Rebecca Lien


Get Started Australia: Using Match Types & Negative Keywords

As talked about in the previous post, once we have found the right keywords for the campaign, we will need to know which match type to use so Bing Ads knows how restrictively or aggressively we want the search queries to match to our keywords. In this post, we will be looking at the four different keyword match types, as well as negative keywords.

Broad Match– allows us to reach the largest pool of audience because our ads will appear whenever a user’s search query includes any word in our key phrase, in any order. When we use broad match on “truck rental”, our ad will be matched to search queries like “car rental” or “truck hire”. Bing Ads may also match our ad to queries that have a similar meaning to our key phrase. So, although “rent a van” contains none of the term in our key phrase – “truck rental”, our ad may still be displayed.

Broad Match Modifier– allows us to reach a large pool of audience, and gives us better control than broad match as to which search queries we want our ads to be matched to. When setting up a keyword as broad match modifier, simply add a “+” sign before individual words in a key phrase so that Bing Ads knows a search query must contain that particular word. Like the above example, if we were to add a “+” sign to “truck”, our ads will only be displayed when a search query contains the word “truck”; queries such as “rent a truck” or “truck driver hire”.

Phrase Match– gives us the flexibility of broad match but at the same time a better control than broad match modifier. Our ads will only match to search queries that use words in our key phrase in that exact order, but allowing other words to be either before or after the key phrase. Extending on the previous example, if we use phrase match for “truck rental”, our ads will be matched to search queries such as “cheap truck rental in Sydney”, or “compare truck rental rates online”.

Exact Match– is the most restrictive match type as a user’s search query must be exactly the same as our key phrase. However, Bing Ads does allow search queries with small variations, such as plural form and/or minor misspelling in order to better reflect users’ search intent. If we use exact match for “truck rental”, our ads will be matched to “truck rental” as well as “trucks rental” or “ttruck rental”.

Here’s a quick reference to all the keyword match types and search queries that will match to each type:

Keyword Match Type

Key Phrase

Search Queries that will be matched to our ads


“truck rental”

“truck rental”

“trucks rental”

“ttruck rental”


“truck rental”

“cheap truck rental in Sydney”

“compare truck rental rates online”

Broad Match Modifier

“+truck rental”

“rent a truck in Sydney”

“truck driver hire”


“truck rental”

“car rental”

“rent a van”


Since it is possible for broad match keywords to show our ads to users who are looking for irrelevant topics and clicking on it, resulting in unnecessary spend; we can set up negative keywords in Bing Ads to filter out search queries that are not related to our business. There are two types of negative keywords – exact negative and phrase negative.

Negative Exact– filters out a small amount of traffic because it will only excludes search queries that use the exact same key phrase. For example, if we add “car rental” as a negative exact, our ads will only filter out search queries when a user types in “car rental”, whilst our ads may still appear for “online car rental”.

Negative Phrase– filters out search queries that contains the key phrase, in the same order. Therefore, if a user only searches for one of the terms in our key phrase, our ads may still appear. For instance, if we use “car rental” as a negative phrase, our ads will be excluded from search queries such as “cheap car rental Sydney” and “compare car rental rates” but it will still be shown for search queries like “car games rental”.

Bidding on the right match type is crucial to the success of our campaign, so it is always good to bid across all three match types so we can ensure that our ads are shown as many times as possible. At the same time, we should utilize broad match modifier and negative keywords so Bing Ads can help us reach our target audience without spending on irrelevant clicks.

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