Exact match is the most specific of all of the match types. It is referenced by square brackets around your target phrase and can be used for specific reasons:

  1. Perhaps you carry a limited selection of products and want to make sure that your ad is not visible (and therefore cannot be clicked on) for variations of the product that you do not carry. – e.g. you would like to advertise the shoes you have left over on clearance which are:
    1. Men’s Nike Rebound size 8, 10, 12
    2. Men’s Nike Vertigo size 6 and 8
    3. Women’s Adidas Zygote sizes 4, 6 and 8
    4. Boy’s Merrel size 4
  2. We’ve decided against broad match for now so we could go with phrase match on “men’s nike rebound”, “men’s nike vertigo”, “women’s Adidas zygote”, etc. If you went this route you’d want to include some negative keyword phrases which we will discuss later (e.g. put in a negative keyword on “14” since you don’t carry size 14). You could also go exact match on [men’s nike rebound 8], [women’s Adidas zygote 4], [women’s Adidas zygote 6], etc.
    1. The problem with exact match in this instance is that people are more likely to search for their make and model of shoe without the size – it is either going to be gender + make + model or gender + model or just make and model…. The number of people searching for a specific size will be smaller.
    2. The other problem with exact match is that you will be missing out on some longer tail phrases for which people will search – e.g. “where to buy Adidas Zygote”.

You are not limited to choosing one match type – best bet is to combine lots of phrase match keywords with a few exact match keywords.