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Cheapest Match Type

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# 1
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Hi Guys


I wanted to ask if anyone knew the answer to a question please.


If you have two identical keywords but one a phrase match and one a exact match.


Assuming that someone searching for this exact term and both adverts are identical which one would be cheaper on average?


E.G - "The Joker Collectable Figurine" or [The Joker Collectable Figurine]


I usually use multiple match types but when I drill down to more specific products due to there being less traffic I tend to us only phrase match so my net is a little wider.


However because I have been running ads for a little while I have noticed that these keywords have a patern which I can predict but I'm unsure if there is any benefit in having both match types in this instance?


2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Cheapest Match Type

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

Which one would be cheaper? It all depends on the Bid, the Quality Score, as the one with the better QS traditionally would get a discount so to speak.

However, I wouldn't really concern myself as to which one is cheaper, I would want to look at conversions and ROAS. Which one brought in the most conversations and gave you the best ROI.

There is no generic answer as to which match type is cheaper, because it depends on all the factors in the Adwords auction from your personal settings, bid and target methods, as well as what the Competition is for each and every search query. You personal data should tell you what is the best course of action for your account.

No personally, I stay away from "Phrase match" in many of my client campaigns and just use both [Exact match} and either Broad Match or +Modified +Broad +Match with an extensive negative keyword list.

This is what has worked for my data based across many clients and their respective campaigns and competition factors, but again that is based on MY data results and each campaign should be evaluated on it's own merits.

Hope that helps

Re: Cheapest Match Type

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
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Hello Eric

Thanks for your reply

In general for me it appears that Exact match converts at a cheaper price and more frequently than phrase match, I am not a fan of Broad match or Broad match modifier at the moment. That may well me down to confidence as I am still learning adwords.

I do have a what I would consider extensive list of negative keywords and I am desperately trying to extend it....

So I take it I am doing the correct thing using multiple match types for my keywords?

Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Michael F
September 2015

Re: Cheapest Match Type

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner
Yes Michael,

Using multiple match types for keywords is acceptable and an often used practice.
Again it comes down to your Bids, Quality Score and ultimately your ROI based on your own data.

Statically Exact match is always your best choice, if there are enough impressions and clicks to bring in Conversions. The looser you go into phrase and broad match just expands that potential market for impression of people who my type in different types of queries.

You are the right track, but keep analyzing your data and keep the ROI in mind with every decision.

Re: Cheapest Match Type

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
In general (and it is important to state that at the outset - because it might not always be the case) with all other things being equal - such as the bid, the ad copy and the landing page - google is going to prefer to serve the tightest match type possible for any keyword - os if you have a search terms that corresponds to an exact match keyword, Google is going to use this...

I, like @Eric Gehler have more or less stopped using phrase match for BMM - why? - well because if I want to cover the phrase match options for a four word keyword phrase I might have to include a dozen combinations - where with BMM I can simply include the four words - done...

Most of my campaigns use BMM in one campaign and then exact match - many are single keyword campaigns or ad groups designed to make the most of ad copy and in some cases individual landing pages....

Re: Cheapest Match Type

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# 6
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Hi Stickleback

The first bit you wrote is important to me as that is what I had thought was the case but wasn't sure if I was right....

In regards to Broad Match Modifier, now you have put it like that I suppose it would be much easier for me to proceed like that as I do have ALOT of variations.

Thank you both for your input you have been very helpful

Re: Cheapest Match Type

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Michael, without disagreeing with my learned colleagues Eric & Steve, I'll throw in a defence of Phrase match.


While what Steve describes is certainly true - why have multiple Phrase match Keywords when the same search terms can be covered by just one MBM - depending upon the actual product and terms there can be key differences to meaning in the order of the words.


As a silly example, there's quite likely to be a very different intent behind a search for "blue shoes suede" as opposed to "blue suede shoes".  Now, as it happens, the second search does still bring up a lot of Ads for shoes, but I wonder what their CTR looks like compared to the CTR for something not explicitly the song title.


