Guide on Keyword Match Types in Google Ads

Guide on Keyword Match Types in Google Ads

Keywords are one of the important factors in every digital marketing strategy, especially for SEO. The use of keywords can increase your business reputation and awareness and also the improper use of keywords can spoil your traffic. The keywords must be chosen and used properly for different scenarios. In this article, we will discuss the guide on keyword match types in Google Ads. Google Ads use keyword match to show your ad for the targeted audiences based on the targeted keyword and search results.

There are three major types of keyword match types in Google Ads, that are fed on Google Ad campaign to display your ads. Here we have listed the types of keywords matches and how they can be used in your Google Ad campaign. These keyword match types are used to display your ad by tracking customers data and their online journey.

Three Keyword Match Types

Keyword Match TypesThese three are the keyword types that are unique in their features and applications. Each can be represented with different symbols that indicate Google that the keyword is for this purpose, and the keyword match types in Google Ads are,

  • Broad Match
  • Phrase Match
  • Exact Match

1. Broad Match 

Broad MatchAs mentioned earlier, each keyword match type has its own feature and symbol. In this Broad Match type, the keyword is given without any symbols.

For example, we can take the keyword as womens tshirt. 

In this scenario, we did not give any symbol and the keyword is plane, this indicates that the keyword type is a broad match.

Broad match is suggested for advertisers who have a high budget and target a wide range of audiences. In this case, Google will show your ad for all the relevant keywords related to the given keyword.

Let us take the above example, in this broad match, Google will analyse the keyword and it shows ads for all the keywords related to your targeted keyword. The given keyword is womens tshirt, though it’s a broad match, Google will display your ad for all the searches like ladies tshirt, girls tshirt, etc.

This broad type will also take these factors into account to display your Ad:

  1. Recent search activities of a user
  2. Content landing page
  3. Other keywords in your created ad group


  • It is not recommended for low budget Ad campaigns
  • Cannot target the lesser and appropriate audiences
  • You cannot get relevant clicks, there is no relevancy in a broad match as it targets a wide range of audiences for all the related search terms.

1.1. Broad Match Modifier

The broad match modifier is closely related to the broad match keyword type as this type is also losing relevancy. The broad match modifier keywords are denoted by a ‘+ symbol, here we can take the previous example for better understanding,

Example: +womes +tshirt

In this scenario, the Ads will be shown for all the search terms containing these two words ‘womens’ and ‘tshirt’. For example, ‘+womes +tshirt’ is your targeted keyword, and your ad will be shown for all the searches like womens tshirt, tshirt for womens, modern womens tshirt, etc., it indicates that your ad will be shown for all the search queries that contain your targeted keyword.

This broad match and broad match modifier are recommended for high budget ad campaigns and to attract a wide range of audiences. Though it increases the number of visitors and clicks, it losses matching.

2. Phrase Match 

Phrase MatchPhrase match keyword type is denoted by double quotes “ ”. For all these scenarios we can take a single example that is easy for you to understand the exact differences.

Example: womens tshirt

The double quotes denote that the keyword is a phrase match, in this type Ads will be shown for the user search queries that contain the phrase that has been added as a keyword. For better understanding, I’ll explain this with an example of what terms your ad will be shown and the terms your ad will not be shown in SERP.

Case 1:

The targeted keyword is womens tshirt”, in this case, you ad will be shown if the user search for womens tshirt, modern womens tshirt, trending womens tshirt, best womens tshirt, etc.,

As mentioned above your Ads will be shown for all the above search queries as the search term consists of the exact keyphrase – womens tshirt fed on your Ad campaign.

Case 2:

If the user searches for tshirt for womens, womens branded tshirt, womens black tshirt, etc.,

Though the above search queries contain your keywords they are mismatched with the exact keyphrase. So, your Ad will not be displayed for these types of search queries.


  • It eliminates the irrelevant clicks
  • You can target selected audiences who search for the exact keyphrase fed on the Google Ad campaign.

3. Exact Match 

The exact match keyword type can be represented with square braces []. 

We can take the example as [womens tshirt].

In this case, the Ads will be shown only for the targeted keyword [womens tshirt]. Your Ad will not be displayed for any of the other related terms or search queries with any other terms.

For example, your ad will be shown in search engines only if the user searches for womens tshirt. The Ads will not be displayed for any other searches like trending womens tshirt, white womens tshirt, etc.,

Note: Exact phrase is the most recommended keyword match type for a low budget Ad campaign or Pay Per Click Marketing which increases your conversion rate only with the relevant clicks. Though this focus is on only the targeted keyword, irrelevant clicks will be eliminated completely.


  • Increases conversion rate drastically
  • Only relevant clicks, and not any irrelevant clicks
  • You can use this keyword match type for the particular search queries that helps you to feed your keyword for a set of targeted audiences who are searching only for your focused keyword.


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