Thursday, February 19, 2009

PPC Management: Keyword Research Tools

By George Kristopher

Google has a keyword research tool of its own. To find it, click on the "Tools" link in the green strip at the top of your screen. Now you have two choices: If you've already got a full web site up and you don't want to start completely from scratch in guessing at all the keywords that are there, click on the "Site-Related Keywords" tab and simply enter the web address for one or several pages on your site. Google will search the site and come up with your keyword list for you.

However, if you want to reach people with keywords that you know aren't obviously found on your web site, click the "Keyword Variations" tab and enter one of your core keywords. Google doesn't just give you variations of that keyword. Check the tiny box to the right marked "Use synonyms," and it also gives you a host of related suggested themes. This is no hack job, either. Google's results here are just the results you'd expect from a world-class search engine.

Many of the results you'll find immediately relevant; others you won't have use for. But Google gives you plenty more still helping your Google AdWords management. They won't give you the explicit numbers of searches for these terms on their system, but they will show you the relative amount of traffic they generate. To see this, click on the "Show columns" dropdown menu and select "Keyword popularity".

The partially-shaded bars tell you how highly saturated with competitors each keyword is, along with the relative amount of searches each term gets.

Another clever feature is "Global search volume trends," a month-by-month graphic of the average searches your term gets.

Very clever. And very helpful in Google AdWords management. You get variations that Overture couldn't give you and information about your competition that you can't get from any other free service. And it doesn't cost you a penny extra.


If you use Overture's tool to find all of the searched-on variations of "learn German," then every result it lists for you will have those two words in it:

1,371 learn to speak german 916 learn german free 598 learn german online free 383 learn to speak german for free 108 learn to speak german online 100 german language learn online 73 learn swiss german 71 learn german software 69 learn german cd

But aren't there people who want to learn German who don't use that exact phrase?

Sure are. There's also "study German" and even "study in Germany," not to mention the occasional guy who on a lark types in "learn Deutsch" or even "sprechen sie Deutsch."

But how do you know what other possible keywords there are? Answer: Wordtracker's Wide Search.

Now let's say that you are bidding on keywords for cell phones. Simply go to Wordtracker, and you will get these suggested variations:

mobile phone nokia cellphone cellular phone ringtones wireless sony ericsson samsung sanyo motorola bluetooth accessories

Let your imagination wander a bit, and you'll realize that these keywords that Wordtracker gave you could take you into new markets you never would have considered. More than a few people have figured out after looking over keywords and traffic that they'd make more money selling accessories for Nokia phones than being a reseller of the phones themselves. There are countless examples of this kind of surprise discovery. That's why you do this research in the first place. Keep an open mind!

Wordtracker is not set up to give you click costs or estimate profitability. It's made to inform you of all the possible directions that you can take with your keywords. It does this by

showing you all the variations people have typed in over the last 60 days, and telling you the number of searches each one has had through Dogpile and Metacrawler.

You'll notice, of course, that other than including plurals along with singulars, this list doesn't give you any other spelling variations, like "cell" or "cell phone" or "cellular." You'll have to do those separately. - 16651

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