three reasons the phrase match is better than broad match in google adwords

Google Adwords have three types of keyword targeting or matching: broad match, phrase match and exact match. In general, the type of match that you would use for a keyword or keyphrase will depend on several things. The most common and important considerations being

  • Type of audience:  For a particular keyword, you should have a target audience in mind. This will usually be a subset of your entire target audience for the campaign. How streamlined you want to market the keyword will decide the type of match.
  • Budget for the keyword: You should also have a target budget that you want to spend for this keyword. Depending on how big or small your budget is, you can decide on the size of your target audience.
  • Predicted amount of clicks: This is also related to the budget for the keyword. The predicted number of clicks along with the Cost per Click (CPC) of the keyword will provide you with an idea on what type of a match you should go for. Use restrictive matches such as exact or phrase for keywords with a high CPC.

Although the keyword match type that you select will depend on several factors that are totally unique to your campaign, there are some advantages between the match types itself. There are some advantages in choosing phrase match over a broad match.

Google Adwords Broad match type queries

Less but targeted Impressions

Using phrase match will invariably result in less impressions when compared to using broad match option for the same keyword. This is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as the impressions you are generating is targeted and relevant, it is good. You can always increase the total impressions that are relevant by adding more relevant keywords.

For example, let us say you are running a campaign for marketing red shoes. If you use the keyphrase red shoes and match it using the broad match, then potentially you could be showing the ad for several search queries such as red dress, red hat and black shoes none of which are relevant to your campaign.

By phrase matching the keyphrase red shoes, you will be showing the ads to search queries such as red shoes, expensive red shoes and red shoes sale etc. that may be more relevant. Obviously there will be less queries that match but they will be more relevant.

Better CTR and Quality Score

Having a more targeted marketing campaign will generate clicks that are more relevant and convert better. This will usually result in a better CTR for your keyword and also thus a better quality score for your keywords. This is important because having a good quality score will make your ads rank better and thus generate more impressions over time. This will also reduce your CPC or it will cost less per click.

Using the same example as above, even if did have want to market black shoes in addition to the red shoes, it is worthwhile to create two different keywords in two different ad groups with appropriate ads for each of them. This will make sure that you will have highly targeted ads showing for each of the keywords that will result in better CTR for each of them.

So, in a nutshell it is better to have two (or more) different key phrases targeting red shoes and black shoes separately rather than having a single keyword shoes that targets both of them using a broad match.

Better Stats for your keywords

Having a phrase based match for your keywords will generate much more appropriate statistic for the keyword. Having a broad match will generate a lot more of the impression that only match your keyword partially and thus can be considered as statistical noise.

On top of that Google does not really provide you the statistics with the exact search query that matched and generated your impressions. You can however view the search queries that generated a click. That means you probably have a lot of impressions counted that does not even match the keyword closely. Using the phrase match will mitigate that issue to a large degree.

As much as possible, avoid using a broad match unless it is a keyword that generates so few queries that it is not worth breaking it down into multiple key phrases and matching it by phrase match or exact match. The more impressions that a keyword generates, the more likely is it a candidate for a phrase match.