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A Guide to Amazon PPC Keyword Match Type: Broad, Phrase, or Exact

Unsure whether you want to run your Amazon ad campaign with broad, phrase, or exact keyword match? Find the pros and cons of each option here. By Catie Grasso March 29, 2019
A Guide to Amazon PPC Keyword Match Type: Broad, Phrase, or Exact

When to Use Broad, Phrase, or Exact Keyword Match Type for Amazon Ads

When it comes to Amazon Advertising, keyword match types allow you to fine-tune which customer search queries your ads are eligible to show against. Manual targeting for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands offers broad, phrase, and exact match types — each which have their own use cases. These PPC ad types can have a variety of keywords on all three match types, with bids based on the anticipated impact. High-traffic, high-impact keywords should have higher bids, while broader keywords should be assigned lower bids. Take advantage of automated keyword actions by using a data-driven optimization solution.

Sponsored Products also offer negative phrase and negative exact match types, which prevent ads from being triggered by a certain search term (word or phrase). When a keyword is selected as negative, the ad will not be shown to consumers searching for that phrase.

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Broad Match

With broad match keywords, your ad may appear when a customer’s search term contains all of the keyword terms or their close variants, such as plural forms, acronyms, stemming, abbreviations, and accents. The customer search term can contain keywords or synonyms in any order. Broad match keywords should be used to expand your keyword coverage and increase the reach and exposure of your campaigns.

Both broad and phrase match keywords are intended to deliver to a larger subset of shoppers, as opposed to an extremely targeted set of users. Some of Amazon’s suggested keywords are automatically set to broad match and cannot be altered. With the keyword example of “coloring book”, eligible search terms include coloring book, affordable coloring book, and dog books for coloring. Invalid search terms include brand name colors and coloring pad.

Phrase Match

With phrase match type, your ad can show when someone searches for your exact keyword, or your exact keyword amongst a sequence of words, making it more restrictive than broad match. Amazon will also show your ad when someone searches for close variations of that exact keyword, or with additional words before or after it.

Using phrase match can help you reach more shoppers, while still allowing for optimized targeting. Like broad match, these keywords can also help broaden your keyword coverage and enhance your ad reach. For the keyword “coloring book”, eligible search terms include coloring book for women, city coloring book. Ineligible search terms would include great book for coloring or coloring flower book.

Exact Match

With exact match for Amazon Advertising, the customer’s search term needs to exactly match the keyword for your ad to appear. Unlike broad or phrase match, if a shopper searches for other words before or after your exact keyword, the ad will not show. Although it is the most restrictive match type, it is usually more relevant to the buyer’s search and is intended to deliver ads to an extremely targeted set of shoppers.

Exact match type should be used for keywords that are most relevant to your product, therefore indicating that you should bid higher for these keywords. For example, if the keyword is “coloring book,” eligible search terms include coloring book and coloring books. Ineligible search terms include coloring books for adults and coloring book kids.

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About the Author

Catie Grasso is a content manager at Feedvisor where she oversees and executes on the company's content strategy. She enjoys running, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Campaign Specifics

When adding keywords manually, you can choose the keyword match types in the match type drop down. As mentioned earlier, if you are creating a Sponsored Product Ad campaign, you can also make your keyword a negative match type. Once a campaign has been made, you are not able to modify the match types. However, you can add in incremental keywords with different match types while a campaign is active.

Automatic Campaign Keyword Targeting

Although broad, phrase, and exact match keyword types are only available for manual campaigns, all Sponsored Products campaigns using automatic targeting now come with enhanced keyword targeting options. They are as follows:

  • Close-match: Your ads will be matched closely to the search term.
  • Loose-match: Your ads will be matched broadly to the search term.
  • Substitutes: Your ads will be shown along with the substitutable products.
  • Complements: Your ads will be shown along with affiliated products.

Final Thoughts

Amazon Advertising match type is a key consideration when creating your initial keyword list and will help you guarantee that you are not leaving out any potential strong performers. By limiting your keyword set from the start, you will have less insights to learn from, and experimentation is critical when it comes to optimizing your keyword research process and structures on an ongoing basis.

Be sure that your keywords are relevant, as there is a limit of 1,000 keywords per ad group with Sponsored Brands and manual Sponsored Products campaigns. With all keywords involved in your Amazon product detail pages and advertising campaigns, there should be a deep emphasis on tailoring them for visibility, relevance, and conversion.

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