Exact Match Category In Google Ads: What You Need To Know

by Apr 28, 2021Blog

If you advertise on Google, you probably have a favorite keyword category, or you might like to switch things up and not stick to just one particular category. If you haven’t run any ads on Google, it might be a good time to start as we have just launched the ultimate “Beginner’s Guide to Running Your First Google Search Ads Campaign“.

First things first – Deciding on keywords is one of the essential steps when creating an ad, as it can determine how your budget is spent and how your ad is shown to users. You can form keywords based on 3 categories, and for a better understanding, here is a breakdown:

  1. Exact Match means that your ad will only show if a user searches for that same keyword. 
  2. Phrase Match means that your ad will only show when someone searched for your keyword phrase or close variations of your exact keyword phrase. 
  3. Broad Match provides the most flexibility, and it means that your ad will show if someone uses your keyword or any synonym/related words. It might also show your ad when different search terms are used, which is why many advertisers don’t prefer to use this category.

To illustrate with examples:

  1. if you have the keyword phrase “lawn mowing service” as an exact match, users can see your ad when searching for “lawn mowing service.” 
  2. If you have this keyword as a phrase match, users might also see your ad when searching for “hire company to mow lawn”. 
  3. And if you have the keyword as a broad match”, then people can find you if they use any sort of related words, such as “lawn aeration prices.”

For now, let’s focus on the exact match category. The “exact” characteristic changed up a little bit throughout the years. Google gave that category more flexibility and allowed more alterations and close variants of the given keyword.

Let’s summarize what close variants may include:

  • Spelling mistakes
  • Singular or plural forms
  • Stemming, such as floor and flooring
  • Abbreviations
  • Accents 
  • Reordered words with the same meaning, such as “tennis shoes” and “shoes tennis”
  • Addition or removal of function words, such as “shoes tennis” and “shoes for tennis” 
  • Implied words
  • Synonyms and paraphrases
  • Words with the same search intent, such as “royalty-free images” and “free copyright images”

Today, Google will show your ad to searchers who used your keyword and searches with the same meaning or the same intent as the keyword. With the “lawn mowing service” example, users will also find the ad when searching for “grass cutting service,” allowing more flexibility and more visibility of that ad. 

Another example provided by Google is when users search for “shoes for running” and your exact match keyword is “running shoes” – the user will still be able to see your ad. Such close variants of exact match keywords aim to connect with people looking for your product or service, despite the slight difference in the way they search. This, in return, reduces the need to build an extensive keyword list.

If you find this information useful, subscribe to our newsletter so you can be the first to see other relevant information regarding Google Ads.