They say a rose by any other name is still a rose. The same can be said about keywords.
When you’re close to your business and your industry, it can be easy to get caught up in terms and lingo that, while they make perfect sense to you, may not resonate well with your customers, or people searching for information on your business.
For this reason it’s important to rely on solid keyword research and not just “gut instinct” when building out your keyword lists for paid search and seo campaigns.
People find you using their keywords, not yours
A good example comes from a client in the mortgage industry who insisted that maximum effort be put into ranking #1 for terms that ended with the word “lending”.
The problem with that, from the perspective of increasing traffic and custom acquisition, is “lending” might not be the right term. It tends to be used by industry pros more than actual customers. When someone is looking for a mortgage, they’re less likely to be looking for “lending” and more likely to be looking for “mortgages”, or “financing” terms.
With that in mind, we here at Op Ed would like to provide you with a few links to free keyword research tools, and some tips for maximizing your keyword research efforts.
Tools and Tips for Keyword Research
Google Adwords Keyword Tool:
Whether you’re doing paid search, or SEO, the Adwords Keyword Tool is a great place to find new keywords to target, as well as whether or not the keywords you think are going to drive traffic to your site are the right ones.
– Pay close attention to both the global and local search volume. The global volume will tell you how many searches are done world wide on Google for that term each month. The local search volume will show you how many searches are done on Google each month in the region you specified (English Canada for example).
– Keep in mind that by default, search volume is for broad match, which means it’s including other related terms in that count, and not just traffic for that exact term. If you’d like to see volume for that term alone, change your match type to “exact” on the left hand side column.
– If you’re doing PPC, add the “Avg. CPC” column. This will show you the average cost per click for each term. In our experience, this isn’t always accurate as there are many factors involved, but it does give you an idea as to cost and level of competition. To add the column, click the “columns” button on the right hand side and check off “approximate cpc”
– If you’re looking at a keyword from an SEO perspective, keep an eye on the “competition” column. If a keyword has a high level of competition on adwords, it’s also a good bet that it’s highly coveted by those doing SEO and might be tougher to rank for.
Wordstream offers many great keyword research tools with their professional level memberships, but still provides a great free tool to help with adding on to the keyword list you’ll get from Google. Check out Wordstream’s free keyword tool.
Bing/Yahoo KW Tool
This tool will help you get an understanding of how much volume to expect for your keywords from Yahoo & Bing. Check out the Microsoft Adcenter Research Tool
These are just a few of the tools we use here at Op Ed to do keyword research. We have access to several professional level tools to make the most out of your campaigns. Contact us today for Paid Search and SEO services!