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The Best Keyword Tool is your brain – Finding Keywords you might have Missed

Hundred’s of interesting Search engine marketing blog posts are written everyday, covering the most sophisticated and advanced techniques all the way down to the essentials.

However there seems to be a lack of helpful posts covering one of the most fundamental creative processes in a search marketing strategy – [tag]keyword research[/tag].

Ideas pad

must think of more longtail terms – via flickr

You have to get inside the head of your potential customers, by understanding how they might search for your company, you can understand what key phrase you need to target. It will dictate your tactics and enable you to monitor your improvement.

There are lots of clever [tag]keyword tools[/tag] out there that can help automate the process of selecting keywords but very few can match the ingenuity of the human mind.

Whenever we are choosing keywords for our clients after we’ve exhausted our keyword tools, we always carry-out these steps to make sure there are no lucrative keywords we’ve missed.

Ask someone who isn’t an insider – whenever you start working on a search marketing project you end up immersing yourself in the industry of your client. Every conceivable abbreviation and piece of jargon finds its way into an excel spreadsheet. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and ask someone who doesn’t know the business inside and out and ask them how they would describe the company. It will make sure you don’t target ‘Ink Transfer Media Solution Agents’ instead of ‘Paper Company’.

Look at Your Logs – if you’ve got any kind of analytics installed on your clients’ site, it can be invaluable in the keyword research stage. It’ll only show you the terms they are already ranking on; but can act as an inspiration for new keywords. If they are receiving a load of traffic on queries featuring their location it might suggest a desire amongst consumers to deal with a local company. You might make your keywords a bit more geographically specific after seeing this kind of data.

Use the Keyword Site Tool – Google Adwords site specific keyword tool is a good place to find keywords you might not think of, but don’t limit it just to your own website. Put in the urls of all your competitors and all the sites with decent rankings on your top keywords. Some might be irrelevant because of the differences between the businesses, but it’s an easy way to make sure your keyword list is completely comprehensive.

Think of the Problems You Solve – One the types of keywords which has proved effective with our clients have been found by thinking about the kind of problems their service or product solves. If you are a small hotel phrases like ‘birthday presents for wife’ might perform well or if you sell energy efficient light bulbs terms like ‘reducing climate change’ could be a valuable keyword.

Use Adjectives – Adding a descriptive word at the beginning of your top key phrases can work well. It’s not only ‘cheap’ that’s worth adding. Break out your thesaurus. Your Spa resorts can be ‘healthy’, ‘relaxing’ ‘stress-free’ & ‘romantic’.

These are just a few of the techniques we use to make sure there are no gaps in our keyword lists. It’s also worth coming back to your list a few times before you finalise it, never under estimate the power of fresh eyes.

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2 Comments
  • Osborne Brook on October 19, 2009

    I would like to add that a very useful tool to use is Google’s Search-based keyword tool which offers some extra features such as the invaluable total of monthly searches for a particular keyword. Also, looking at your analytics for long tail keywords can give you an idea of what some of your clients are after.

  • Reality PPC on December 2, 2009

    I like the not so obvious point you brought up and that is ask someone who is not in the business. Looking at the clients business from the out side in is always helpful. I would also add that I have had great success for my clients with miss spellings and all the varies ways customers type in domain name into the search bar.

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