Exact Match – AdWords Guidance

The AdWords Exact Match type feature is exactly what it sounds like.  Advertisers can ensure their ads potentially appear for customers who are searching for either the EXACT keyword or close variations of that exact keyword. Out of the four available keyword matching options, this gives advertisers the deepest level of control over precisely who is seeing your ads. Exact match is the best and most proven way to send your clickthrough rate (CTR) sky high.

It’s important to understand that with exact match, your ads will start appearing whenever someone searches for your EXACT keyword without any additional words, before, after or in the middle.  However, close variations of the phrase including misspellings, plural forms, and abbreviations will be eligible to serve your ad.


keyword match types

While it is true that exact match may not generate as many impressions or clicks as accustom, it will ultimately yield a much higher clickthrough rate. This is due to the fact that your ads are only appearing to people who are searching for precise terms related to your product or service; meaning that they’re a highly motivated group presumably willing to spend money on exactly what it is that you have to offer.


One of the biggest benefits of exact match is the fact that you can limit who is seeing your ad to only people who have already shown some type of interest in what you have to offer. Think of it as pre-screening buyers. You’re essentially cutting out the people who may have found you accidentally or who are “on the fence” and are instead going after a much more aggressive, “active” audience.


AdWords offers several different matching types for a reason, exact match may not be the best fit for every business. It comes down to aligning business objectives with the structure of your AdWords account, and determining the level of control you want.

Building and maintaining a list of exact keyword matches, along with specifying your maximum bids for each one of those keywords, requires a huge amount of time and effort. If you already have a busy schedule, this may not be a commitment that you’re willing to make


It has been stated before, but it is worth repeating: exact match is not the best option for marketers who are overly concerned with impressions and clicks. If you are, there are definitely other features that you can choose to use. Remember that while the AMOUNT of traffic that you are receiving from your ads may go down, the QUALITY of that traffic will go up because your ad is appearing to people who are more interested in the product or service that you’re offering them in the first place.