Google Adwords offers three different keyword matching options for your PPC keywords. Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match.
Broad Match is the default setting that really everyone uses. The typical example of this is if your keyword is shoes your ad shows up for tennis shoes, basketball shoes, tap shoes, etc. Most people are smart enough to realize they need to be more specific with their keyword choices than that example, but you get the idea.
We are big fans of using “Long Tail” keywords. The more specific the keyword is the less traffic it will receive, but in most cases the better the conversion rate it has.
Using the Exact Match keyword setting can also work the same as long tail keywords. Google explains Exact Match as:
If you surround your keywords in brackets – such as [tennis shoes] – your ad would be eligible to appear when a user searches for the specific phrase tennis shoes, in this order, and without any other terms in the query. For example, your ad wouldn’t show for the query red tennis shoes or tennis shoe. Exact match is the most targeted option. Although you won’t receive as many impressions with exact match, you’ll likely enjoy the most targeted clicks – users searching for your exact keyword typically want precisely what your business has to offer.
One of the things you don’t usually hear much discussion about is that often the Exact match keywords are cheaper than the Broad match version of the keywords. So there may be much lower traffic with Exact match, but its traffic more likely to convert and probably costs less.
So what’s to stop you from adding Exact Match versions of all your keywords? It used to be the time consuming work of typing all those extra [ ] brackets. But that is no longer an excuse.
A free tool I recently found, called Adwords Wrapper, will put the brackets around all the keywords you want. Just cut and paste them from the Edit Keywords link on Adwords into Adwords Wrapper and it does all the work generating Exact match versions of the keywords to cut and paste back into Adwords. You can even copy over position preferences, keyword specific bids and landing page destination URLs.
At the very least you should make Exact Match versions to supplement your best converting Broad Match keywords. This can often lead to more clicks on your best keywords for less money than just using the Broad match version.
Their really isn’t any harm in being redundant with having both Broad and Exact match keywords if you manage and monitor them and now that you can quickly add them to your campaigns there is no excuse.
Now get to work.