Dentists – 5 Types of Keyword Matches on Google AdWords Can Make or Break Your PPC Budget

Google AdWords can be an esteemed tool for directing people’s attention to your dental practice and at the most appropriate time—when they’re searching for the services you offer. To make the most of your Google AdWords Campaigns, you must first comprehend the different match types to assign to your keywords. Simply put, a match type is a parameter that can be set for each keyword to control how applicable an Internet user’s search query needs to be for Google to trigger your ad for their results.

For every keyword added to your AdWords account, you can allocate one of five different match types:

  1. Exact Keyword Match Type,
  2. Phrase Keyword Match Type,
  3. Broad Keyword Match Type,
  4. Broad Match Modifier Type, or
  5. Negative Keyword Type

Depending on the type you select, your ad will pop up in Google results when your potential patient searches for a query ranging from very specific to more broad.

If you choose a highly targeted match type, such as an Exact Match, the people seeing your ad will be searching for exactly what you are promoting, and therefore, your ad will be more appropriate. On the other hand, if you choose a more general match, such as a Broad Match, more people will see your ad, but a smaller portion of this audience will find your ad relevant.

Here’s a look at how assigning different match types may cause your ad to be triggered:


In other words, the more targeted your keyword match is, the fewer searches that will apply (and smaller the audience). Conversely, the less targeted your match type, the more searches that will apply (and greater your reach). See below to learn more about your keyword match options.

#1 Exact Keyword Match Type

An exact match is the most specific of all types. When this is applied, your ad will only show if the person is searching for your exact keyword, or a close variation of it, such as

  • Misspellings,
  • Singular and Plural forms,
  • Stemming,
  • Acronyms, and
  • Abbreviations.

If the exact words are used in the search query but in the wrong order (or if the search includes extra words), the ad won’t show.

Examples for [cosmetic dentist]: cosmetic dentist, cosmetic dentists

#2 Phrase Keyword Match Type

A phrase match is more flexible than an exact match but still highly targeted. When this type is applied to an ad, a person can search for a phrase with your keyword involved, or a close variation. Additional words can be said before or after your keyword, but not in between.

Examples for “cosmetic dentist”: cosmetic dentist in Atlanta, local cosmetic dentists

#3 Broad Keyword Match Type

A broad match offers the most reach with the least relevancy. Your keyword will match search terms that are a variation of it or deemed relevant by AdWords. This means your entire keyword does not even need to be within the search query. As a result, broad can sometimes waste an AdWords budget, which is why it should be used sparingly and with negative keywords.

Examples for cosmetic dentistry: cosmetic dentist, teeth whitening

#4 Broad Match Modifier

A broad match modifier is similar to broad match but more refined. This type involves putting a plus sign (+) before each term in your keyword that you want to be within a person’s search query. As a result, the ad will only be triggered if the +[keyword] is within the search.

Examples for +cosmetic +dentist: cosmetic and restorative dentist, top dentists in cosmetic dentistry

#5 Negative Keyword Match Type

A negative match is used to prevent your ad from displaying for irrelevant search queries that may seem similar. By adding a negative keyword to the list, you can connect with more interested searchers, contributing to your return on investment.

Example negative keywords for dental practices: cheap, cheapest, advertising, hiring, salary

Choosing the Match Types for Your AdWords Keywords

This will depend upon different factors, such as your

  • AdWords budget and
  • Goal of your campaign.

As you move forward with a definite match type for your keyword, make sure you are tracking your AdWords campaign to ensure you are adapting your strategy to reach your objectives.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, or you wish to make the most of your Google AdWords from the very beginning, our team at IBIS Technologies has a track record of creating successful Dental Google AdWords campaigns to help practices like yours find a rewarding balance between relevance and reach.

In fact, IBIS Technologies is a Google Premier Partner, which indicates our advanced level of expertise in Google AdWords. With this Premier status—which only 3% of Google Partners have achieved—you can rest assured our specialists have been trained, certified, and deemed trustworthy by Google.

Ready to make the most of Google AdWords? Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced Dental Marketing Professionals.

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