As for negatives, while of course everyone should use negatives, I do feel you have to be careful not to go too far.  You should certainly exclude the obvious ones but I'm not a fan of having an enormous list of negatives that are not explicitly linked to the product itself, or possible irrelevant terms related to that product (like "second hand" or "reviews").  Google themselves recommend using more positive matches over a larger negative list and I've seen myself some very... "odd" search terms convert profitably.  If you exclude exhaustively, you run the risk of excluding possible converting searches - even if they include words you wouldn't anticipate being useful.



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Re: Cheapest Match Type

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
Good points - and a great example ;-)

However, I'm thinking more along the lines of someone looking to cover the search term of - blue shoes made of suede - you'd end up with a lot of phrase match keywords if you wanted to cover all eventualities.

If we do find that we have a "contentious" formation - such as your blue suede shoes example - my solution here would probably be to put this as an exact negative in the main group and then run it in its own ad group or campaign as an exact (or maybe phrase) to ensure that all the searches for that particular configuration were pushed into that group. Then I'd also add Elvis (and Carl!) as negatives to make sure I avoided searches relating to the song.

I do, however, take the point about there being some combinations of words that signify either more intent, or a completely different intent, and this should be monitored and dealt with.

I also prefer not to build massive negative lists - beyond the obvious... for many advertisers the volumes of traffic often don't really justify such extensive attention.

Re: Cheapest Match Type

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# 9
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That is quite a good point you make, I am still finding it hard to understand the intent behind search terms. The example you used is obvious (even to me) but do you have any tips on how I can get to grips with this?

Regarding negatives I have been torn over this for some time, every day I scour my search terms to find keywords that triggered my adverts which I don't think are relevant.

Whilst I have found some of these keywords have a very good CTR I always exclude them, I have yet to find one that actually turned into a sale but my data is only about 14 days old - I think I may be a little more cautious with how I proceed with this in the future.

To take your point even further I sell comic book items, at the moment lets assume I only have Marvel products in stock (spider-man, hulk, wolverine, captain america)

Based on what you say do you think it would be unwise (even as a temporary measure) to exclude via negative keywrods DC Universe products (Batman, Robin, Catwoman, Superman etc)?

Re: Cheapest Match Type

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
OK - everyone stand back.....

..... a little further......

can of worms about to be opened!!

Here's the thing.... unless you are a true super geek, my guess is that if you like Superman comics, you're probably going to be interested in Spider Man - I could be wrong, but I am sure that for comic book collectors just about any comic book is of some interest!

I say this with the utmost respect for comic book collectors - I have hobbies of my own and can (and do) lose myself down rabbit holes of fishing tackle, guitars and golf gear on a regular basis...

So here's the thing. 14 days is too early to tell. Back in the (G)olden days, we used to run market research and focus groups to decide what was going to work for us.

We would spend a chunk of money doing this.

And then we would launch our campaigns. Now we simply run the campaigns based on our experience, judgement and best practices and then optimise to get a better and better ROI - or that, at least, is the plan.

So my advice would be this: consider the money you spend at the start of your campaign as research. Don't rule anything out, unless it's obviously not supposed to be there. and then try and let your market tell you what they are looking for - AND - prepared to buy. Don't try to outguess your market - they are always (always) smarter than us. Don't believe me? Go get a copy of the fabulous Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki - a great read.

Look at this spend as research and, therefore, investment, rather than as money you've wasted. You haven't wasted the money, you've discovered something that you could have ended up spending a lot of budget on quickly, and you've stopped allocating budget to it...

You may be surprised where some of your sales come from and if you are not careful you will develop a self fulfilling prophecy situation where you advertise only Marvel products and, sure enough, your visitors only buy Marvel products. You may discover that your DC keywords, whilst they don't perform as well as your Marvel keywords, actually give you a positive ROI and may represent a much larger audience - meaning you can earn more from them in the long run, even though the ROI keyword for keyword is lower.

OK - everyone else can now weigh in with their thoughts.....