Broad, Phrase or Exact Match keywords

Should you use Broad, Phrase or Exact Match keywords in Google Ads?

google ads keyword match types Oct 17, 2022

Google Ads has changed so much over the past 12 months and what’s scary is that the biggest change to Google Ads has actually gone under the radar.

I don’t know if this was intentional from Google but amongst the:

  •  Removing Smart shopping & local  campaigns  and introducing their new campaign type Performance Max
  •  The removal of Expanded Text Ads so you can only use Responsive Search ads now 
  •  The introduction of GA4

The largest and most significant change to Google Ads over the past 12 months has been the quiet change that Google made to the way that Google Ads runs its keyword targeting and match types.

In this video I will give a quick overview of these change as I then want to spend more time focusing:

  1. On which keyword match types are best for your Google Ads campaigns 
  2. The new strategies & structure that you need to be using to make sure that your are not losing conversions or wasting money. 

As a quick reminder the change that Google has made to its keyword match types is that now rather than just targeting the keywords that you enter for your exact and phrase match keywords, Google will now target keywords that have they deem have the same meaning. 


Given the level of the change that is occurring with Google match types what  keyword match types are best for your business. 

My personal view is that you should start with broad match keywords BUT I give a very strong and clear warning that if you start with broad match keywords you need to be completing search terms audits every 72 hours - with 3 being completed in the first 7 days of starting a new campaign on day 1, day 4 & day 7.

While you are completing these search term audits you are doing some 2 things:

  1. Adding in new exact match & broad match negative keywords to filter out keyword & keyword themes that you no longer want your ads to appear for
  2. Building out a list of phrase match & exact match keywords that you know produce high CTR & conversion rates

The benefit of this strategy is that by keeping in some broad match keywords you are able to continually review any new search terms themes that you could potentially use to build out new keyword themes to target.

 With the benefit of broad match keywords usually having a lower CPC BUT when someone types in an exact match keyword that you know converts your account is ready to bid higher for this search term.

Now finally what does this mean for your account structure 

Finally, for your account structure the change in Google Ads keyword targeting now means that you need to change your structure to have more campaigns with less ad groups

In some cases I have even reduced the number of Ad groups by 70%.