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Exact match keywords to promote content & improve Google Ad performance

Exact match keywords to promote content & improve Google Ad performance

Improve your visibility online with better-performing ads and helpful content


 

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Keyword Match Types

What are exact match keywords

What has changed with exact match keywords?

Benefits of using exact match keywords

How to use exact match keywords effectively

Challenges of using exact match keywords

Audit your exact match keywords

When to add a keyword as an exact match

Summary

FAQ

 

Keyword Match Types

Being found on Google is a huge advantage and when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), precision is key for businesses looking to be easily found online. Google's keyword match types help ensure your investment in Google Ad campaigns is maximised, avoiding unnecessary spending on unqualified traffic that may not engage with your business.

 

Google Keyword Types

Exact match SEO involves strategically using specific phrases that potential customers are likely to search for when seeking the products or services a business offers. Rather than casting a wide net, this approach focuses on targeting with precision to ensure that the content resonates perfectly with the intended audience's queries.

1.Keyword Research and Selection: The foundation of this strategy lies in identifying the perfect keywords that showcase a business's core offerings. For example, a florist specialising in weddings could target the phrase "wedding florist in [City Name]" instead of a generic term like "florist."

2. On-Page Optimisation: Once the keywords have been chosen, they must be seamlessly integrated into the website's content. This includes title tags, meta descriptions, and headers. For example, a florist could use "wedding florist in [City Name]" in its title tag to attract local brides planning their weddings.

3. Content Creation: Your content should cater to the specific needs and queries of your target audience. For instance, a florist could create a blog post titled "Flower availability by month," addressing a common query from people choosing their wedding flowers and positioning the business as a helpful authority.

There are more ways than one to drive traffic to your site and gain better conversion rates. One valuable strategy is to use exact keyword types.

This can help you get traction for a product launch or a boost to your campaign efforts.

 

What are exact match keywords?

Broad Match, Phrase Match Exact Match and Negative Keyword Match Types are all terms you'll need to become familiar with if you want to be successful in promoting your business with Google Ads. Out of the four keyword matching options Google offers, Exact Match enables you to precisely target users based on their search intent, presenting your ad to those most inclined to click through. While exact matches may not garner as many impressions as other keyword-matching options, they often result in a significantly higher click-through rate (CTR).

If you have a limited budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, consider focusing on bidding for exact-match keywords. These keywords can help you target users who are specifically searching for certain keywords or closely related terms, ultimately leading to a higher return on investment (ROI) for your ad budget by reaching users who are more likely to convert.

 

 

Use keyword match types to maximise the ROI of your ads

Selecting the appropriate keyword match type is essential for optimising your Google Ad campaigns to attract the right kind of traffic, increase your chances of acquiring new customers, generate sales, and maximise ROI.

In this article, we focus on exact match keywords.  Exact match keywords are crucial in search advertising by focusing on the most relevant searches. By using exact match keywords, your ads will only appear when someone searches for your exact keyword or a close variant of it, such as a misspelling, singular or plural form, stem, or abbreviation.

For instance, if your exact match keyword is [pink flowers], your ad may appear for searches like pink flower, flowers pink, or pink flours, but not for searches like pink bouquets, flowers for pink wedding, or pink and white flowers.

What has changed with exact match keywords?

The treatment of exact match queries is in a constant state of evolution. Since the inception of Google Ads, the concept of "exact match" keywords has transitioned from solely triggering precise matches to encompassing searches with comparable underlying intent.

Over the years, exact-match keywords have become more flexible and inclusive of close variants. Initially, they only matched the exact word or phrase without any variations. However, Google introduced the option to include close variants in 2012, such as misspellings, singular or plural forms, and stemmings. In 2017, Google expanded the definition to include word order and function words like prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. For example, if your exact match keyword was [pink flowers], your ad could show for searches like flowers pink for or buy pink flowers. 

In 2018, Google further broadened the scope to include synonyms, paraphrases, and implied words as long as they have the same intent and meaning. For example, if your exact match keyword was [pink flowers], your ad might display for searches like magenta floral arrangement or pink posy.

 

Keyword Match Types Examples

Exact Match Keyword illustration graphic

 

From 2019 onwards Google will display your ads in searches that it thinks are close enough to your target keywords. This seems to be part of a trend where users are keen for better results based on search intent rather than strict interpretation of keywords. And with Google’s AI and machine learning capabilities getting stronger constantly, it’s hardly surprising that this shift has happened.

Another update to the exact match resembles the modified broad match. Aside from accommodating commonly misspelled keywords, Google will serve up ads for a wider range of search queries: 

  • Singular/plural forms 
  • Stemmings (keywords plus suffixes like ed, ing, er) (“gardeners” as well as “gardening”)
  • Abbreviations/acronyms (“SEO” as well as “search engine optimisation”) 
  • Paraphrases
  • Synonyms 
  • Accents

Google states that these updates were implemented to enhance the user experience, to benefit both users and advertisers. However, the outcomes may still differ depending on the advertiser, especially in highly competitive spaces for high-volume keywords.

 

An exact match keyword means Google will show your ad when a user searches for the exact phrase or word that you've bid on. For your keyword to enter a Google Ads action, it should closely (if not perfectly) match the user's search query - SEMRUSH

 

The evolution of keywords has led to an increase in the reach and relevance of exact match keywords. It's crucial to closely monitor performance and adjust strategies accordingly. Look for irrelevant or low-converting variations and use negative keywords to refine targeting. Regularly reviewing search term reports can help identify new close variants and assess their impact on campaign performance. By staying informed and proactive, you can leverage the flexibility of exact match keywords to optimise ad visibility and drive qualified traffic effectively.

