PPC Search Marketing – Keyword Match Types

Search Engine Marketing is a powerful platform to push your products in the search-engine listings. The grand-daddies in the “search” business are Google and Amazon with billions in revenue. With millions of products listed and huge amount of search inventory with Google and Amazon, all advertisers and sellers compete to get their products on top of the search listings and therefore the adtool that enables that requirement.

Product Ads are displayed in the form of sponsored search listings when a customer types a search query into Amazon’s search engine. Your ad can only appear on Amazon if the customer’s search query matches one of the keywords running in your campaign.

  • “Search term” refers to any search query the customer types into Amazon search bar.
  • “Keywords” refer to what words and phrases you bid on for the ad campaigns.

The degree of match between the “Search Term” and the “Keywords” determine whether your ad will be featured for a search term or not. In other words, you can use keyword match types to target various types of customers searching for various search terms with different intentions, and potentially choose to display your ad to customers who were not necessarily searching for your exact product. One can also control over the number of search terms Amazon matches to each keyword, which can be used to control your cost per click (CPC) costs.

There are three keyword match types available:

  • Broad match type: search terms that contain all components of your keyword in any order.
  • Phrase match type: search terms that contain all components of your keyword in the same order.
  • Exact match type: search terms that match your keyword word by word (same word order + same components)

If a keyword consists of only one word, then the Broad and Phrase match types will display the same search term, as the word order is irrelevant. Also, all three keyword match types will cover the minor variations such as below:

  • Capitalization
  • Singular / Plural (e.g. “nike shoe” will cover “nike shoes”)
  • Minor spelling errors
  • Connecting words (e.g. “and”,“for”.)

The below table illustrates how the “match-type” works:

Even on Google, the logic of the working remains the same at a higher level.

Match Types can have a major impact on your ad’s performance: match types is what that determines exactly which search queries you’re bidding for. As you determine which match types to use for each keyword, there are a few key components to consider:

  • Keyword Performance till Date — Performance of a keyword or similar keywords gives you insights into which match type will provide the best return on your investment.
  • Competition — Competitor bidding on certain keywords along with its performance historically will impact the return from certain match types.
  • Bidding — Cost per click (CPC) and Cost per Conversion are heavily impacted by bids – often advertisers employ various methods to manipulate bids and frequently bid more or less aggressively based on the match type – this can strongly influence which match type is most appropriate. Also, CPCs will generally be higher for Exact match types (due to higher exact intent) and CPCs will be lower for Broad match types.
Here's Why Google AdWords Phrase Match Matters [Stats + Theory]
  • Ad Text /Account Structure — Often, advertisers will use one “money” keyword and run it on broad, phrase and exact match types – segmenting those match types out and allocating specific ads for each type.

Hope this is useful, thank you.


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