Andy Beal Search Term Basics Keyword Research


Presentation Description

Presentation by Andy Beal of, for Search Engine Strategies 2004, on keyword research for sure-fire search engine marketing -- still holds true for keyword research.



By: Harman (153 month(s) ago)

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Presentation Transcript

Search Term Research & Targeting: 

Search Term Research andamp; Targeting Presented to:


About is a division of WebSourced, Inc. With more than 125 employees, we are the largest company in our industry1 We have achieved top search engine positioning for more than 1,300 satisfied clients We have successfully achieved more than 100,000 top search engine rankings for our clients Trusted by Motorola, NBC, Lowes, Alaska Airlines, Experian and many other high-profile companies 1 Source: MarketingSherpa Buyers Guide

Biggest Question???: 

Biggest Question???

Why Is Search Term Research Important?: 

Why Is Search Term Research Important? The customer – not the advertiser – initiates the dialogue The choice of search terms is crucial to the success of a search marketing strategy Their impact is pervasive: copywriting, tag development, choice of directory categories, pay-per-click buys, etc Each page of your site should focus on a select list of carefully chosen search terms Search engines look for focused and highly-relevant pages – and rank them accordingly

How to select the best search terms: 

How to select the best search terms Four factors to consider:

Research Considerations: 

Research Considerations More than 56% of searchers use 2 or 3-word search terms (Source:, July 2004) 4-word search requests will soon outnumber 1-word search requests The higher the cost of a product/service, the more searches a consumer conducts Short phrases = popular phrases = competitive phrases To get significant rankings for a popular search term, you must dedicate your page copy and your external profile to that term

Research Structure: 

Research Structure A suggested guide to researching and targeting the best search terms. We will explore: Techniques for your Index Page Techniques for your content/product pages Building your list Identifying your most important search terms How to target competitive search terms Refining your list of search terms We’ll use a Toy Store as an example


Search Term Research For your Home/Index Page


Brainstorm Use group discussions Determine the most relevant search terms Consider which products you have in stock Match terms used in TV, Radio and Print campaigns Identify your biggest competitors Which companies are currently ranked for your targeted search terms? View competitors’ title and meta tags What other keywords are they targeting? Analyze your traffic logs Which search terms are currently bringing visitors to your website? If using PPC, which bids generate the highest conversions?

Compile a Basic List: 

Compile a Basic List From your initial research and brainstorming, compile a list of search terms you feel represent the index page of your web site For our online toy store

What tools are available?: 

What tools are available? There are many tools available to assist with search term research. The most popular are Overture’s Suggestion Tool, Google AdWords and Wordtracker. Overture – Wordtracker – AdWords – Trellian -

Overture Suggestion Tool: 

Overture Suggestion Tool

Overview Of Overture: 

Overview Of Overture Does not differentiate between singular and plural. While not necessarily a problem with paid ads, can impact natural optimization Overture also tends to ignore punctuation E.g. kid’s toys, kids toys, kid-toys and kid’s toy would all be shown as 'kid toy' Search frequencies can be inflated – lots of advertisers checking their bids and those of their competitors’ 500 million unique search term requests each month – only 50 million have bids – suggestion tool skewed in favor of those 50 million What Overture may not tell you.

Wordtracker Suggestion Tool: 

Wordtracker Suggestion Tool

Overview of Wordtracker: 

Overview of Wordtracker You don’t have to buy the full year subscription. Full 24 hour access for less than $8! Uses database of 328 million searches, mostly from Meta-Crawlers Meta-crawlers have less occurrence of 'research' type search terms Also less people checking rankings Shows accurate search data including variations for punctuation and spelling Thesaurus and Lateral search options

Google AdWords Suggestion Tool: 

Google AdWords Suggestion Tool

Overview of Google AdWords Tool: 

