3 Amazon keyword match types and the reasons to use them

Amazon Keyword Match Types

There are three different Amazon keyword match types at your disposal for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns. They are Exact, Phrase, and Broad. These match types allow you to fine-tune which customer search queries can trigger your ads. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain to you each match type and its function.

Exact Match Type

For the exact match type, when a customer searches for your product, its search term needs to be exactly like your keyword for the ad to show in search. If the customer searches for keywords before or after your exact keyword, your ad will not show in the search.

Presenting the most restrictive of the three Amazon keyword match types, you should use it for your product or brand’s most relevant keywords. For example, if the keyword is “watch,” search terms will include watch and watches.

Using this match type, you narrow down the field of customers searching exactly for your product. The exact match type will lower the number of customers that see your ad. Finding the best keywords for exactness can be difficult and time-consuming. 

Still, when you identify the proper keyword for your product, it can be an excellent quality traffic source.
You can find the exact keywords through keyword research tools like Helium10 or by analyzing search term reports.

exact match type

Phrase Match Type

This match type is less restrictive than the exact match type. Phrase match type will show your ad when a customer searches for your exact keyword among a sequence of words. This match type will help you broaden your keyword range and increase your ad reach. It will also show your ad for close variations of the exact keyword. 

For example, if the keyword is “watch,” your keyword range will include search terms like watches for men or wooden watches. 

phrase match type

Broad Match Type

Broad match type is the least restrictive of all Amazon keyword match types

It reaches a larger audience and has a broader range of search terms. With this type, your ad may appear for a search term that contains all the keyword variations such as acronyms, plural forms, synonyms, misspellings, etc.

For example, the keyword “watch” will include search terms like a wooden watch for men or luxury watches for women.

The cons of the broad match type are that your CTR (click-through rate) might not be optimal, and customers may see your ad for irrelevant search terms, which can cause higher spend and decrease your profitability.

When you create a manual campaign on Amazon, you can choose one, two, or all three Amazon keyword match types for keywords that you have researched for your product. When you add keywords to the campaign, you can’t edit the match type after. 

broad match keyword

Automatic Keyword Targeting

Besides exact, phrase, and broad match types, we have a few automatic targeting options:

Close match - It will show your ad to shoppers who use search terms closely related to your products

Loose match - It will show your ad to shoppers who use search terms broadly related to your products

Substitutes - It will show your ad to shoppers who view detail pages of products similar to yours

Complements - It will show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products that complement your product.

Negative Match Types

For negative keywords, you can choose from the phrase and exact match types. Match type does not apply to product targeting.

Negative match types are beneficial when some of your broad or phrase keywords trigger irrelevant search terms. When this happens, you want to make sure that you add the search terms causing spend to the negative exact match type.

Tips & Tricks for Amazon Keyword Match Types

  • Make sure that you have only one match type per ad group.
  • We highly recommend separating match types into ad groups, followed by adding negative exact keywords.
  • Analyze your search term report every week to find potential converting search terms and spending search terms that you want to add to negative exact.
  • In phrase and broad ad group, put all active keywords from the ad group as negative exact in negative targeting option.


If you’re wondering which of the Amazon keyword match types to use in your campaign, the answer is simple–all of them, just make sure that they’re all in separate ad groups. Each match type has pros and cons. If you’re just starting with your ads, the best option is to run an Auto campaign and one Manual campaign with all three match types in separate ad groups. 

After a few weeks, your Auto, Broad, and Phrase ad groups will collect some data and keywords that you might want to add to your exact ad group to keep selling through them. Subsequently, you can analyze your competitors’ search terms and bid for the most relevant keywords with all match types. 

In the beginning, you will need patience, but you’ll soon have more and more exact keywords that are performing well. Apart from choosing Amazon keyword match types for your campaigns, it’s also important to pay attention to keyword harvesting. 

It will help you maximize the profitability of your campaigns. Learn more about it in one of our previous blogs.

About the author 

Miroslav Markovic

Miroslav is a certified PHP Web Developer with strong passion for PPC advertising. He is a junior PPC specialist at Sellers Alley and has two years of experience working on small and medium clients. Optimization and growing ad accounts are his main duties. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge with other PPC enthusiasts.

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