Why Bother with Exact Match?

A reader wonders:

I’m working my way though Ch. 5 and I have question. On p.114 you suggest listing out every permutation of a keyword phrase (e.g., buy real estate…, buying real estate… etc.). Yet you indicated earlier (on p.104) that a phrase match (e.g., Buddah Statue) would return all matches containing that phrase. Why is it then necessary to list out all the variations?

My answer:

Hey, there’s two creation stories in Genesis – do I have to be consistent in AdWords For Dummies?

Actually, there a several good reasons for coming up with as many phrase and exact match keywords as possible, as opposed to relying on the broad match for all your traffic.

1. In many cases, the broad match keywords are overly broad. While they’ll get you the eyeballs you do want, they’ll also include a lot that you don’t. When you replace broad match with lots of exact and phrase match, you’ll have much better control over your traffic.

2. Your landing pages should be optimized for one main keyword. If your broad match keyword "masks" lots of more specific ones, your quality scores can suffer.

3. Exact match keywords that others haven’t thought of, and that get less traffic, often cost less. Supply and demand in action – fewer searches means fewer competitors (or your competitors haven’t read page 114 and haven’t worked as hard as you).

4. Exact and phrase match keywords will get preferential treatment by Google in returning search results. If your potential customer types "Stihl MS 361 C-Q Chain Saw", that may trigger your ad if you’re just bidding on Stihl chain saw as a broad match. But the exact match advertiser will get a better position for cheaper, due to superior quality score and CTR.

5. Here’s the most important reason: The more you know about what your prospects are actually typing, the more you can present offers that match their exact desires. In the chain saw example above, if you had typed the name and model number of the chain saw you wanted, and you saw the following two headlines, which would you be drawn to?:

Lots of Chain Saws Here

Stihl MS 361 C-Q on Sale

Remember, keywords represent the tip of the iceberg of your prospect’s desire. The more exactly you can identify the desire, the more precisely you can fill it.

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  1. #1 • Increase Web Site Traffic said on March 18 2008:

    hiya Howie,

    What you’ve said here makes all the sense to me.
    Btw, the Adwords Checkmate sales page looks good. All the very best with it for you and Glenn.