Keyword Match Types

When doing keyword analysis, first you need to understand different keyword types, and how to use them. The three types of keyword match types are: Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match.

Keyword Broad Match
A broad match essentially just means typed phrase is a subset of a search someone used on Google. For example, you have a niche site that sells fire truck beds, so you want to find out the google search volume api potential search quantity for that keyphrase. Using Google’s keyword tool, you can see this term gets 1,800 searches each month. However, because this is a broad match, it could also include:

  • Fire truck bed sheets
  • Picture of truck bed on fire
  • Toddler bed that looks like a fire truck

Some of those keyword phrases are irrelevant. You can use negative keywords to eliminate bad keyphrases. The challenge is that it’s not easy to predict all the words that someone might use in Google. This is especially important if you are using Google AdWords to bring in potential customers, because bad search terms will cost you money!
for these reasons, I don’t like to use Broad Match to estimate potential traffic because some of it won’t be relevant traffic which means you won’t make any money.

Keyword Phrase Match
Another method to estimate potential traffic is to use “phrase matching”. In Google’s keyword tool, you can accomplish this by putting the key phrase in quotes: “my key words”. A phrase match is similar to a broad match, but the keywords must be in the particular order you typed them. For my example you’ll see the search quantity drops to about 1k per month:

  • Fire truck bed sheets
  • Picture of a fire truck bed

By eliminating some erroneous searches from the count, I believe this count is more accurate. Unfortunately it also eliminated a valid search. You’ll have to do some extra research to predict what key phrases would get erroneously removed.

Exact Phrase Match
In Google’s keyword tool, you can see an exact match by putting the keyphrase into brackets, [my key words]. In my example, the count drops to 248. Depending on the keyphrase, this might be an undesired affect. As an example, if I’m selling barbie dolls, I’m probably also selling barbie doll cars and barbie doll t-shirts, so there are a lot of long-tail keywords besides [barbie dolls]. I may want to offer less in my AdWords bidding for certain keywords, but I would still want those potential customers to visit my site.

Keyword Tools
There are a lot of keyword tools out there that utilize the Google keyword tool API to make the research a lot easier. I recommend using a tool like Market Samurai, estimates traffic for keywords, but also identifies similar keywords (similar in the mind of Google, which is what matters).

If that is all too confusing or too much work, there are plenty of SEO service companies that will be glad to walk you through it and even set up SEO campaigns for you for a reasonable price. If you have a legitimate business, SEO services almost always pay off.

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