Amazon PPC Match Types: A Guide to Broad, Phrase, and Exact Match

Rick Wong 21 May 2021

What are Amazon PPC Keywords Match Types?

In Amazon PPC, the manual keyword targeting options allow the seller/advertiser to select which keyword to bid on. This gives the advertiser tight control over what they want to spend their dollars. The final step after choosing the keywords would be to decide on the match type used for these keywords. There are 3 Amazon PPC match types and using all three correctly will allow you to achieve a high ad rank.

The match type you select will allow you to tell the platform how “tightly” to bid on a keyword/ad combination to match a customer search query. The 3 main match types are Broad, Phrase, and Exact. There is also a secret 4th match type – Broad Modifiers. We will discuss all 4 types in detail below.

There is also pros and cons to each match type. By knowing these pros and cons, you can align the use of these match type to your campaign objectives.


The broad match type allows your keyword/ad combination to have broad exposure. If the customer search term query is related to the keyword, the ad will be eligible for an impression. For example, if your keyword is “modern decors,” a potential broad match could be “new home decoration” or “new age decors.” As you can see, the match can potentially be really loose, so that is definitely something to keep in mind.


  • Allows max exposure, higher impression
  • Great way to test/mine for keywords
  • CPC (Cost per cost) can potentially be low


  • Losing spend on search terms on irrelevant (can be mitigated by using negative keywords)
  • Losing attribution between keyword and customer search term (one to many relationships between keywords and search term)


With phrase match type, the keywords that the seller is bidding for must be within the customer search query in exact order. It is much tighter and restrictive than broad. The tighter control means more relevant placements for your ads, ensuring stronger keyword relevancy.

For example, if your keyword is “modern home furniture.” Match phrases can be:

  • “modern home furniture for sale,”
  • “discounted modern home furniture,”
  • “buy modern home furniture,” and the like.

Phrase match is also a good way to “learn the data,” as it allows for placement on customer search queries with only slight variation. Gathering a slight variation of your keyword that resulted in an order will give you a good and efficient way to scale out your campaigns.


  • Allow tighter control over placement, it prevents “leaky spending”
  • Discovery of customer search terms of high relevance


  • Much lower impressions possibility than broad
  • CPC higher relative to broad
  • Loose attribution between keyword and customer search term (one to many relationships between keywords and search term)


The exact match type allows for the tightest control in your keyword bidding. In this match type, the search term must match the keyword phrase exactly. Exactly meaning in the same order for the keyword/ad combination for the ad to show. The exact match is the most restrictive of the 3 types but can be much more relevant to the search. The exact match type allows for the plural form of a keyword.


  • Very tight control, all spending on the keyword is direct
  • 100% attributions between keywords and customer search (all clicks are attributed to that single search term)
  • ROI can be really high if keyword and product match exactly what the customer is looking for


  • Affords no discovery of additional search terms
  • CPC higher relatively than the phrase match type
  • Could get into a PPC keyword bidding war with a competitor

Below is a breakdown of the 3 Match Types:

Broad+ (Broad Match Modifiers)

Broad match modifiers are the 4th “secret” match type. Well, it’s not really a secret, but it is not mentioned regularly. It is an excellent match type to use in your Amazon PPC campaign potentially.

By adding the symbol “+” in front of a broad match keyword, you can get the benefit of both exact and brad match. Let me explain. For example, you use the keyword “+men shoes” with a broad match. In this case, the ad will only match to searches that contain the word “men”. But the 2nd-word “shoes” is run against the broad match type logic. So the broad modifier keywords “+men shoes” can be matched to the customer search term such as “men sneakers” or ” running shoes for men.” These customer search terms with the word “men” in them thus satisfy the broad modifier criteria.

How to best use Broad Match Types

Broad match types are best used during the early product launch phase. At the beginning of your product launch cycle, you want to accumulate as much data as possible. You want to see what customer search queries are converting to order and their corresponding conversion metrics. With a broad match type, you can get lots of impressions quickly as there are many more potential ad placement inventories than phrase and exact match types.

When your Amazon PPC campaign is more matured, the broad match types can be switched off. By switching off the broad match types, your budget can be funneled to the more relevant keywords, resulting in higher ROI and lower ACoS. When your campaign is matured, you will have a good number of relevant exact and phrase match type keywords that are known to convert for your product.

How to best use Phrase Match Types

Phrase match types should be used at all times, even if your Amazon campaign is matured. The phrase match type allows for consistent, relevant customer search term discovery, as harvesting new keyword is also part of the optimization process. If your objective to phrase match is new keyword discovery, keep the bid relatively lower than your exact matches.

How to best use Exact Match Types

Exact match types allow you to really zero in on those key revenue-driving keywords. When you discover a customer search term driving many conversions and with an acceptable ACoS, use the exact match type on that keyword with a corresponding competitive bid. Using this match type is the end goal, and the focus on a particular keyword with enough budget will allow you to really scale your Amazon business using Amazon PPC.

How you can leverage SellerMetrics with different match types?

If you are using broad and phrase match types, there is an opportunity for you to harvest new relevant customer search terms. This process is part of the ongoing Amazon PPC optimization process that will grow your sales.

Our Amazon PPC Software, SellerMetrics, allows you to set rules to automate this process via our function “Search Term Rules.” With this function you can set rules on orders and ACoS % that triggers new search term to be added to another ad group.

In the above “Add New Search Term” rule example, from the source campaign A, our software will automatically add a search term that triggers both criteria of “2 orders” and “max ACoS of 45%”. The search term is added to the destination campaign B and in the ad group “Exact” as an exact match keyword.

What makes our Search Term rules function great is that you can add the search term into multiple campaigns and ad groups combinations. This function can add Search Term and ASIN between different Amazon ads product types, for example we can move new converted ASIN from a Sponsored Product auto campaign into Sponsored Display product targeting campaign.


I hope the above gives you clarity on the Amazon PPC match types. It is important to understand what they are and how to use the different match types to succeed in your Amazon PPC. Lastly, always look at the data, attribute your results by match type and see how they perform over time, so you can make bid adjustments when necessary.

If you have questions or insights to share, please feel free to post them via the comments section. Please also consider joining our Facebook Group where we discuss any questions you may have about running an Amazon business.

We are SellerMetrics, our Amazon PPC tool helps Amazon sellers, brands, KDP Authors and agencies navigate Amazon Advertising PPC via bid automation, manual bid changes, and analytics.




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