Find your engine match type

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Match Type is a powerful paid-search bidding variable. Suppose you sell sweaters and would like to bid on the generic keywords "red sweater." Most major search engines offer three match-type options:

Exact. Your ad appears when people type in "red sweater," using only those words, precisely in that order. With this tailor-fit text, you can maximize your conversion rates with the exact match for specific "long tail" keywords.

Broad. This option is called "advanced" on Yahoo. Your ad text appears with many queries, such as "red cashmere women's sweater" or even "red sweatshirt." This leads to a lot of clicks but also to a high bounce rate. Negative keywords or "excluded" words on Yahoo can prevent this. Search engines will not display your ad text for queries containing a specified negative keyword.

This tactic reduces costs by using negatives to filter out irrelevant queries for broad and phrase matches. For example, if you sell only new sweaters, you should specify "second hand" and "used" as negative keywords.

Phrase. Your ad text appears for the precise phrase "red sweater." For example, "cashmere red sweater" would trigger your ad, but "red cashmere sweater" would not.

Use broad and phrase match to find the most effective new keywords. Both match types enable you to display your ad text for a wide range of keywords without spending the time and effort to brainstorm. Next, manage them all individually. Create exact matches for queries that convert well. Exact matches reduce costs because bid prices are lower. Add negatives for budget-draining keywords that don't convert.

While match type may appear to be an arbitrary classification, simple action can affect your bottom line. Don't treat match types the same when it comes to allocating your paid-search budget.

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