How to choose a right AdWords Keyword

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How to choose a right AdWords Keyword

An exact match keyword by definition shows your ad only to search queries that match exactly with your keyword or a close variant of the exact match.

For example if you specify  [hotel rooms with bed & breakfast in NY], your ad will get triggered off only if the user types in the exact above search query or a very close variant of the same.  The big benefit of using exact match keywords are:-

  1. You practically eliminate all wastage in your campaign. The chances of your ad being clicked on (which costs you money!) is near zero.
  2. Your clicks to conversion ratios will be the best as you are exactly showing what the user is searching for.
  3. Your audience is much sharper.
  4. You spend far lesser money on your campaign and get a better ROI from it

However, what should be borne in mind is that with an exact match keyword types you are likely receive the least number of impressions and clicks than in any other keyword match type.

This happens because you have restricted the search query to a single set of keywords.

The big downside is of course you are likely to get far lower number of leads as compared to when you use Phrase or a Broad Match Modifier as your keyword match type.

Google Adwords- step by step guide
Google Adwords- step by step guide

What instances should you be using Exact Match Keywords?

What type of keyword match you should be using will largely depend on your campaign objectives. If your objective is to generate relevant traffic to your website, you should opt for a Broad Match or a Broad Match Modifier.

However, if you objective is to generate sales or highly pre-qualified leads, you should stick to using Exact Match Keywords.

Impact of changing match types from Broad to Phrase to Exact Match Type

Take a look at the example alongside, where we have looked at the keyword digital marketing agency and digital marketing agencies .

Let’s take a look at how the numbers stack up when we choose these two keywords and run a campaign using Broad, Match or Exact Matches

using broad match


Using the Google AdWord Keyword planner tool we looked at the 2 words to see the impact on impressions, clicks and budget using a CPC bid price at Rs. 100/-. The 1st picture shows that with a CPC bid at Rs. 100, I should be getting about 124 clicks out of 3687 impressions and spending about Rs. 9130.

By default as I mentioned, Google always, always shows keywords in broad match! It’s their own sweet way of ensuring that the un-trained google advertisers end up spending money without getting results!

Now let’s see what happens when I change the match type from Broad to Phrase Match

using phrase match keyword type

Whoops! The minute I change the match type keyword, while keeping the CPC bid the same, the number of expected clicks drop to about 48 clicks with an impression value of 1784 and a total spend of about Rs. 4000/-

Now, that’s a drastic drop!

Let’s see what happens when I further tighten the search query to only my ad for the exact keyword match type of the two words.

Using Exact Match Type

Holy cow!

The number of estimated clicks drop down to 9.36 clicks, impressions fall to 424 and total spend to only Rs. 736/-!!

Here’s how all 3 stack up together.

Estimated Clicks Estimated Impressions Estimated Spends
Broad Match 124 3687 9130
Phrase Match   48 1784 4000
Exact Match    9   424   736


As one can see, there is indeed a drastic drop in the estimated number of clicks when you move from a broad match keyword type to an exact match keyword. And the drop is significant.

How do you change keyword match types?

It is a good practice to check the implications and impact on the number of clicks that you will get when you shift to a new keyword match type on your google keyword planner tool.

To change the match type

  1. Select the keyword by checking the box
  2. Go to Match Type tab. Choose ALL and then choose the match type

Your keyword will be changed automatically to the match type you have chosen. Note that the keywords appear differently in each match type

Broad Match

broad match








Phrase Match

phrase match


The keywords appear within inverted commas. When you add keywords in your actual campaign and you want to specify them as Phrase match keywords remember to put the keywords within inverted commas as shown in the picture.





Exact Match

exact match

Note that the keywords now appear within brackets. This denotes that the keyword is an exact match. Remember to specify your keywords in your actual campaign in this manner if you are choosing exact match

Changing keyword matches in actual campaign

To change keywords that you are already running in your Google AdWords Campaign to a new match type, go to your main campaign dashboard and select the tab KEYWORD

campaign dashboard




Choose the keyword that you want to change the match type for by checking on the box beside the keyword.

changing match type to exact keyword


Select Change Match Types. This will open a new page

Check the current match type of the word (broad, exact or phrase) and then select the match type you want to change it to.

Make the changes to save it. Keep in mind that you will be essentially creating a new keyword and all the data pertaining to the old keyword match type will not be available for the new keyword. The old keyword match type however will be shown as paused and you can see the old data points by looking under paused keywords

Note: You can’t change a broad match modifier into an exact or phrase or broad match type.

step 2 changing match types

Under what circumstances should you opt for Exact Match Type keywords?

On the face of it, Exact Match Keyword Types target highly pre-qualified search traffic. Someone who is searching for your exact service or product category is a highly relevant prospect.

For years advertisers enjoyed this until recently when Google changed the way they treated Exact Match Keyword Types. They introduced the concept of semantics that allowed ads to be shown around the exact keyword match. It also eliminated and/or added function words which could be there in the exact keyword match that one chose.

For example if the exact keyword match was [hotels in New York], your ads were supposed to show up only if the query matched this exactly. However with the recent changes, your ads could also be shown with the following queries [hotels new York], [new York hotels]. The function work [in] is no longer relevant for google.

Read more Great tips for google adwords keyword tool


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