Though you don’t have the same control over exactly when Google serves up your content in the context of organic (non-paid) search results, exact match keywords still play a role. For example, you might gear your SEO strategy towards targeting very specific exact match keywords, such as by including them frequently in your blog.

It’s also possible for searchers to force Google to give them only exact match results by using the quotation marks trick to search only for a specific phrase. So what's the difference between Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match?

Google Ads Keyword

Benefits of using exact match keywords

Using exact match keywords in your search advertising campaigns can bring about a variety of perks, including increased relevance, a bump in conversion rates, and decreased competition. By honing in on specific search queries, your ads will align more closely with what users are looking for, resulting in a more satisfying user experience and a boost in your quality score. This can lead to cost savings and higher ad placements. Targeting precise search queries can also up your conversion rate, meaning more potential sales, leads, or sign-ups for your business. Also, focusing on specific search queries can help reduce competition and save you money while maximising your return on investment.

Exact match keywords serve as a strategic tool that can enhance click-through rates (CTR) and enhance conversion rates by pinpointing users with specific search intent. They offer better control over advertising budgets by targeting highly relevant users. By monitoring the performance of these keywords, marketers can pinpoint valuable terms for their campaigns. While they may have a limited reach, using negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches can help. Combining exact match with other keyword match types like phrase match or broad match can broaden your audience reach while still maintaining control over who sees the ad.

 

 

How to use exact match keywords effectively

To effectively leverage exact match keywords in your search advertising campaigns, make sure to conduct thorough keyword research, use brackets to specify exact match keywords, incorporate negative keywords to filter out irrelevant searches, and consistently monitor and adjust your keyword strategy. Following these guidelines will help you target specific and relevant search queries, ensuring that your ads are displayed only when someone searches for your exact keyword or a close variant. This approach not only boosts your relevance, quality score, and conversion rate but also aids in cost management. By adhering to best practices for exact match keywords, you can set your campaigns up for success.

 

 

Challenges of using exact match keywords

Exact match keywords can also present some challenges for your search advertising campaigns. For example, you can limit the traffic and exposure of your ads to a smaller audience, resulting in fewer impressions, clicks, and opportunities to reach potential customers. This can lead to higher costs per click or per conversion if the keywords are highly competitive or have a high commercial intent. Moreover, you need to constantly research, test, and update your keywords to keep up with changes in user behaviour, search trends, and close variants. It is beneficial to use tools and techniques such as keyword planners, search terms reports, negative keywords, and dynamic keyword insertion to effectively manage your exact match keywords.

To maximise your campaign's success, it is important to balance your use of exact match keywords with other match types such as phrase match or broad match modifier. Additionally, you should monitor bids and budgets carefully and adjust them according to performance and goals.

 

Audit your exact match keywords

As exact matches continue to evolve in their ability to understand user intent, the relevance of exact match keywords remains. They still hold value for targeting a specific niche audience with a highly specific keyword. To continue reaping the benefits of exact matches, there are specific techniques you can employ. In this section, let's explore a few of them.

Before making any adjustments to your keyword strategy, it's essential to audit your exact match keywords, especially if you haven't reviewed them recently. There are two things you need to check on;

Search terms data: Go to your Google Ads campaign, click on Keywords then Search Keywords, filter according to Match Type, and select Exact Match. If you come across any keywords that catch you by surprise or seem unrelated to your current campaign goals, they could be draining your budget unnecessarily. It's important to weed out these keywords and redirect your funds towards targeting the keywords that align with your objectives.

Conversion rates: Using the same filters analyse the conversion rates of your exact match keywords. If you notice a decline in conversion rates, it's time to reassess your strategy. 

 

 

When to add a keyword as an exact match

Don't waste your budget by selecting every keyword as an exact match, strategic keyword selection is crucial to maximise your ad spend. Here are two key types of keywords that you should consider adding as exact match keywords;

Google AdsLong-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords, which are search phrases consisting of three words or more, are often utilised by searchers with a specific intent, increasing the likelihood of conversion. For instance, a user searching for "womens black platform shoes size 5" knows precisely what they are looking for, while someone searching for "womens shoes" may be merely browsing. If your keyword research indicates significant search volumes for long-tail keywords, consider adding them as exact-match keywords to enhance your targeting strategy.

Modified broad match keywords: As the distinction between broad match and exact match keywords becomes increasingly blurred, it's important to stay alert. If you notice that a modified broad match keyword is gaining traction in search volume, it may be worth considering upgrading it to an exact match. However, be cautious when adding low-volume keywords as exact matches. Google Ads may flag these as "low search volume" and temporarily pause them, prompting you to switch them back to broad match to maintain visibility and results.

 

Summary 

Focus on High-Intent Searches: Utilise exact match keywords for terms indicating strong purchase intent or users who are well into the buying process.

Enhance Ad Relevance and Quality Score: By only displaying your ad for highly specific searches, exact match keywords boost the relevance of your ad to match user queries. This can enhance your Quality Score, a crucial metric impacting ad rank and cost. A higher Quality Score typically results in lower costs and improved ad positions.

Pair with Other Match Types: While exact match is effective for precise searches, it may limit your overall reach. Consider combining exact match with phrase match or broad match keywords to capture a broader range of relevant searches while maintaining control over your ad audience.

 

FAQ

 

If you would like help with Google Ads or just quick chat, use this link to set up a call. 

 

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