What are keyword match types, and how do I use them?

What are keyword match types, and how do I use them?

Broad, phrase, exact.... Get help figuring out which ones are available in Bing Ads and which ones are right for your campaigns and ad groups. Match Types

Keyword match types help Bing Ads determine how closely a search query or other input must match your keyword. Generally, the more precise your match type, the higher your conversion rates and the lower your volume tends to be. Finding the right balance between conversions and impressions can help maximize the ROI of your campaign.

Here's an introduction to the different available match types:

Broad match (search network)

Syntax:   keyword

What triggers your ad: Search queries that contain the words in your keyword or concepts related to your keyword.

Example: If your keyword is red flower, related searches like red flower, crimson poppies, and buy crimson flower might trigger your ad.

Broad match modifier (search network)

Syntax:   +keyword

What triggers your ad: Search queries that contain the modified word(s) or any close variations, in any order.

Example: If your keyword is +red flower, searches for red flower and poppies red will trigger your ad, but yellow flower won't.

Note: Broad match modifiers only affect search ads. On the content network, broad match modifiers serve as broad match keywords.

Learn more about the power of the broad match modifier

Phrase match (search network)

Syntax:   "keyword"

What triggers your ad: Search queries that contain all of the words in your keyword (or any close variations), in the same order - even if other words are present in that query.

Example: If your keyword is "red flower", searches for big red flower and red flower dresses will trigger your ad, but yellow flower and red aromatic flower won't.

Exact match (search network)

Syntax:   [keyword]

What triggers your ad: Search queries that match the keyword exactly, including some close variations.

Example: If your keyword is [red flower], only searches for red flower will trigger your ad.

Negative match (search network)

Syntax:   [keyword] or "keyword"

What triggers your ad: Search queries that do not trigger your ad. Negative keywords can be exact or phrase matches.

Example: If you have a keyword "flower" and a negative keyword "red," searches for red flower won't trigger your ad, but searches for yellow flower will.

Learn more about using negative keywords to get to the right customers

Content match (content network)
Important

After June 30, 2017, Bing Ads will stop serving ads on the content network and content match will no longer be supported. Learn more

Syntax:   (keyword)

What triggers your ad: Search queries that contain any word in your keyword, ad title, or ad text, in any order, must match input from Windows apps that are part of the content network.

Example: If your keyword is red flower and a page on a website requests ads containing the word flower, your ad will be triggered.

Note: Content match triggers your ad in the content network, including Windows Phone and Windows apps that were downloaded from the US Windows Store. Delivery only occurs in mobile apps and on Windows Media properties.

Close keyword variations

For exact match and phrase match keywords, your ad may also show on queries that match minor variations of the keyword, so you can maximize relevant matches without having to add all of these variations yourself. Close variation matching only takes place for English, French, and German ads in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany. Close variations are also considered for broad match modifier keywords.

Examples of the types of close variations that are considered include:

  • Plurals: The keyword luxury +resorts will match the query luxury resort.
  • Stemming: The keyword +swim team will match the query swimming team.
  • Misspellings: The keyword Hawaii +vacation will match the query Hawaii vacaton.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms: The keyword Redmond +Washington will match the query Redmond WA.
  • Word blending and splitting: The keyword +super +market will match the query supermarket.
  • Common spelling variations: The keyword community theatre will match the query community theater.
  • Punctuation: The keyword real estate will match the query real-estate.
  • Accents: The keyword +cafĂ© will match the query cafe. Accents are not considered for close variations for English ads in the United States and Canada.
  • Reordering: The keyword chicken teriyaki will match teriyaki chicken. Reordering occurs only if it doesn't change the meaning of the query.

Choosing the right match type

If you're not sure which match type to use, we suggest starting with broad match. This will give you the best chance of reaching your target customers right off the bat. You can then the results of your search term performance reports to refine your list of keywords. Here are some quick tips on how to optimize your keyword lists:

  • If a majority of the search terms in the report are not related to your ad, you might want to consider switching the relevant keyword to one of the more specific match types.
  • For search terms that you want triggering your ad more often, add them to your keyword list with a more specific match type (such as phrase or exact).
  • For keywords that you don't want triggering your ad, add them to your keyword list as negative keywords.

Which match type is used?

If you bid on multiple keywords with similar text but different match types, the narrowest match type will take precedence when your ad is displayed. For example, if you bid on both the exact match keyword [red flower] and the broad match keyword flower, a search on red flower will trigger the exact match and not the broad match. The order of match types, from broadest to narrowest:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

Clicks on the ad will be charged to the narrowest match bid. Also, to avoid duplicate reporting, all reports, such as keyword performance reports, will only report the match type that took precedence. In this example, an impression would be reported for the exact match [red flower] and not the broad match flower.

To learn more, see the difference between the search and content networks, the difference between search and content ads, and understanding where your ads will appear.

Note

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