Understanding Match Type Data
In this lesson we’ll be exploring the concepts of 'exact match', 'phrase match', and 'broad match' data in Market Samurai.
Specifically we’ll be looking at:
- The difference between exact, phrase and broad match data
- Why we use broad match data as a default for SEO traffic
- How to use the match type settings in Market Samurai as a crystal ball to look into your business future
Setting Up an Example
Let’s begin by taking a look at Market Samurai so that you know exactly what I’m going to be talking about.
I’ll just set up a quick example using the term ‘trout fishing’...
Access Keyword Research Module
...and to get started I’ll access the Keyword Research module
...and click the ‘Generate Keywords’ button.
In just a few minutes, I'll have a list of keyword suggestions.
Now to explore these keywords in more detail, I’ll come down and click the ‘Analyze Keywords’ button.
Keyword Analysis screen
I can already see the information we'll be focusing on here, so for this demonstration I won't need to click the 'Analyze Keywords' button to collect additional data.
You’ll notice that the SEO Traffic value listed here (1) for the phrase ‘trout fishing’. Just to recap, this is the maximum clicks that the #1 ranked site in Google could potentially receive over the period you've selected in the dropdown here (2)
Match Type Dropdown
The focus of this lesson is this dropdown box over here which specifies ‘Match Type’.
Match Type Options
You’ll notice that the drop down box contains three different options:
(1) Broad match
(2) Phrase match
(3) Exact match
The default option is broad match, so with broad match selected, the SEO traffic value associated with the phrase ‘trout fishing’ is the one we're seeing now.
However, if I change the match type to ‘Phrase match’ (1) the SEO traffic value drops (2).
And if I change the match type to ‘Exact match’ the SEO traffic value drops again.
Now clearly there is a big difference between these three values, so lets take a look at what these numbers actually mean.
Exact Match Definition
Let's start with the exact match type.
With the match type set to ‘exact match’, the SEO traffic figure relates to how many people are typing in the exact term ‘trout fishing’ into Google and then clicking through to visit the number one ranked site in the search results.
Exact Match in Market Samurai
In this example with my match type set to ‘exact’, I can see how many people per day are typing the exact phrase ‘trout fishing’ into Google and then choosing to visit the top ranked website.
Phrase Match Definition
Now let’s consider what happens when we set the match type to ‘Phrase Match’
When we set the match type to ‘phrase match’, the SEO traffic figure now relates to how many people are searching for a phrase containing the words ‘trout' and 'fishing’ is this specific word order. For example this would include people searching for phrases such as:
trout fishing OR
trout fishing tips OR
rods for trout fishing OR
New Zealand trout fishing vacations
and many other variations.
Phrase Match in Market Samurai
So in this example when I set my match type to ‘phrase match’ I can see that considerably more people per day are searching for a phrase that contains the words ‘trout fishing’ in that order along with some other keywords.
Broad Match Definition
And finally let’s take a look at the broad match type.
This time the SEO traffic figure relates to how many people are searching for a phrase containing the words ‘trout’ and ‘fishing’ in any word order along with additional words. This would include phrases such as:
trout fishing OR
trout fishing tips OR
fly fishing for trout OR
fishing for trout from a boat
and many other variations.
This time, the two words ‘trout’ and ‘fishing’ do not have to be in the right order.
Broad Match in Market Samurai
So with match type set to ‘broad’, I can see that quite a few people per day are searching for a phrase that contains the words trout and fishing in any order along with other keywords.
Understanding the Development of Ranking
Now you may be wondering why Market Samurai uses the broad match value as a default.
In order to understand this we need to take a quick look at how Google rankings develop over time.
When you first create a website and let Google know about it, Google sends out an automated bot called a Google bot or spider to examine your website.
Google Bot Ranking
The Google bot examines the content on your page and the number and type of links that point to your site and then ranks your site for particular keyword phrases that it sees as relevant.
Let’s imagine that you continue to add good quality content to your website and manage to obtain links from a few websites.
The next time the Google bot visits your site, it will repeat its analysis and give you a new rank for particular keyword phrases.
Rankings Evolve Over Time
The important thing to understand here is that you achieve different rankings over time as your site grows and develops more authority.
You usually start with exact match rankings.Then as you add content and obtain links you obtain phrase match rankings. And finally as your site develops more authority you obtain broad match rankings.
Market Samurai as a Crystal Ball
Coming back to Market Samurai, what this means is that the match type provides us with a way to look into the future almost as though we had a crystal ball.
For example, if I set the match type to exact, I get an estimate of the traffic I would receive if I obtained a top ranking for the specific keyword ‘trout fishing’.
I can then look further into the future by setting the match type to phrase match. This gives me an estimate of the traffic I could receive if my site develops sufficient authority to obtain rankings for phrases related to trout fishing.
And finally I can set the match type to broad match to obtain an insight into the amount of traffic I might obtain in the long term if I was able to obtain a top ranking in the broad match search results for this keyword.
Interpreting Match Type Data
So another way to think of the different match types is that:
exact match = short term traffic potential
phrase match = medium term traffic potential
broad match = long term traffic potential
The reason that we use broad match as a default is because most people use this information to assess the feasibility of creating a business in a particular niche.
When you are trying to decide whether or not a particular niche is worth targeting, the most relevant traffic factor is the long term traffic potential of the keywords you are exploring.
By assessing the long term traffic potential in conjunction with other factors such as commerciality, you can then decide whether or not it is worth putting in the time and effort necessary to move forward with your business idea.
So let’s just quickly recap what we’ve covered in this video:
We’ve seen that exact match data relates to how many people are searching for a specific keyword phrase such as ‘trout fishing’.
Phrase match data on the other hand relates to how many people are searching for a keyword phrase in a specific order that may be included with other keywords. Some examples were ‘trout fishing’ or ‘trout fishing tips’.
Also we saw that broad match data relates to how many people are searching for keywords in any order that may be included with other keywords, such as ‘trout fishing’, ‘trout fishing tips’, ‘rods for trout fishing’, ‘fishing lures for trout’, ‘fly fishing for trout’ and many others.
We then saw that we can use the different match types much like a crystal ball to look into our business future and assess the short term, medium term and long term traffic potential of our keywords.
And finally we saw that Market Samurai uses broad match data as a default when calculating SEO traffic values because this gives us the most useful information for assessing the long term viability of an online business.
More Keyword Research Lessons
- Introduction to Keyword Research
- Golden Rule #1: How to Find Relevant Keywords
- Golden Rule #2: How to Find High Traffic Keywords
- Golden Rule #3: How to Assess Market Competition
- Golden Rule #4: How to Assess Commerciality
- Golden Rules Case Study
- Finding Long Tail Keywords
- Understanding Match Type Data
- How to Avoid Targeting the Wrong Keywords
- How to add your Google Adwords account details into Market Samurai
- How to Signup for a Google Adwords Account
- How to Use Preset Filters