I got this email from Jim and thought it would make a good post:

Hey Chad,

Just wondering which match type is the best for my campaign on Adwords. Should I set it all to exact matching?

Thanks!

Well Jim, the answer, like almost every answer in affiliate marketing, is it depends. Match type is just another one of the variables in any campaign that you have to test to find the best results for your individual offer. Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you hanging with just that answer. I can give some general advice based on what usually works best for me.

My favorite match type by far is phrase match. I’d say I use it 60% of the time. Followed by exact match 20% and broad 20%. For me phrase match gives you the best of both worlds. You get the specific long tail targeting ability of exact match, with the flexibility of broad match thrown in.

Here’s an example. Say I am pushing shoes. I might have keywords for running shoes, dress shoes, leather dress shoes, etc, all set to phrase match. If someone then searches for “black leather dress shoes” that will match on my “leather dress shoes” and show my ad. What phrase match does for me is help me get impressions for things I might not have thought of, but are still very targeted for my niche.

Broad match with negative keywords, and exact match still have their place, but I’m a big phrase match fan right now.