In Depth: Adwords Keyword Match Type Modifiers



When building a new Google Adwords campaign the first thing that you may want to do is to just get it running, but keep in mind that if its not done right then it may cost. The campaign keyword strategy is a big piece of the initial setup that may seem confusing. Really though there is nothing to fear this part only takes a little time and experience to get right.

First thing, good research into what keywords your Adwords campaign will be using. Think of these as the words that potential clients may use to search for your business online. Then, find synonyms. misspellings, and alternative versions to add the the list, See the Google keyword planner for a free tool that can be used for keyword research.

Keyword research is a concept that you may already be familiar with and while it’s not difficult to do, it’s an essential piece to any successful PPC or Organic strategy. Here’s where things get a little tricky inside Adwords, adjusting these keywords with keyword match type modifiers. Here’s a rundown the various keyword match type possibilities with some advanced insight into the pros and cons of adjusting keywords with each one.


Broad Keyword Match Type

The Broad Match type can be difficult to reign in due to the variations that Google may throw at the term. Possibly leading to a low click through rate (CTR) and leading to a poor quality score. That’s not to say that running a broad match type is wrong, just ensure that who ever is managing the PPC account is actively, read daily, logging user search terms and adding in negative keyword filters or else the daily budget WILL be eaten by low conversion search phrases.


Additionally, an excellent way to optimize the broad match type is to refine and target using broad match with match type modifiers. Do this by adding a “+” to a term in addition to your phrase. With “+” and “-” modifiers in place- then that added term must be used in order to trigger the search. For example- see below:

Phrase Keyword Match Type


Using the phrase match keyword match type are an excellent way for the Adwords manager to further control the terms that trigger the search ad to show. However, when setting phrase match the account manager should be certain that essential search terms are not falling through the cracks due to over targeting and leaving valid searches on the table.Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, (such as roof and roofing), abbreviations, and accents. Word order is important, meaning that ads will not show when someone enters additional words in the middle of the phrase match type.

Exact Keyword Match Type

When you are looking to target specific keywords and phrases with the highest amount of precision  available, then the exact match type is how one would accomplish this. However, like the phrase type, exact type can be tricky in order to maximize Ad exposure. It is not recommended to begin a new Adwords search campaign using the keyword match type exact. This type is best used after a few months of acquiring data on user search intent and refined into from a broader search strategy.

Which Keyword Match Type Modifier Should You Use For Your Adwords Campaign?

Each campaign is going to have a different PPC campaign strategy based on the business goals, and keywords. But there is a common foundation that is recognizable in a successful Adwords campaign.


  • Start with thoughtful research into the keywords and intent of possible user searches.
  • Build a strong negative keywords list that will filter out unwanted search triggers
  • Monitor the search terms that are triggering the adds
  • Add, delete, and modify the match types with modifiers as you see what users are searching for.


Early on in a new Ad campaign it is essential to have a manager reviewing the account and making adjustments to the keyword match types, adding modifiers as necessary and adding negative keywords.

If you’re an entrepreneur or an already established business looking to optimize, promote, and market on digital mediums; then consider contacting ITVibes, so we can build a solid strategy for your online brand.