Keyword research is the core of any SEO campaign and it is vitally important when developing PPC programs. You should choose carefully the keywords that you believe will be most effective, because the keywords selected during the research phase will be included in your web site copy,as well as your PPC programs, and many other types of campaigns. For starters, you should select valid keywords from a variety of sources, including the following:
■ Your own knowledge of the product or service that you’re marketing: From your own knowledge, you should be able to choose at least one word that characterizes the product or service. If you’re unable to select that word, spend some time getting to know your products and services better.
■ Your customers: Your customers will be able to tell you what keywords they think of or use when searching for your product or service. Customers can be your best source for valid and relevant keywords, because you’re trying to reach people just like them.
■ Competitors’ web sites. Check your competitors’ web sites for additional keywords that you may not have considered during your initial brainstorming session. Obviously, if your competitors are using these keywords, there will be some competition for them, but better to have the competition than to be left outside the arena while the games are taking place.
Keyword suggestion tools
One tool that you should use when developing your keyword list is a keyword suggestion tool. Keyword suggestion tools are just that: tools that provide a list of suggested keywords based on a base word that you enter into the search tool. Some of the words returned may not have occurred to you when you were brainstorming keywords and soliciting feedback from your customers about the words they would use. In addition, keyword suggestion tools provide some of the information that you’ll need to determine how much competition there is for the keywords and phrases you’re considering using. In the past, measuring the competition for your search terms was done by performing a search for each keyword or phrase using one search engine at a time. When the SERPs were returned,
you could see how many times that keyword or phrase turned up. It was a tedious and ineffective method of keyword research. Today, keyword suggestion tools speed the competitive research process. Here’s how it works: You first input your proposed keywords into a keyword suggestion tool, which examines a database containing millions of instances of keyword usage. Using these tools, you can quickly learn how many users are conducting daily searches for that term, how many of those searches resulted in an actual visit, and what related search terms were used
Many keyword suggestion tools are available on the Web. Some of the top tools, which you may already be familiar with, include the following:
■ SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: The SEO Book Keyword Suggestion tool, shows you how many searches have been conducted over a given month in various search engines for a keyword or phrase related to the search term you enter into the tool. You can find the SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool at HERE
■ Wordtracker: Wordtracker enables you to search for terms in the database of terms collected. This program tells you how often a keyword or phrase was searched for. In addition, the list of keywords and phrases returned may include words or phrases that you haven’t considered using. You may also find keywords on this list that have low competition rates but high relevancy. For example, Figure 6-3 shows some of the results for a Wordtracker
search for the term ‘‘beach.’’ A free version of Wordtracker is available HERE
■ Trellian Keyword Discovery Tool: The Trellian tool is a subscription tool (about $70 per month) that enables users to ascertain the market share value for a given search term, see how many users search for it daily, identify common spellings and misspellings, and discover which terms are affected by seasonal trends.
■ Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Google’s Keyword Tool provides suggestions for additional words that you may not have considered. The results shown include some graphs related to the number of times the words are searched for and to the competition that you might face if you select a particular word. However, there are no actual numbers, so your decisions about competition will include a high degree of guesswork. What you might find unique about the Google Keyword Tool is its capability to examine your web page or even your entire web site and make suggestions for keywords and phrases that might be useful in marketing your site.