Keywords are used in Google Ads to match Google search queries with the most relevant ad so your products or services are shown to the most relevant audience. For example, someone searching for car insurance will only see ads related to car insurance.
Advertisers can control which search queries your ads will appear alongside using the three available match types: exact match, phrase match, and broad match. These match types help determine how closely the query needs to be with your keywords for an ad to be displayed.
Broad Match Keywords are Google’s default match type and have the broadest reach, meaning ads will appear for searches that are related or associated with the keywords. Your ad will appear whenever a user uses any word in your keyword phrase in any given order or any word that relates. For example, a search query of ‘Weight Training’ might match with the Keyword, ‘Gym Workout’.
Phrase Match Keywords are becoming closer to broad match keywords in recent updates from google, matching with a wider scope of queries. These keywords will show on searches that include the same meaning as your keyword. For example, a search query of ‘personal trainer program’ may match a keyword such as ‘program for weight training’
Exact Match keywords offer the most control over what searches your ad will appear in front of. Your ads will match queries that have the same meaning as your keyword but may be a variation of the word such as a synonym or plural. For example, the Keyword, ‘gym clothes’ will also match with someone searching for ‘workout clothes’.
Negative Keywords will prevent your ad from being shown in front of search queries related to the keyword and work based on either Broad, Phrase, or Exact match types. This is a useful way to reduce wasted ad spend on queries that are unlikely to produce desired results and can be used to stop campaign cross-over.