keyword research Tag

27 Apr PPC Farming – Soil Prep

Soil PrepJust like farming starts with the soil, PPC starts with your keywords. The first step in achieving a successful PPC harvest is to prepare your soil through appropriate keyword research.

Keyword Research

Your first step is to figure out what type of soil you have. First, look at your web content, promotional materials, marketing pieces, etc. to find the keywords that you are currently using to describe your service/product/offering. Open up a Word doc or pull out a pad of paper. Write these keywords/phrases down.

Second, log in to your analytics account (ie Google Analytics, Omniture, Statcounter). Run a report on your organic traffic for the last 3 months or so. Look at the top non-brand terms and add the best ones to your list.

Lastly, if your site has a search bar, look at your search log to see what people are typing once they are on your site. This is gold because these terms are exactly what users are looking for ON YOUR SITE! Add these to the list (if they aren’t already there).

Helpful Tools

PPC HorseThis picture is a Troy-Bilt Horse; a 1HP tiller that chews through the toughest soil and leaves behind a path of soil nirvana. Tools like this allow you to prepare more soil with less time. Here’s a list of my favorites:

  1. Google’s Keyword Tool(s) – Google currently has 3 versions of their keyword tool, but their info is based on the most search data and so I recommend starting with Google.
  2. SpyFu - They show you the ads, the natural results and give estimates of how much clicks are costing advertisers. This is great for seeing what your competitors are doing.
  3. Wordstream – Easy to use, great UI and they’ll email you your keyword lists.
  4. Wordtracker - They don’t have as much search data as Google, but this will help you get insight into searches being done outside of Google.
  5. Suggester - This is a newer tool, but kicks out some pretty good results. Warning: Their servers are in Texas, so some of their Top Terms are biased.

Proper keyword research will help you create an environment where the seeds of your PPC efforts can grow. So how do we get started planting?

UPDATE: Just yesterday Brad Geddes wrote a great piece on 7 keyword tools. Great supplement!

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04 Jun Small Business PPC – Keyword Research

As a small business owner or employee, you’re always looking for ways to expand your business. Most likely you have a website and you’re heard about Pay-Per-Click(PPC) advertising on Google or Yahoo. You decide that it would be great if you could put your advertising in front of internet users right when they are searching for your product. But what are your potential customers searching for?

Do Some Keyword Research

The key is to find keywords that are related to your business AND that are being searched regularly. A great tool to find out how much your keywords are searched each month is the Google Keyword Tool. You can type in a few sample keywords that you think are related to your business, or, if you choose the 2nd radio button, you can put your own URL in the box and Google will tell you what keywords it thinks your website is related to.

As an example we’ll pretend I’m an Idaho florist, so I think it makes sense that people might be searching for “Idaho florists”. So I type it in.

And I get some results, but I want to see all the data Google has. I select Show All from the drop down:

And now we see some good information:

So What Does This Mean?

First we notice that there are over 2,000 local searches for idaho florists. That’s 67 potential customers every day. Then we notice that a lot of searches include the name of a city (ie rexburg idaho florist or nampa idaho florist). Hmm. We probably should look for cities close to my mom’s florist shop or this isn’t going to work. “Florists in Pocatello Idaho” only gets 12 searches/month, but someone I can help this person. Write this one down. Actually, what if we run the search for Pocatello florist instead?

As you can see, now I’ve found some terms that get more searches AND these are people looking for a florist in the area. BAM! Take some time and run a few of these searches. Write down the best terms because these are one of the primary ingredients for our small business PPC campaign.

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