Understanding the difference between Broad Match vs. Phrase Match, can help you to get your web pages to rank well in Google.
When you search Google, if you type in a phrase like Search Engine Optimisation Training, they want to return the best possible results to you. The more they return amazing results, the more you will use Google as against one of the other search engines.
An explanation of Broad Match vs. Phrase Match
When you type in Search Engine Optimisation Training, what you are saying to Google is “find me all the pages with the words search, engine, optimisation and training in them”.
If instead you had type “Search Engine Optimisation Training” (notice the double quotes), you would be asking Google to find all of the pages with the phrase Search Engine Optimisation Training as a phrase.
Google takes the view that any page that contains the specific phrase is likely to be more about the topic Search Engine Optimisation Training than a page that just has those words on it anywhere on the page.
As a comparison if you think about a page with just the words alone. That page might contain the sentence “I began to search for a training on the different ways for doing motor bike engine optimisation”. This page has the words Search Engine Optimisation Training in it, but it is not about the topic we are interested.
The point of all of this is that Google will rank a page that contains the phrase Search Engine Optimisation Training the page about motor bike engine optimisation.
This distinction becomes critical when you are trying to get your page to rank above another page in the search results.
By making sure you put the phrase you are trying to rank for in the page you are working on you will get better results. In particular you want to include the phrase in the following places on the page:
- The title: The first line of any search result is the title of the webpage. Provided by the <title> tag
- The URL: The webpage’s address.
- The description that sells the click: A description of or an excerpt from the webpage. Provided by META description tag if filled out for a page.
- Body text: Certainly include the phrase in the opening and closing sentences and also ideal once or twice in the body text
- Image alt text: It is possible to add what’s called Alt text to an image. This should ideally contain the phrase.
- Page Headings: Ideally your phrase should appear in your page headings.
In the diagram below you can see how the first three of these optimisations show up in the Google search results.
Broad, phrase, exact and negative search syntax is also used in the context of Google AdWords. This is beyond the scope of this post, but I will deal with that in the future.
If this discussion of broad match vs. phrase match has been interesting, you may want to find out about our Search Engine Optimisation Training which will help you take these ideas further so you can do you own SEO or understand how to check up on any that is being done for you.