Understanding The Different Amazon Ads Keyword Match Types

There are 3 different match types; Broad, Phrase and Exact Match.

Elise Jackson

Post details

  • AUTHOR: Elise Jackson
  • CATEGORY: Amazon Advertising
  • DATE: 02/09/2022

When an Amazon customer performs a search, they use keywords to type in what they want. 

Let’s use an example of the keywords “White Beach Towel”. 

If you are selling white beach towels on Amazon and want to run ads to target people who want to buy this product, your goal is to win the auction of this ad by having the highest bid on those keywords for this search term –  among other factors of course –  so that your ad is shown to the customer.

Not always an easy task! 

But, if you can effectively optimize your PPC campaigns the outcomes will lead to an increase in visibility and potentially in sales on Amazon. Good times all around! 

So, how do you do that? The first task is to start with ensuring you are using the right match types for your Amazon PPC campaigns.

Match types give you control over what customer search queries will match the keywords in your manual targeting Amazon advertising campaigns. It’s nearly impossible to account for all the various phrases a customer could use when searching for a product on Amazon, so keyword match types exist to help you combat that challenge.

Using match types to your advantage will help you find new customers, discover the best keywords to target to meet your goals, and eliminate wasted spending.


Keyword Vs. Search Term.

Before we dive in, it’s important to know the difference between a
keyword and a search term

As mentioned above, a keyword is what a seller bids on whereas a search term is something the potential purchaser uses to find a product and also what your ad appears for. 

Keywords have the potential to trigger thousands of different search terms. However, sellers can control what their brand appears for by using keyword match types

Different Amazon Keyword Match Types Available


Broad Match 

Cheapest & most general match, this match type offers your ad broad traffic exposure. A search term will match if it contains all the keyword terms in any order or close variations.

Broad match also includes the plural form of the keyword, related shopping queries, and other variations that are close to the keyword. It’s difficult to predict user behaviour, so you need to use a broad match in order to understand what keywords your products will show up for.


  • Higher exposure and impressions
  • Can test which keywords are best
  • CPC can be low 


  • Lose spend on irrelevant keywords unless you add negative keywords
  • Lower CTR due to a low number of clicks, if a product is not related to the ad


Phrase Match 

A little more specific & little more expensive. The search term must contain the exact phrase or sequence of words. It is more restrictive than a broad match and will generally result in more relevant placements for your ad. Phrase match also includes the plural form of the keyword.  


  • More relevant ad placement and relevant customers 
  • Prevents overspending on irrelevant ads
  • Allows to discover new search terms more relevant to the product advertised


  • Higher CPC than broad match 
  • Lower impressions 


Exact Match 

The most expensive & specific match type. As the name suggests, you are bidding for the exact words/phrases you want your ad to appear on. This does not include additional words, plural or misspellings.


  • The budget is directed at very relevant keywords only
  • The potential for ROI can be really high if a customer purchases from the ad 


  • No discoverability from different search terms 
  • Potential for a bidding war with a competitor
  • CPC is high compared to the other two types 


Success can be found with each of the 3 match types, it’s just a case of finding out which one fits your strategy better. No single match type is guaranteed to perform better than the other and each plays a valuable role in a fully-optimized advertising strategy.


To discover which match type is the right one for you, you need a comprehensive advertising and e-commerce strategy for Amazon, which is something we can help you with.

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