Overview of Google AdWords Tool Completely free to use, you just need to open an AdWords account Allows you to target your search term research to country or language specific queries Will show related words, including other types of spelling Difficult to determine the frequency of searches for a particular search term

Trellian Keyword Research Tool: 

Trellian Keyword Research Tool

Overview of Trellian: 

Overview of Trellian Most data available without charge Access 9+ billion search requests from 37 different sources Offers twelve months of data Other tools limited to 1-2 months Allows you to track past trends and seasonal fluctuations You’ll need a subscription - $29.95 per month Shows related search terms and allows cross-referencing

Expanding your list: 

Expanding your list By researching your targeted search terms, the tools will help you to identify other phrases that are relevant Both Overture and Wordtracker will display related search terms and the amount of search requests they generate Use this information to expand your original list to around 30* search terms that are relevant to your index/home page * Only relevant to optimization, no limits for paid search

Don’t be afraid to compete: 

Don’t be afraid to compete Don’t ignore a valuable search term simply because of the number of competing pages Remember, a search term may have 1,000,000+ competing pages, but you are only interested in competing with the first 10! Wordtracker’s KEI analysis will identify the competitiveness of each search term - Concerned about the level of competition? Check out the Top 10 competing sites and determine: How many backward links does each site have? Do you see the search term in their title tag? Do the same sites appear when doing a 'allinanchor:search term' search?

“Allinanchor” Operator: 

'Allinanchor' Operator 'allinanchor:' instructs Google to show you web sites in the order of who has the most links, containing the selected search term

Selecting Search Terms: 

Selecting Search Terms From your expanded list of search terms, decide on phrases that are most relevant to the index/home page Consider the following factors when making your final selections: Is the search term relevant to the index page? Would another page within your site be more relevant for targeting this keyword? Are your committed to matching your index page’s content to your selected search term? For paid search, calculate your CPC and ROI before bidding Once you have identified the above, you can select your final search terms to target on the index page. 2-4 search terms best, but as many as 8 can still yield results*

Index Page Selections: 

Index Page Selections


Additional Advice for Interior or Product Pages

Use Your Site’s Hierarchy: 

Use Your Site’s Hierarchy Remember, you should not try and target all search terms on your index page Your index page carries the most importance, but is also likely to contain multiple themes Only a handful of your most competitive, generic terms should be targeted on the index page Applies to both natural and paid search engine listings Use the interior pages of your web site for targeted search terms E.g. The keywords 'action toys' or 'baby toys' should be confined to those pages that specifically offer those products By optimizing specific search terms on the most relevant pages, you are more likely to achieve higher positioning Product pages have higher conversion rates More targeted search terms often have lower CPC values

Why Target Your Traffic?: 

Why Target Your Traffic?

Selecting Search Terms: 

Selecting Search Terms As with your index page, make sure you consider the following when selecting terms for your product pages: What is the most dominant message for the page? What keywords are you already using on the page? Information or product page? Think 'conversion' not 'traffic' when selecting search terms for your interior or product pages Remember, increased traffic is good, but you need to ensure that the visitor buys from you Increasing visitors from 100,000 to 200,000 is tough and costly. Increasing conversion rates from 1% to 2% by targeting the right pages, yields the same benefit!


Summary When conducting search term research, remember: Website owners tend to target the solution, while most searchers initially focus on their need or problem. E.g. 'Reduce credit card debt' not 'professional debt negotiations' E.g. 'One hour photo' not 'onsite processing' Don’t always rely on the numbers Consider seasonal fluctuations Most keyword databases are 30-60 days old What stage of the buying cycle does the keyword represent? 'Information gathering' or 'ready to buy'? Finally: Targeting search terms on the most relevant pages, will increase your chances of top positioning and increase your sales conversions too!

Thank You!: 

Thank You! For further information on Search Term Research and other SEM techniques, please visit:, and 300 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite D Morrisville, NC 27560 Toll Free: 877-420-6255 Fax: 919-433-3030 Contact Information:

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