per Click (CPCs).
Understanding the different keyword match types in Google Ads is essential for any advertiser looking to create a successful campaign. By selecting the appropriate match types and using negative keywords, you can ensure your ads are reaching the right audience while maximizing their performance.
What is keyword parity?
Parity means the state of being equal or equivalent. In the context of paid search, keyword parity means making the same keyword active across different match types. For example, if you are running phrase match keywords, you should also make exact match versions of them. If you are running broad match keywords, you should make exact and phrase match versions of them.
Why is this important?
Utilizing keyword parity across your text campaigns allows you to:
1. Gain visibility for relevant search terms
Ensure your ads are appearing for relevant search terms by activating phrase and exact match versions of broad match, and exact match versions of phrase match. This helps to increase the likelihood your ads are appearing for variations on your business’ core terms.
2. Increase efficiency in the account
Review not only keyword performance, but also match type, to see whether there are any keywords driving a lot of spend but not meeting your goal. With keyword parity, you can pause the underperforming match type while maintaining historical performance. When you change a broad match keyword to phrase match, the keyword’s history is removed.
If the account is seasonal or limited by budget, you can keep the exact match versions of keywords activated and reactivate previous top-performing phrase and broad match terms when more budget is available or a busy season approaches.
3. Compete for core terms
Increase your competitiveness for core terms by using more segmented match types. This allows you to view search terms and impression share reports more easily, so you know you ‘re maintaining your share of voice goals for the keywords that are crucial to your business and bottom line. These impression share goals can be independent of match type, allowing you to hone in on key areas of interest or maintain a softer presence depending on the type of keyword.
4. Enjoy more control based on search terms
Finally, activating all match types for your keywords can give you greater control over the search terms for which your ad is displayed. By using a combination of broad, phrase, and exact match, you can create a comprehensive keyword list that covers all possible variations of your target keywords.
With more control over the search terms for which your ad is displayed, you can adjust your bids and ad copy more effectively to maximize the relevance of your ad to those search terms. This can help improve the click-through rate of your ad and reduce wasted ad spend on irrelevant search terms.
Activating match type parity for your keywords can help improve visibility for relevant search terms, increase efficiency and competitiveness, and provide more control for search terms. By using a combination of broad, phrase, and exact match keywords, you can create a well-rounded and comprehensive ad campaign that targets a wide range of potential customers while maximizing the relevance of your ad to those customers.
With the recent broad match updates, we have been testing by implementing a few broad match keywords in each category in our account. Activating just a few broad match variations will help us understand the changes to the broad match intent algorithm. We will be following up with our findings on our broad match tests soon!