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Keyword Match Types and Optimization – Part 1

We can use four keyword match types for PPC campaigns:

1. Broad: Display your ad if your Keyword is anywhere in the Search term

2. Phrase: Displays your ad only if Search Term and Keyword are in the same order

3. Exact:  Displays your ad only if the Search Term exactly matched with the Keyword

4. Negative: Your ad will not be displayed if a negative Keyword is included in a search term. These keywords help us control broad and phrase match keywords. We can use Negative keywords in all Broad, Phrase and Exact match types.


Search Term: word used by the user

Keyword: word bid on by the advertiser

The grid below will help you understand the various terms used by the top three search engines:

Identifying Search Terms and Optimization:

There are different ways to optimize keyword match types, here I will explain how you can track Search terms (exact keywords) triggered by broad and phrase match keywords for different search engines:

Google Search Query report:

1. The search query report gives us the Search Terms that are triggered by phrase and broad match keywords

2. Identify the Search Terms that are used by the users and that are not there in your campaigns

3. Separate them in relevant and irrelevant categories.

4. Again, cluster the relevant keywords into different clusters and add them to relevant adgroups

5. You can add these relevant keywords in all three match types

6. Irrelevant keywords can be added as negative or excluded keywords

7. You can add negative keywords in all three match types, depending on the keyword


1. Yahoo doesn’t provide a report for Search Terms triggered for broad and phrase keywords

2. You can track Search Terms used in Yahoo by using a URL parameter

3. Keyword={OVRAW} – use this as a URL parameter to capture Search Terms

In my next post, I will explain how you can track keywords from MSN and how to track Search Terms using Google Analytics.

Contributed by Sudheer Dayanand

July 17, 2009
By Team Position²