Don’t advertise what you don’t sell – AdWords keywords match types

Now this post’s title is silly, of course you won’t advertise what you don’t sell?  Let’s consider this case.

Suppose you sell tennis shoes and specify a keyword like tennis shoes.  However you don’t sell tennis high-tops or sandals.

If you use tennis shoes as keywords, your ads might actually show when someone search for

  • tennis sandals
  • shoes for table tennis
  • hightop tennis shoes
  • how to clean tennis shoes

Now you definitely wont want to show your ads in these cases!

Here are several ways to prevent this wastage of your budget.  Your ad can show for tennis sandals because Google can consider sandals as a synonym, a word or phrase with the same meaning, for shoes.  To prevent that, we can use broad match modifier (second row) as it doesn’t allow synonyms

Phrase match requires the words to appear in the exact order i.e. “tennis shoes”, but will also show when people search for “hightop tennis shoes”.

Exact match means your ads will show only when someone search for “tennis shoes”, but does not include additional words like buy.

The simplest way in this case is to use negative keywords, which prevent your ads from showing when the query contains your specified keywords e.g. sandals, table, hightops.

Not only will using these match types save you unnecessary clicks, they will improve the quality of your ads and hence lower the cost you pay per click too.

Check through your account and see if you might be wasting unnecessarily!

Stay ahead of the curve with weekly updates

Get fresh insights about SEO, PPC, and social media to grow your business. Sign up for the newsletter today!

Kelvin is the principal of Emarsity, an academy which coaches Internet Marketing skills.

About the author

Kelvin Koh brings with him close to 10 years of digital marketing experience. He worked as a senior digital strategist for a top SEO agency in Singapore, and is also a very experienced internet marketer and search specialist. Since then Kelvin has been providing over 6 years of search consultancy services to MNCs and SMEs. Some of his most notable SEO work includes Huawei, Fuji Xerox, Singapore International Foundation, Raffles Design Institute. Kelvin went on to attain his Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) with WDA. He is also a certified PA trainer.