This is a summary of Christine Churchill’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.
Christine Churchill is the President and CEO of KeyRelevance.com, a full service online marketing company that specializes in helping businesses succeed on the web.
Christine starts by saying we need to understand the user intent with searches and where they are in the buying cycle.
Too many webmasters get the on-page SEO keywords right, but they don’t match content with searcher intent.
Keywords can indicate *exactly* where the consumer is in the buying cycle.
Christine recommends reading A Taxonomy of Web Search – a paper by Andrei Broder.
A lot of people still type in navigational queries into Google – using it as a browser e.g. CNN, Disney. Also typing informational searches eg, “How do I…”
Google rewards content that delivers the intent of original search. Searcher intent is key. Therefore, you should design your page to support the query type. Ideally, there should be no ads on an informational page.
Transactional searches should lead to a ecommerce or transactional page e.g. download, sign up, purchase etc.
Recommended Tools for Keyword Research
Google Keyword Toolbox is an obvious place to start. Another rarely used option is to put a URL into the Google Keywords Tool (as opposed to a keyword), to see related keywords for a particular site. Great source of potentially overlooked keywords.
Yahoo Clues offers a great source for keyword research and searcher demographic by region.
Google Contextual Targeting Tool (accessible via adwords) is like a digital version of the now defunct Wonder Wheel. It’s a free tool and builds a themed keyword list.
Google Trends shows US search trends in real time and related content themes growing in popularity.
DoubleClick Ad Planner is a great for competitive research.
Google Insights for Search is excellent for search term trends – future or past.
Google Instant makes a great keyword research tool as well. Don’t overlook Google’s predictive search for research purposes. It gives you great content ideas based on popular topics. But remember that Google Instant shows different results if used in Google Shopping Search.
Ubersuggest will give you alphabetical keyword suggestions.
Twitter Search is ideal for real time keyword trends.
YouTube Keyword Tool can give you additional ideas, particularly for promoting multimedia content.
YouTube Suggest is basically the same as Google Instant, but for YouTube searches. Search on YouTube for an initial keyword and notice the drop down auto-complete search suggestions to get keywords and ideas for popular video content.
Recommended Tools for Competitive Intelligence
Searchmetrics provides detailed competitor keyword information for paid, organic and universal search.
SEMRush provides competitor intelligence data for PPC bids, search rankings and more.
Spyfu enables you to see current and previous bids for PPC keywords, even ad content and historic performance.
SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool allows you to compare two keyword phrases to decide best one. Also shows you the link competition you might face to target particular keywords.
When trying to cope with the loss of referrer data in your analytics (the dreaded *not provided* stats) – look at Google Keywords tool for missing queries to see those from persons not logged in to a Google account when searching. Look at Bing and other engines as well to fill in the blanks. Use PPC tests to get a guide from impressions and infer that missing data from your analytics by looking at referrer keywords and phrases.
When you’ve found your sweet spot keyword list, use those keywords in ALL your digital data, not just web pages. That should include podcasts, videos, tweets, infographics and so on.
Geographical Keyword Research
Use region-specific keyword research tools where available. Use Excel to power your keyword research strategy, it’s a much overlooked tool. Watch that the Google keyword tool is accurate for your region. Perhaps subsidise this data with local research and impression data from your locally targeted Google AdWords campaign.