The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Google Ads – Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of this Guide to Google Ads is about the keywords tab. This is a very important chapter as you will be spending a fair amount of time here when optimising your campaign.

The keywords on this page are displayed in different ways depending on the match type of the keyword. The various match types are:

google ads keyword match types infographic


Exact match

Exact match is displayed by having [brackets] around the keyword, this means when someone types a search term into Google, it must match exactly what your keyword states. There are however, some misspellings which Google now includes. 

Exact match is the most targeted option of the four available and should be present in all search campaigns, but it is limited at times by search volumes, as most searches on the internet are unique so require some of the other match types.

Phrase match

Phrase match is displayed by having “speech marks” around the keyword, this means when someone types a search term into Google, they can have other words before or after the keyword you have stated in your account and your ad can still show. This match type has gradually fallen a little out of favour due to the popularity of broad modified.

Broad modified

Broad modified is displayed by having +plus +marks before the keyword, this means when someone types the search term into Google, the ad will show providing the words with a + are typed. This can be in any order (unlike phrase match) and other words can be appear in the search term in any order. Broad modified is still technically broad match, but was introduced as a way to make it a little more targeted. Some thought should be put into which words in your keyword should be modified, depending on your campaign strategy.

Broad match

The default match type is broad match, you will only see the keyword in Google Ads if the match type is broad (there are no symbols for broad match).

Broad match is the least targeted match type within Google Ads, the reason for this is when using broad match, Google Ads can substitute other words to match the search query.

Quite often this can mean low quality visitors, as a large percentage of visitors end up not being interested in your product or service.

The benefits of broad match include getting a lot of traffic, which is not a keyword added within your account (unique search terms).

These are normally long tail and more specific. We do not recommend broad match before trying all of the other more targeted match types first.

Make sure you understand this before you move on, as a lot of mistakes can come from the above, mainly when people first start using Google Ads as they set their campaign up with broad match only and wonder why the quality of traffic is poor.

So now we know there is a difference between what keyword we pick in our account and what people actually type in. How do we access the information which tells us what people type in?

This is called the search query report and can be accessed by clicking “details” and then under “search terms” click “all”.

Beginners Guide To Google Adwords

When you access the search query report, you may see search terms you don’t really want to show your ad for. If that’s the case, you may want to consider one of two options:

1) Change the approach in your account – As I said before, the match types you pick in your account, vary in how targeted they are, if you have picked a broader option with a limited budget, you may want to consider a more targeted match type to improve the quality of visitor.

2) If you are happy with how the account is setup and you have just a couple of terms which you do not wish to show for, you can add what is referred to as a “negative keyword”.

When you click the Negative keywords button at the bottom of the keywords tab (scroll all the way down):

Beginners Guide To Google Adwords

You have the option to add negatives at Adgroup or Campaign level simply by clicking on “add” and then typing in the keyword you want, which will block any future searches from appearing if the searcher types that “negative” word.

Some common examples might be around people finding jobs – if you are selling a particular product or service, you do not want to be showing ads to people who are looking for employment and have no interest in being a customer (this perhaps does not apply to the recruitment industry!). You would follow the above instructions and add different negatives or variations of the word “job” or “jobs” or “employment” etc.

It is worth remembering that match types still apply here, so be careful when adding negatives that you do not block keywords which you want to show up for.

Auction insights

We covered the search query report previously (where you can see the difference between the keyword you are bidding for and what people actually type in) and you would have seen in the drop down option “auction insights” and “all”:

Beginners Guide To Google Adwords

This is a handy tool within Google Ads which allows you to see who is also bidding on the terms you are and how often they take priority over you. You will need some data in your account for this to be helpful, but it can be very “insightful” to see who your biggest competitor is and if they tend to be higher up in search than you.

Another good statistic you can see for your own account and also how your competitors are doing is top of page rate – this is a percentage for how often you are top of the page. One thing worth noting is it may not always be the most profitable place to be.

These statistics can be broken down by the whole account, an individual Campaign or at Adgroup level, so you can see how different parts of your account are performing if needed.

You will also see below the the “all” of auction insights, there is a keyword diagnosis. when you run this, Google Ads will tell you if your keywords are showing and if not, then why not. This can be done individually at any time, but this tool will run a test on all of your live keywords.

After you click on keyword diagnosis, you will need to specify what type of search you are testing, these involve Google domain ( .com etc), Language of browser, location of searcher and device they are using:

Beginners Guide To Google Adwords

Once you click “run test”, Google Ads will start testing your keywords to see if your ads are showing for the criteria you have set.

In the status column, it will tell you if your keywords are showing or not and more information can be found by hovering over the speech bubble:

Beginners Guide To Google Adwords

The rest of the keyword tab has the same features we have covered in chapter 2, except they are applied to keywords. Have a re-read of chapter 2 if you would like a refresh of the features as they will be very handy in the keyword tab and you will use them often.

It is also worth noting from a statistics point of view, you will see how each keyword is performing on its own, so you are getting a very detailed view for optimisation, which we will cover in a later chapter.