What is the difference between Exact, Phrase, and Broad match when doing your Keyword Research. Let’s break each one down. Allot of people get really frustrated when doing keyword research to do your Competition Analyses and also the number of searches your keywords gets.
So lets look at how Exact, Phase and Broad match keywords work and how it relates to traffic.
Exact Match traffic is the number of people who take the phrase ‘glass windows; and enters it into Google, and visit the number one website.
Is the number of people search for a phrase containing the words ‘glass windows; in that order, but many contain other terms such as.
“glass windows store”
“glass windows help”
“the right glass windows”
“places to find glass windows”
You get the idea. The phrase is still in the word order but still has the phrase surrounding it.
Is the number of people searching for a phrase containing the words ‘glass windows; but in any order, and it may contain other terms for example.
“glass windows store”
“glass cheap windows”
“looking for glass cheap windows”
So why do we care about this?
When you first setup your website Google and other search engines no nothing about your website. When it does crawl your website Google will give it a ranking score of how good the quality of your content is, the quality of links you have to your website and many other ranking individual factors that play a part in your keyword rankings.
Where your website appears in the search results will depend on what people type into Google when they are searching for something, and how relevant Google thinks your website is relevant to that individual search term.
When your website gets crawled the first time it will rank for the exact match phrase first but as you add more pages and get more links to your website you will start to appear for phrase match terms and over the long term your website will start to show for broad match terms.
Here is a screenshot of Exact Match, Phrase Match and Broad Match.
This is your goal to ranking for your choosing keywords and you can see how it will work as your website grows over time.
You can think of the 3 types of traffic types like this
- Exact Match – Short term potential
- Phrase Match – Medium term potential
- Broad Match – Long term potential
Your Traffic and Competition.
Before you even think about what keywords you “think” you know you want to go after, you need to look at your competition for those keywords first to see if you can not only compete with them but to see if your keywords are Commercial Intent ie ROI (Return on Investment)
If you go to Google and type in “glass windows” for example I can see that there are 8,040,000 results for the keyword glass windows, but that does not mean that they are competing for the keyword glass windows.
It is an estimate of the number of competing pages that match our search term. Now if you would like to see a better estimate then all you need to do is go to Google and search for the keyword in “quotes” like the example below.
Now that is better, although there are still allot of competing pages, it is allot less than the broad match search. So for example:
- Broad Match Competition – trout fishing
- Phase Match Competition – “trout fishing”
The “Trick” if you want to call it that is only go after keywords you know you can win. When accessing what keywords to go after we conduct a competitive Analysis Research.
There are 4 Market Levels
- Level 1 – Easy (Few Links, Poor on-page factors)
- Level 2 – Medium (Some Links, Good on-page factors)
- Level 3 – Hard (Lots of Links, Great on-page factors)
- Level 4 – 800 Pound Gorilla (The major brands of your market that have lots of links, a recognized brand.
As you can see the competition for this keyword is a level 3 and with some effort and time you could try and get in the top 10 results for this keyword.
It’s when doing your keyword research to see the proper number of competing websites that are targeting your keywords, make sure you follow and understand your competition first.
It might take you are little time to get your head around this but once you know you will be accessing your keywords for the long term and not the short term.