As noted by Barry over at Seroundtable, apparently Google is now recommending that you do not have multiple match types for the same search phrase. So for example, you shouldn’t have the keyword ‘golf clubs’, set on broad, phrase and exact match types.

Broad -   golf clubs
Phrase – “golf clubs”
Exact -   [golf clubs]

Now I haven’t heard or read anything official from Google personally, but a member over at Webmaster World gives the Google representatives reasoning as –

“Instead of triples of all keywords, they want advertisers to go from “broad” to “narrow” (in their words).”

Although Google may have a point that every keyword does not need to be replicated for each match type it is suprising to hear (if true) because actually you should start completely the opposite way with your PPC campaigns. So ignore Google on this one and I will explain in more detail why. If you don’t already know what each match type does, read up here.

Start Narrow

Don’t waste your money by using the default broad match straight away. Start narrow with specific exact, phrase and negative keyword combinations before even thinking about using broad match.

You can start with all exact match phrase keywords before building out to phrase match, but if you are confident and use negative keywords properly phrase match is easy to use. Not all keywords will require an exact and phrase match equivalent either, but absolutely those keywords with medium to high volume should have an exact match version. Equally those lower volume keywords might not require a exact match version. So to take the golf clubs example, I might start with only an exact match version of [golf clubs] as it’s very high volume and could potentially appear against an even larger number of terms if on phrase. However, a lower volume term like “buy golf clubs uk” probably wouldn’t require an exact match version and you could start this on phrase match straight away.

This approach means you do not need a different match type for every keyword and helps to keep your campaigns managble when dealing with hundreds of thousands of keywords already. I know some agencies and bid management software companies recommend replicating keywords into each match type which is fine, but you will often find that your campaign is bloated and a large part of it is unnecessary.

The narrow to broad approach also applies to the actual keywords you are using aswell as the match type, so use specific keywords with long tail variations, rather than more generic general phrases to begin with.

Make sure your campaign is performing with these match types to start with – monitor your internal logs and run search phrase reports (to see what people really searched for) to expand your current keywords or add further negatives to your campaign.

Use Broad Match To Sweep Up

If you have additional budget or want more volume you can then think about introducing broad match, although the expanded match element does need to be very closely monitored.

Use broad match to ‘sweep up’ any low volume keyword variations that exact and phrase match types have not already covered. When using broad match, try initially going in with a lower bid than your exact and phrase match equivalents and it can produce great results. You will need to continue to monitor your logs and run search phrase reports to further expand your keywords (& negatives). Again, aswell as match type you can also start to trial more generic search phrases for further volume (on exact match of course, have you been listening?).

Splitting Adgroups Based On Match Type

Not always, but sometimes it makes sense to split up adgroups via match type. You know when using an exact match phrase that for the advert to appear that [exact phrase] must be searched for, so it makes sense to focus your advert on this term specifically. When using broad match, your advert might appear against a number of keyword variations so sometimes it makes sense to diversify your ads a little more and test. You might find that you just make a new adgroup for just one or a few of your exact match keywords as you need greater control over them for example. Remember, trial, review and test what produces the best CTR and more importantly conversion for your campaign.

Optimise Match Types Based On Performance

Obviously the great thing about using various match types is that each match type will perform differently from the other. So each should have their own separate bid and be optimised based on their own individual performance. This allows you to have greater control over your campaign and ultimately spend money where it makes the most sense for improved return.

Note – Don’t forget, the choice of match type does not impact your quality score. All match types for the same keyword have the same quality score regardless, so this is not a factor. They do obviously massively influence your CTR though, which is the biggest factor of Googles quality score algo.