Bing Ads Keyword Match Options

Keyword match options have been available in BingAds for a long time now, but here’s a quick refresher post.

Creating, monitoring, and refining keywords is imperative for efficient ad spend and optimal click-through rates. Bing Ads Keyword match options allow you to specify how closely a user's intent must match your keyword. Keyword match optionscan help you improve the performance of your advertising campaigns by exposing your ads to a wider audience and targeting your keywords to specific search queries.

There are different match types which serve different purposes:

  • Broad match triggers the display of your ad when all of the words in your keyword appear in a user's input, in any order.  The user's input may include additional terms before, after, and between your keywords
  • Phrase match triggers your ad when all of the words in your keyword match in a search query, in exactly the same order, even if other words are present in the search term
  • Exact match triggers your ad when the exact words in your keyword appear in a customer's input, in exactly the same order
  • Content match: On pages in websites that are part of the content network, when those pages contain a word or words in your keyword, your ad title, or the ad text.

So which match type should you use?

Use broad match when you want to expose your ads to a wider audience. Use phrase match to help prevent your ad from being displayed for irrelevant variations of your keyword. Use exact match to precisely match your keyword and lower your costs. Use content match for better targeting on content networks.

When using Bing Ads Reporting APIs you can add the match type columns to the report’s output. Here’s a link to the KW performance report API documentation noting the different match type columns available: (Delivered) ‘MatchType’ and ‘BidMatchType’. The match type columns are also available for other reports like ‘Search Query’ and ‘Share of Voice’.

If you already have a bidding strategy in place, you may still want to reassess your match type choices. A great way to do this is to run a keyword performance report and add the ‘delivered match type’ column. When matching keywords to a given search query, if more than one match type applies we use the most restrictive one as ‘delivered match type’. For example, if the keyword is ‘Red Car’ (set up with a broad match type), and the search query is ‘ My Red Car’, my keyword qualifies under ‘broad’ and ‘phrase’ match type rules. Since the ‘phrase’ match type is more restrictive then ‘broad’ match type, ‘phrase’ will show as the delivered match type and ‘broad’ will show as the ‘bid match type’. The report will tell you if the majority of your traffic is coming to you on a different match type than the one you set up for a keyword. If this is the case you may want to try bidding on a more restrictive match and perhaps using a higher bid

Setting up the keyword match typeis done on the keyword page, as illustrated below:


When running reports via APIs, add the match type columnsto the report request, as illustrated below:


When running reports on Bing Ads web application, add the match type columnsto the report request, as illustrated below:


For more information on KW match options, using special punctuation, negative keywords and examples of how to use match types, visit