Verifying Keyword Research Information as the Basis for any Serious SEO Campaign
In a previous article I discussed Wordtracker in some depth and the Google Keyword tool in much less depth. In this article I will focus on the Google tool and the differences between it and almost every other tool… paid or free.
Before I go into this discussion it’s important to recognize the difference between a keyword and a search query.
- When we do keyword research we don’t necessarily discover search queries (the actual words typed into a search box).
- Keywords are a type of substitute for search queries and what we really want to discover are search queries directly related to the keyword and not just keywords themselves. It is the search query that identifies more closely the need of a searcher. However the starting point is keyword discovery.
- Take an example of a keyword “Accommodation Cape Town”… this is a keyword whereas a person could have typed into the Google search box “Guesthouse Accommodation Cape Town”, This is the search query. Put it another way… we initially design search marketing campaigns based upon keywords but over time as we discover search queries from log files and other sources we refine the campaign using search queries.
- These difference might at first seem to be academic but if an organisation is running a PPC campaign the discovery of search queries is critical..
Wordtracker Advantages and Disadvantages
Wordtracker is excellent at providing long lists (somewhat quantified) of keywords and especially useful for discovering lateral keywords (synonyms). It is a tool that anybody interested in Internet Marketing should at least try. It’s possible to “rent” Wordtracker for different lengths of time and I suggest this is the route to go initially.
Wordtracker is better at identifying search queries than is the Google tool.
A very significant disadvantage of Wordtracker and other keyword tools is that there is no focus on South Africa. Almost all tools are focused on the US scene and possibly the search situation in the UK. It’s true that more often than not similar patterns of search might apply to South Africa but it’s equally true to say that uniquely South African trends will not be identified and this can result in going down the wrong direction.
The way to overcome this problem is to use Google’s free keyword tool. To find it just search Google for this term and go there.
The Google Keyword Tool
These days I use this tool almost exclusively except for advanced keyword search
This is what the tool will do for you…
- You can select the country for which you want Google to display keywords
- You can start with a seed keyword and Google will display 200 keywords including search volumes per month
- You can elect for Google to show you the keywords based upon exact, phrase or broad match.
- Google will also show you a list of potentially negative keywords (but you need to evaluate this list rather than take it at face value)
- You can elect for Google to also show you related keywords (ie synonyms)
- Google makes it easy to export any or all keywords you select.
- The tool will allows you to combine keywords discovered from using a seed keyword and/or a specific URL you would like to query for keywords.
- By drilling down into keyword lists eg starting with a new seed keyword massive lists of relevant keywords can be built up very quickly.
- The purpose of this articles is not to show you step by step how to use the tool. That’s up to you to go and explore this great free tool. When you do this exploration you will be AMAZED at what you can discover about your own market niche.
Every SEO Campaign Should Start with an Adwords Campaign
These are 3 important reasons why…
- The volumes of searches shown really need to be confirmed and this is where Google Adwords plays an important role for 3 reasons:
- Running an Adwords campaign allows actual number of impressions to be measured and more importantly allows the exact search queries generating targeted traffic to be discovered.
- Even more important is the fact that an Adwords campaign shows which keywords and search queries actually result in sales or sign ups and it these keywords that should therefore be the focus of an SEO campaign and not the initial long list of keywords the majority of which will never result in conversions. However by not doing in depth keyword research and then using Adwords as a confirmation tool you will never know if you missed important converting keywords and search queries.
Any serious SEO campaign should first of all start with an effective Adwords campaign for the above reasons.