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Match Type and Bid Values

Match type bids help Bing Ads determine how closely you want a search term or other input to match your keyword. Generally, the more precise you require the match to be, the higher conversion rates tend to be while impressions tend to decrease. Finding the right balance between conversions and impressions can help maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your campaign. For more details on choosing and setting match types, see the following sections.

Keyword Match Types

You may specify a bid value for each match type at the keyword level by setting the MatchType element of a Keyword. Specifying the bid value at the keyword level overrides the bid value specified at the ad group level. A bid value can contain up to two decimal places. For more information, see Setting the Keyword Bid Value.

System_CLiX_note Note

When getting performance reports, you can often include the BidMatchType and DeliveredMatchType attribute columns. The delivered match type is what Bing Ads used to deliver the ad. The delivered match type may differ from the match type you bid, for example if you bid on a broad match and the search term was an exact match. For more information, see The Effects of Not Bidding on a Match Type.

You should specify the default bid values for each match type at the ad group level by setting the BroadMatchType, ExactMatchType, and PhraseMatchType elements of an AdGroup. If you do not specify a default bid value for a match type at the ad group level, a default bid is automatically set for that match type to the minimum bid value based on the combination of the customer’s currency and the bidding and pricing models that you specify for the ad group. The combination is used to determine the minimum and maximum bid values that you can specify. For example, if the currency is USDollar, the bidding model is Search, and the pricing model is Cpc, the minimum bid will be $0.05 and the maximum bid will be $1,000. For a list of the minimum and maximum bid values that you can specify for an ad group or keyword for each currency, see Currencies.

For campaigns on the search network, keywords are matched to a user’s search term using the keyword or ad group level match type bid in the following order, where Exact is the most precise and restrictive match.

Match Type

Description

Exact Match

An exact match results when all of the words in the keyword exactly match the user's search term.

If the plural form is not in your keyword list, the plural form of a keyword is also used in an exact match comparison. For example, if you specify an exact-match bid for the keyword, car, both car and cars will match. To prevent plural form of a keyword from matching, add the plural form to the campaign or ad group’s negative keyword list.

If your keyword list does not contain the plural form of the keyword, all search results for the plural form will be included in the singular form of the keyword in the keyword performance report.

Phrase Match

A phrase match results when all of the words in the keyword phrase are present in the user's search term and are in the same order. For example, the keyword phrase "red flower" will match the search term "big red flower" and "red flower", but not "yellow or blue flower" or "flower red".

Broad Match

A broad match results when words in the keyword phrase are present in the user's search term; however, the order of the words can vary. For example, the keyword red flower will match the search term red flower, flower is red, and other variations. It will also match the query red and the query flower.

Broad match can also match on synonyms and other semantic variations of the queries. For example, a search term for red carnation might result in your ad being displayed because carnation is a type of flower.

Because the search engine can vary its algorithms to expand queries to find broader matches by looking for synonyms and other meanings of the queries, the outcome can sometimes result in keywords being matched to irrelevant queries.

To reduce the chance of irrelevant ads being served to users and the quality score of those ads being affected due to low CTR, you can add any irrelevant queries to your list of negative keywords. To determine the irrelevant queries, see the search query report.

You can also use the broad match modifier to require that specific terms in your keyword be present in the search term. To implement the broad match modifier, include a plus sign (+) in front of every term in the keyword that must be present in the search term. For example, if you bid on “Hawaii hotels”, your ad could be served for the search queries, “Hawaii beach hotels” and “Hawaii rentals.” However, if you changed the keyword to “+Hawaii +hotel”, the keyword would match only “Hawaii beach hotels.”

If you include the broad match modifier on a keyword that specifies a phrase or exact match-type bid, the plus sign will be treated as part of the keyword and not as a modifier.

Choosing Match Types

If you're not sure which match type to use, we suggest starting with broad match. You can then use keyword performance reports over time to see which keywords lead to ad clicks and optimize your keyword list.

  • If a majority of the keywords in the report are not related to your ad, you might want to use one of the more precise match types.

  • For keywords that you want to continue leading to clicks, add them to your keyword list with a more specific match type such as Phrase or Exact.

  • For keywords that you don't want leading to clicks, add them to your keyword list as negative keywords. For more information, see Negative Keywords.

Setting the Keyword Bid Value

You can set the bid value of a keyword to one of the following:

  • NULL, which defaults to the default bid set at the ad group level.

  • A nonzero value, which overrides the default bid set at the ad group level.

The Effects of Not Bidding on a Match Type

The keyword is compared to the user’s search term in the following order:

  • Exact match

  • Phrase match

  • Broad match

Exact match is the most restrictive and broad match is the least restrictive match type. If the keyword matches by using the more restrictive match type, it will also match using the less restrictive match types. If the exact match comparison succeeds, the exact-match bid value is used if it exists; otherwise, it gets the bid value from the first less-restrictive match type that has a bid value (set at the keyword or ad group level).

If there is not an exact match, the phrase-match type comparison is used. If there is a match, the phrase-match bid value is used if it exists; otherwise, it gets the bid value from the broad-match type (set at the keyword or ad group level). If there is not a phrase match, the broad-match type comparison is used. If there is a match, the broad-match bid value is used (set at the keyword or ad group level).

The following table shows example keyword bid values for each match type, as well as the bid value that would be used based on the delivered match type if the keyword participated in the auction. The delivered match type (exact, phrase, or broad) identifies the comparison used to match the keyword to the user’s query. For example, if the keyword is “red shoes” and the user’s query is “pretty red shoes,” the delivered match type would be phrase.

Exact Match Bid Value

Phrase Match Bid Value

Broad Match Bid Value

Delivered Match Type

Bid Value Used

No bid

0.10

0.20

Exact

0.10

No bid

0.20

0.10

Exact

0.20

No bid

No bid

0.10

Exact

0.10

No bid

No bid

0.10

Phrase

0.10

0.10

0.30

0.20

Exact

0.10

0.10

0.30

0.20

Phrase

0.30

0.20

No bid

No bid

Exact

0.20

0.20

No bid

No bid

Phrase

*

*Would not participate in auction.

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