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Long tail keywords

The Pros and Cons of Using Broad Search, Phrase Search and Exact Search

Using the different search types will obviously lead to different results. The search you use will depend largely on your business, your industry and your goals. Many site owners are very successful using a combination of all three searches and running multiple campaigns. The thing is that you need to be familiar with each search type and the results they yield so that you can focus your strategy. A trial and error approach is not the correct approach when it comes to SEO or Google Adwords. Holding your breath and hoping for the best can cost you a lot of money and do irreparable damage to your campaign. Each specific search has its own pros and cons. Each one can accomplish something different if you know and understand how to use them.

Broad Search

The broad search will help you capture the most traffic, but it may also get you the most unnecessary clicks. This type of search offers the maximum opportunity to capture impressions based on the keywords. For instance, if your broad match keywords are ‘boys baseball hat,’ then you have the potential to capture all traffic with those keywords in any order. You may capture traffic search for “boys hat,’ ‘baseball,’ baseball hat’ or any other variations. It is important to keep this in mind when you are planning your strategy since Google Adwords is a pay-per-click platform. Broad search is great for capturing a large number of impressions, but you must be prepared to pay for them all. 

Phrase Search

A phrase search is a little more focused and the traffic you capture will be a little more valuable. You won’t get the same amount of traffic as with a broad search. However, the traffic you do get will be more likely to convert in the long term. The impressions you capture will be searching the phrase with your keywords, so you are much more likely to have what they want. The thing is that your ad will only appear when users query the phrase with your keywords in it. There may be other words in the query before or after your phrase. These additional words can help or hurt, and you don’t have any control over them, but the phrase search is a more focused search for your niche rather than broad industry keywords. 

Exact Search

Exact match search is much more restrictive, but it can also be very productive. Your ad will only appear when users query your exact keyword phrase and nothing else. So, if your keyword phrase is ‘blue dog collar’ only users who type in that exact phrase will see your ad. If they type in ‘small blue dog collar’ or ‘blue dog collar with leash,’ they will not see your ad. The down side, other than the restrictions, is that you will not get as much traffic as with the other search types. On a positive note, the traffic you do get will be very likely to convert. Exact phrase search is a great way to keep costs low and conversion high, if you can be patient and you’ve got the right keywords.


As you can see, the keywords are the most important element in all these searches. The most successful marketers use a combination of all three of these types of searches for impressive results. You can do the same depending on your business and your industry. Use a good keyword planner, set a budget and get to work capturing those impressions for your business. 

Read More: Don’t Fall Prey To Keyword Exploitation

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