In my last post I gave an overview of the importance of keywords and how they relate to the search engines. In this post I will briefly discuss some quick tips on using online tools to help you with keyword research. Having good tools is a necessity to maximizing your keyword marketing strategy. Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Market Samurai, Keyword Spy, Lycos, and Ask are just a few online resources to assist you in coming up with good keywords for your marketing needs. It is also important not to neglect the many search engines out there and not be totally focused on Google. Bing is coming on strong with a solid platform, Yahoo still has many loyal users, as well as all the classified networks, social networks, and other places where keyword placement is used.
The main gist of what you want to do when performing keyword research is to come up with a competitive term or phrase that will eventually yield a profit. A term that is actually being searched for at a scale large enough to attract a percentage of those future customers. You don’t want it to be too vague or broad which would not garner any results because it either covers too wide a subject or is too competitive in the marketing arena. Following are some accessible and useful tools that will help you in developing very specific and useful keywords.
Market Samurai is a keyword research tool similar to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, in that it comes up with hundreds of long tail keyword combinations. It gives marketers the ability to locate the keywords with high traffic volume and low competition in a given niche. This is exactly what you want, keywords that generate a lot of traffic with low competition which is a major advantage over the competition who are trying to rank for keywords that are too competitive. Market Samurai is a paid tool with a free trial; it comes with many other features and can be incorporated into a Google campaign.
Keyword Spy is actually my secret weapon and my favorite online tool. I could write pages on the benefits of what it provides. You really have to get on it and play around with it to discover the full scope of what it can do. Maybe I will do a post about it in the future. Suffice it to say it allows you to find keyword phrases and to find out what phrases your competition is using to gain rank. This is totally white hat technology and an invaluable resource and competitive edge. It is a free tool, but with the paid version you get a lot more features. This tool really helps with your brainstorming and gives you so much information everytime you use it.
Lycos.com is a search platform which is very focused on delivering trends of the moment and their results reflect this. It is a good place to get keyword ideas by entering some search terms and seeing what comes up. When reviewing these results pay particular attention to the ‘related terms’ which will offer more keywords. You can also refer to their categories to see what is hot.
Ask.com is another search engine that many marketers use for keyword brainstorming. Use it just like a regular search engine and review the results, and in this case pay attention to the ‘More’ tab. This will yield some more terms similar to a ‘related searches’ feature. You can come up with some great blog and article titles this way.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a free tool created to initiate the collection of keyword phrases to be placed within an Adwords campaign. Adwords are the “sponsored ads” you see on the top and far right side of a results page. These ads can be created by anyone who starts an account, they’re not just for large companies and big advertisers. You can have these ads appear on the results pages of the desired keywords or on other websites that the owners have agreed to have them appear; which as a quick note is the Adsense program.
Adsense is when website owners apply to the program, then let these sponsored ads show up in designated areas on their site in order to get a percentage of the revenue when they are clicked. Although these services are available and widely used, using the Adwords tool just as a keyword creation tool works great. In doing this, when you arrive at the tool start entering the terms or phrases you’d like to target and the tool will generate many more combinations and ideas along with some useful data. If you actually log in to the tool as a user you’ll be privy to even more data.
In bidding for keywords this is even more important because you have a budget and you want your ROI (return on investment) to be just that, a profit not a loss, and the higher the return the better. A rule of thumb when trying to rank for a phrase is the longer a search term is, the closer the searcher is to buying. This makes sense if you think about your own search habits. For example, searching “used cars” would bring up tons of results whereas “used 2011 Honda Accord Phoenix Arizona” would narrow these results greatly and certainly indicates a specific interest on the searcher’s part.
Using long tail keywords, especially geographically specific keywords can dramatically improve your ranking. If you’re competing in a local market it is important to constantly stay on top of this and make adjustments. You can hire copywriters who specialize in creating keyword rich copy. You just supply the keyword or keywords and the main parameters and the pro will supply the finished article you need. The demand of the writer, the number of phrases, and the length of the passage will determine the cost. A really good article can go a long way in garnering page ranking so it can be well worth it to have a great article working for you online.
Whether bidding for keywords in an online advertising campaign or coming up with article headlines, blog titles, or keyword rich content put the time and effort in and it will pay off. Learn from your mistakes and the clues others leave behind, follow the guidelines and work with an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professional who can help and guide you through the maze. The next post (Part III of 3) will give an overview of the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and go over what is included in the video tutorials.