Matching Your Keywords

- November 25, 2008

When creating an online campaign, much time is spent selecting keywords and even more time writing ad copy, but very little time deciding which match type to use for keywords.  Recently, I was working with a client who asked MoreVisibility to create a fresh, exciting search engine marketing campaign (SEM).  When I spoke to the client with respect to their previous SEM efforts, I was surprised to discover they had not been utilizing any variations in match type; in fact, they had only been using broad match.

Broad match keywords display the widest range of search query results possible.  Broad match will allow the keywords to be displayed in any order; with other search terms before, after or in between your keywords.  For example, if you were a farmer looking to create an SEM campaign for avocados; you may choose to use ‘avocado’ as a keyword.  However, if ‘avocado’ is used as a broad match keyword, the interpretations are endless and the search query results are limitless; even if a searcher is looking for an ‘avocado colored sweater’ or someone looking for ‘how to plant avocado trees’ then your ad would be displayed.  Typically, broad match keywords produce huge numbers of impressions and clicks, but very few conversions; especially when the search terms are general.

Phrase match keyword types are a useful match type, as they prevent words from being inserted between the keywords when a search query is conducted.  You can indicate phrase match keywords by putting keywords in quotation marks when adding it to Google.  Phrase matched keywords will not allow words to be inserted between your quoted keywords.  For example, more appropriate keywords may be “buy avocados” or “fresh avocados.”  These keywords are more targeted and when implemented as a phrase match type, reduce the amount of superfluous clicks and irrelevant searches.

Exact match is another useful tactic which prevent any words to come before or after the specified keyword or keywords when performing a search query.  Exact matching can be implemented by adding brackets to the keyword; for example by enclosing the keyword [avocado] inside the brackets, it is considered to be an exact match keyword.  This will then cause your ad to not be displayed for such queries such as, ‘avocado sweater’ as the keyword [avocado] is set for exact match status.  Exact matches will produce fewer clicks and impressions, but lead to more qualified visitors.

While campaigns have many components, one essential feature that should not be ignored is the keyword match type.  An effective match type will reduce the amount of unnecessary clicks, and leave more money for your advertising budget.  An effective SEM campaign utilizes a combination of different match types to target specific searchers and limit uninterested parties.

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