More about QS Search and China Marketing Trends
Industry news
Exclude low-quality traffic in your China SEM campaign by using proper match type
Source: | Author:QS | Published time: 2022-01-18 | 374 Views | Share:


While running a SEM campaign, one of the most fundamental ways to manage your spending and target audience is to apply the appropriate match type to your keywords. Applying a proper match type can help you display your product to only users who have a genuine need for your product, and exclude users who will not search for your product. Read on to learn more about different match types on China’s  SEM platforms, and the strategies concerning different match types.

What is keyword match type?

The keyword match type dictates how closely the keyword needs to match the user's search query, for the ad to be considered for auction. For instance, you could use the smart match tool to serve your ad on various user searches, or use an exact match to improve the traffic quality from specific keywords.


Introducing major keyword match types

Major search engines in China share similar match type choices. For example, Baidu offers three match types to advertisers with differing accuracy of search queries.


1. Exact Match

Ads may show on searches with the same meaning or intent as the keyword. Of all keyword matching options, exact match gives users the most control over who sees their ad, but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and smart match.

Rules of exact match

2. Phrase Match

Phrase matching is a keyword matching option whereby only designated keywords and phrases that match your ad will be displayed. Therefore, with phrase match, you can reach more searches compared to only utilizing the exact match option. 

Rules of phrase match

3. Smart Match

Ads may show on searches that automatically match the core meaning of your keyword. You can choose each keyword’s core term (<5 Chinese characters) when setting up smart match in the management panel. The system will automatically declare the core terms if no manual setup is detected. With smart match, you can reach more searches than with exact match and phrase match, whereby match type can be phrases that include core terms or synonyms of the core term.

Rules of smart match

During the initial stage of your campaign, we suggest adopting the below match type strategies:

  • For keywords with <4 Chinese characters, apply exact match or phrase match;

  • For keywords with 4-12 Chinese characters, apply phrase match for most keywords. You may also apply smart match for a few selected keywords;

  • For keywords with >12 Chinese characters, apply smart match for most keywords. You may also apply phrase match for a few selected keywords.

Optimize the match type of your keywords

After 1-2 weeks of promotion, you will have accumulated valid statistics regarding your SEM campaign. You may update the match type of your keywords based on performance analysis. Below are suggested measurements:

Optimizing match types of existing keywords can help you improve your SEM performance based on your actual need, such as increasing impressions or acquiring more accurate traffic. Nevertheless, updating the keyword match type can help you lower the spending of invalid traffics and thus improve conversion performance. During modification, we recommend switching the match type in segments, such that the performance will not encounter a significant change suddenly.

Below are some match type strategies concerning the impression and performance aspects shared in the above paragraphs:

1. Choose a wider keyword match type during the initial stage of the campaign. Optimize the keyword match type after gathering some performance statistics, such as declaring negative keywords and switching to different match types;

2. For long-tail keywords with >12 Chinese characters, choose smart match as the match type and set a lower bidding price. Review regularly to identify invalid search terms and declare these search terms as negative keywords. If a long-tail keyword with smart match has no impressions within three months, delete that keyword negative or replace it with a shorter-term;

3. For short phrases, choose the exact match or phrase match. Set a higher bidding price if the keyword is a precise term such as "买股票 (buy stock)". If the keyword is a more generic term such as "投资 (investment)", set a lower bidding price;

4. Observe and optimize those keywords with more impressions first, and then those keywords without sufficient impressions.

For more tips on running a successful China SEM campaign, contact our marketing consultant at: