NOTE: This is part of a post series. It’s available as a single post for easier reading: The Match Type Series.
In several earlier posts in this series I’ve discussed the how’s and why’s of buying the same or similar terms at the same time with different Match Type settings.
I outlined in one post the details of creating a Match Type Keyword Trap to filter certain search queries into specific match types. Buying multiple terms and multiple levels – when done correctly – has the ability to give you control over which queries are caught at which price.
One reason this works is because the engines (generally) execute the match types sequentially.
In other words, if you are bidding on the same keyword, or two keywords that would both match for one particular query, an Exact Match should take precedence over a Phrase Match which should take precedence over a Broad Match.
So even though a particular query is technical a match for both one Broad Match keyword and another Phrase Match keyword, the Phrase Match should always ‘win’ and catch that query.
I should hasten to point out, this will not always be true. If you carefully watch query reports for your keywords you will see queries that were exact matches against a keyword you had set to Exact Match, yet the query lands in a Broad Match group. But in our experience these are rare in the sub 1% range of all queries.
Emphasis the Match Type Setting with Higher Bids
You can and should add punch to this precedence by ALWAYS placing rather substantially higher bids on your Exact Match vs Phrase Match, and Phrase Match vs Broad Match when they’re stacked in targeting the same terms.
And make the differences between the bids significant – it generally won’t help to bid $0.05 more for Exact Match than Broad Match. When bidding it’s easy to look at your Max CPCs (since that’s the option used to set the bid) but since your actual and average CPC is usually just a fraction of the Max you really can’t base your decision on those. Look instead at average CPC’s being reported and then set the Max’s at large enough intervals to create real steps between the different keyword/match type combinations.
By placing a substantially higher bid on the match type differentiated keywords, you’re providing another algorithmic reason for the engine to match exact match queries to your Exact Match keywords. Of course, it should also be true that you want generally higher position and higher impression share for the keywords you’re bidding on Exact Match.
A Simple Match
At the start of this series I mentioned that Match Type was a powerful and often under-utilized option. I hope these five posts so far have covered some of the ways you can get more out of these options. Time for a break from Match Type, however. Watch for a new series starting soon.