What Are the Different Amazon Match Types and When To Use Them

Where your ads show on Amazon and how you get them there makes all the difference when you are trying to grow your business. Whether it’s increasing your market share, improving your brand coverage, or defending your turf on Amazon, knowing the placements that ads show, and the keyword match types you can use to get them there is critical.

The top of search ad placements on Amazon are a great way to make a first impression on a customer. You can earn these placements by using keyword targeting.

As you can see below, if you are able to get into the top ad placements for Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products, you have a chance at getting the customer to your brand store or one of your product pages before they have even considered looking at the competition.

When using keyword targeting, Amazon has three different match types to help you build out your campaigns. These match types are broad, phrase, and exact. In the campaign console, you have the option to select any combination of these match types when picking or entering keywords. While you’re working on keyword research, it is important to consider all three match types and the advantages that each of them brings to a campaign. 

Broad Match

Broad match gives you less control over customer searches than exact and phrase, but there are still advantages that broad match brings to the table. With broad match, the keyword will get used on searches that are broadly related. This method should be used when you’re looking to gain impressions and get more people to your product detail page. This will also help you move up your organic placement on the search results page. 

The other advantage of broad match is it allows you to find more effective keywords that are working well for your products and brand. On the other hand, this match type does require the most management.

The keyword “shoes” could show on anything from “men’s gym shoes” to “women’s dress shoes.” Because of that, it is important to go through the search term report frequently and negative out the unrelated searches you’re showing on.

You can keep a running list of negative keywords, so when you’re building campaigns in the future, you can add these negatives so the campaign can run more efficiently from the beginning. 

Phrase Match

With phrase match, you have more control than you do with broad match. For phrase match, the ad will show if your keyword is contained within the customer search. For example, if your keyword is “gym shoes,” the ad can show for the search “men’s gym shoes” or “gym shoes for men.”

The big advantage to phrase match is that it’s the middle ground of still being able to find new search terms that work well for your brand while still having a good amount of control over the searches you’re showing on. Because of this, phrase match targeting is a good strategy to use at all times while making and managing campaigns.

Exact Match

The biggest advantage of exact match is that it gives you the most control over the customer searches your ad will show on. An exact match for the keyword “men’s gym shoes” can show when the customer types those words in that exact order.

The ad won’t show for customers typing in “athletic shoes for men,” for example. This is helpful when making brand defense campaigns because you know your spend for those campaigns can exclusively be used on your brand terms. 

As you figure out the search terms that are performing well with broad and phrase match types, you should add those as exact matches to the campaigns. This will allow you to lock in on these searches and make the appropriate bids to place consistently. The downside of having more control is that the cost-per-click (CPC) will most likely be higher for these search terms than the other match types, and you will have less opportunity to find new and effective keywords when working on a search term report.

There are advantages and limitations with all three match types. When you’re building campaigns, you should initially use all three match types to experiment. Once the campaign is running, you should let it build up the proper amount of data to make decisions from. Then, you can adjust bids and add negative keywords accordingly to help the campaign run more efficiently.

As I mentioned above, if you are getting a lot of conversions from searches coming from a broad match and/or a phrase match, you should add those search terms in as exact matches. That will help you finetune your spending on those search terms even more.

It is vital to make a search term report schedule that works for your brand in order to properly keep up with the searches you’re spending on and to make the needed adjustments.

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