Google uses the keywords you provide to match your ads to what people are searching for. How closely google decides to match your keywords to the searched term depends on your keyword match type. There are three keyword match types:
1. Broad match
As the name suggests, this match type will take a broader approach. If you are using broad match Google may match your keyword to a search term that is a synonym of your keyword or is closely related to your keyword. For example, if your keyword is ‘wristwatch’, google may show your ad to people searching for ‘stopwatch’, ‘timer’ or ‘pocket watch’. These people may not necessarily be your target audience.
2. Phrase match keywords
Phrase match will match with closer variants of your keyword and is more targeted than broad match. The meaning of the keyword is matched to the implied meaning of the user’s search. For example, for the keyword “wristwatch”, Google may show your ads to users searching for ‘blue wristwatch’, ‘wristwatch prices’ and ‘wristwatch brands’. However, your ad will no longer show to people searching for ‘pocket watch’, ‘stopwatch’ or ‘timer’.
3. Exact match keywords
As the name implies, this match type must be an exact match between your keyword and what people search for. It is a highly targeted match type and gives you the most control over who sees your ad. For example, if your keyword is [men’s wristwatch], Google may show your ad to people searching for ‘men’s wristwatch’ and ‘wristwatch for men’. However, your ad will no longer show to people who are searching for ‘wristwatch brands’, ‘wristwatch prices’ or ‘blue wristwatch’.
Broad match is good for reaching many people however, you have less control over who sees your ad. Phrase match is more targeted than broad match but is still flexible enough to reach more people on Google Search. Exact match is highly targeted and gives you the most control over who will see your ad. It is good practice to utilize all three match types or specific match types depending on how targeted you need your campaign to be.