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Paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a form of online marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. Paid search ads are displayed at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.

Keywords are the foundation of paid search advertising. They are the words and phrases that people use to search for information online. When someone searches for a keyword, your ad may be displayed if your keyword matches the search terms.

There are four main types of Paid Search Keywords:

  • Broad match keywords:

These are the most general types of keywords and will match any query that contains the keyword in any order. For example, the broad match keyword “running shoes” would match queries such as “best running shoes,” “running shoes for women,” and “where to buy running shoes.”

  • Phrase match keywords:

These keywords are more specific than broad match keywords and will only match queries that contain the keyword phrase in the exact order. For example, the phrase match keyword “best running shoes” would match queries such as “What are the best running shoes?” and “I’m looking for the best running shoes.”

  • Exact match keywords:

These are the most specific types of keywords and will only match queries that are the same as the keyword. For example, the exact match keyword “Nike running shoes” would only match the query “Nike running shoes.”

  • Negative keywords:

These keywords are used to prevent your ads from showing for queries that you don’t want them to show for. For example, if you are selling running shoes, you might add the negative keyword “marathon” to your campaign to prevent your ads from showing queries related to marathons.

Importance of Keywords in Paid Search

Keywords are important in paid search because they help you to target your ads to the right people. When you choose the right keywords, your ads will be shown to people who are interested in what you have to offer. This can lead to more clicks, conversions, and sales.

Here are some of the benefits of using the right keywords in your paid search campaigns:

  • Increased relevance: Your ads will be more relevant to the search queries that they are triggered for. This can lead to higher click-through rates (CTRs).
  • Improved quality score: Your quality score is a measure of the relevance and quality of your ads and keywords. A higher quality score can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.
  • Targeted traffic: You can attract more targeted traffic to your website, which can lead to more conversions and sales.
  • Better return on investment (ROI): You can get a better return on investment (ROI) from your paid search campaigns by using the right keywords.

Choosing the Right Keywords

Choosing the right keywords for your paid search campaigns can be a challenge. There are several factors to consider, such as:

  • Search volume: The number of times that a keyword is searched for per month.
  • Competition: The level of competition for a keyword.
  • Relevance: How relevant a keyword is to your products or services.
  • Cost: The cost per click (CPC) for a keyword.

There are several tools available to help you with keyword research, such as the Google Keyword Planner.


Keywords are an essential part of paid search advertising. By using the right keywords, you can target your ads to the right people and improve your results.

In addition to the four main types of paid search keywords, there are many other keyword match types that you can use, such as broad match modifier, phrase match modifier, and exact match modifier. These match types can give you more control over how your ads are matched to search queries.

I hope this blog post has helped you to understand the different types of paid search keywords and how to choose the right keywords for your campaigns.