Keyword research confusion.

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[My very first SEO lesson was the Niche Profit Classroom course by Adam Short. His way of doing keyword research is by using ‘broad match’. Another guy in NPC prefers the ‘phrase match’ and his reason for that is it’s a more conservative approach. Then I started to learn from a few other sources and there’s one whose way of doing keyword research is to use ‘exact match’. I know the differences between the 3 matches although I’m not sure of the reason why some people prefer to use a broad or phrase match while another likes to use exact match. Anyway, my question is, which one is the best to use in keyword research for an AdSense site, and why?]

The terms “exact match”, “broad match” and “phrase match” are terms that refer to the keyword match type option used in AdWords advertising campaigns that determine which keywords will trigger the display of an ad on Google’s Search Network.

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is designed to generate keyword ideas for AdWords advertisers. It allows you to see the recent historical search volume of searches that will trigger an ad impression if you use that keyword match type in an ad group.

The only match type that will show you the search volume for a particular keyword is the exact match keyword type. This is the only match type that allows you to do research on search volume for an individual keyword. If you are doing keyword research, on a particular keyword, an exact match is the only match type that should be used.

The broad and phrase match types settings in the keyword tool will show you search volume from an unknown number of keywords contained within a group of terms that will trigger an ad impression. This data isn’t suitable for keyword research on specific keywords.

The broad match data is really only suitable for generating new keyword ideas, in my opinion. The problem with this data is that due to stemming, as well as the extended broad match feature, it will typically include data from many unrelated keyword terms.

While the phrase match type data is not suitable for keyword research on specific keywords, it is useful for other purposes like finding new keyword ideas or in researching the relative size of a niche centered around a particular term.

Ideal SEO research methods by match type:

  • Exact Match – Keyword search volume
  • Phrase Match – Niche search volume
  • Broad Match – Generating new ideas for keywords

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