Google adwords management: keyword tool match types explained

In Google Adwords search advertising, Keyword Match Types are all about controlling your budget and refining your campaign performance. Google Adwords provides four keyword match types that facilitate campaign customization in accordance with the advertising budget of each business. 

  • [Exact] match provides high control in budgeting, usually it is directly connected with the head keyword and should be given the highest CPC bidding. Exact match is the most targeted type for conversions and the most appropriate when conducting keyword research for SEO.
  • "Phrase" match type allows your ad to appear for search queries that contain your phrase keywords. However misspelings, synonyms, plurals even the same keywords in different order are all excluded. In terms of bidding priority, the second highest CPC is allocated for phrase match types.
  • (+) Modified broad match provides moderate control compared to broad and phrase match types. By adding a plus prior to your selected/root keyword allows your ad to appear for search queries containing the term in any order and/or close variations. For instance, for root keywords such as (+adidas +shoes), results might be like yellow/red/mens/etc. adidas shoes (root keywords in any order of appearance). Broad modifier is essential when advertising budget increases, by offering search query expansion and brand awareness.
  • Broad match is the most ambiguous and less targeted match type for search queries. Can lead to rapid budget expenditure, and loss of budgeting control. Broad match type is suitable for high budget campaigns as it can be used to explore new keyword opportunities, which according to feedback can be turned to phrase and exact matches.
Keyword match types. Control Vs Impressions
Source: Search engine land

A "broad-to-narrow" approach is recommended when planning a new campaign. You start off with broad match keywords, see which of them perform well, filter out the irrelevant ones and narrow your selected to phrase, exact (and negative) match types. Below is the official adwords training video for keyword match types.

Suggested reading:

-Adwords Quality Score Factors Explained 

-Google Adwords guide for the small business

Sept 2013, Vangelis Kovaios