• How many angles are you looking at keyword research from?

    by  • February 27, 2008 • Keywords, Pay Per Click • 4 Comments

    When doing keyword research it is important not to get in a rut and simply look at keyword research as “consumer” only… or worse, from the business point of view rather than the potential customer’s point of view. But smart keyword researchers realize there are many angles to consider when planning your keywords so that you don’t miss out on a particular segment which could equal clicks and conversions. And this is especially important because not all pay per click advertisers consider all the different angles that a searcher might search on, meaning less competition and lower cost per clicks for you. And if you are struggling to get more traffic on specific pay per click platforms, such as Microsoft adCenter, this can enable you to add some new keywords to your campaigns and get some additional traffic from any of these angles you weren’t previously bidding on.

    Obviously, this shouldn’t take the place of your main keyword research, but to enhance what you currently have or to add to your repertoire when you do research for new campaigns.

    So look at your keywords and market from some new angles, and see if you can’t enhance your pay per click campaigns by considering new or complimentary keywords from these angles:

    Geography & Regionality
    Sure, people call it pop where you live but a few states over they only call it soda. Don’t neglect an entire marketing area because your pay per click campaign focused on a keyword that is extremely specific to a particular geographic area, such as the whole pop vs. soda vs. soda pop issue. The same is especially true if you market worldwide, because what it might be called in North America could elicit blank stares in the UK. Not sure if there could be a geographic issue? Do a search for small brick-and-mortar business located in another geographic area (if you are in New York, try Idaho or Oregon for US-based, for example) by searching for a specific brand as opposed to the type of product it is (ie. search for Pepsi not pop) and see if the product description refers to in a different way that how they do in your area.

    Misspellings & Variations
    You could be missing out on traffic because you have considered misspellings and other variations such as acronyms that people could be using to search for your products. Not only that, you also have to consider regionality here too. If you are a search engine optimization consultant marketing worldwide, you’d need to be aware that while it is “optimization” in the US, it is spelled “optimisation” in the UK and you could have missed out an entire market if you didn’t include the alternate spelling with an S instead of a Z in your campaign’s keywords. I have written in length on this at Targeting Keyword Variations for Increased Search & Pay Per Click Traffic.

    Problem or Solution
    Do you have a product that people buy to fix something? Make sure you cover those angles as well, particularly on the long tail. If you have a data recovery business, you don’t just want to bid on related data recovery and broken hard drive types of searches, you should also address the super long tail of “fix grinding hard drive” or “Windows cannot locate hard drive” and then angle your ad accordingly with a title and ad copy that addresses “recover data from your hard drive when Windows can’t locate it”. When you consider the reasons why people might search for your product and how it can offer a solution to a problem, you have opened up a new whole area of keywords.

    Product & Model Numbers
    People who search for product and model numbers are generally in the “buy” stage because they know exactly what they want. While some larger markets definitely have advertisers bidding on specific product numbers, there are many smaller ones that don’t. So bid on product numbers as keywords, but resist the temptation to make the ad a generic one, make it custom to the specific type of product at the very least, if not the exact model Here is an example of a plasma television, model FWD42PV1a. Now, there are four advertisers, three of which have completely generic ads.

    FWD-42PV1A/S TV $1237
    42″ Plasma Panel
    Edtv Ready – Silver.

    FWD-42PV1AS – $1,209.15
    Prices starting as low as $1,209.15
    Compare Prices, Read Reviews & Save

    Fwd42pv1a: Cheap Prices
    50,000+ TV’s, Phones, MP3 & More.
    Fwd42pv1a on Sale. Read Reviews!

    Buy Plasma & LCD TVs.
    Compare Prices and Save.

    Now, Amazon is the only one that actually tells me what the product number is…. what if it also shared a product number with a Black & Decker cordless drill? It would have cost the other three advertisers money for a click with no chance of conversion. ShopCartUSA does include the price, which is an added bonus, and helps give searchers an idea if it might be what they were looking for, since they would know an approximate price point if they searched for the specific product number… but their ad is so painfully generic otherwise I could have been searching for a generator or fancy color laser printer and the ad would not have told me anything more specific. Amazon and PriceGrabber did at least have Plasma in their descriptions. But not a single one actually confirmed it was a Sony product number, which most of the natural search results did. In this case, I would have clicked an organic listing because all of the pay per click advertisements were poorly written for any kind of conversions. An ad I would have created for this campaign would have been much more targeted to the searcher than any of the ones who are paying money for those ad placements.

    Searcher’s point of view
    How might you search for your market area? What about you mother or grandmother? Or your web savvy twelve-year-old daughter? Or your Computer Science PhD whiz next-door-neighbor? It is important to consider not only who might search for your keyword area but how they might do it. Your PhD neighbor might go for super long tail eight word keyword phrase because she knows exactly what she’s looking for. But your mother might start off with a single keyword, then slowly add a new keyword one at a time to the one she started with, until she finds something that resembles what she’s looking for. It is important to consider how these different types of people might search for your product or service, and it can be useful to track conversion rates for these different types of searchers as well. You could discover the group of searchers your mother fits into is the best converting of the bunch.

    Many people neglect to look at shortcuts people might use to search their keyword area. No, not everyone would type out “search engine marketing”, they would simply type in SEO. But if you neglected to bid on SEO, you have just missed out on potential traffic and conversions. So it is important to consider lingo and acronyms people might use that are very specific to your industry. What do you use in the office that should make its way to a keyword list? And don’t forget that you can also segment those visitors as well, as you will know specific groups of people would use specific acronyms, enabling you to target those with landing pages that cater to those people for higher conversions. You can explore this area more in Using Industry Lingo & Acronyms in your PPC Ad Copy.

    Take a look back over your keyword research and see if you are missing any of these angles (I know many of you are!) Not many of these angles will take much time to research, but you can definitely add a whole batch of new keywords to your pay per click campaigns to increase traffic and conversions. What other angles do you consider when adding new campaigns and doing keyword research?


    Jennifer Slegg is a longtime member of the SEO community and is an expert on social media, content marketing, Google AdSense and search engines.

    4 Responses to How many angles are you looking at keyword research from?

    1. sawya
      February 27, 2008 at 9:52 am

      good advice, thx

    2. February 27, 2008 at 10:44 am

      I just found this article via twitter via sphinn – thanks to Maki from doshdosh!

      This is certainly interesting – and I hadn’t thought to do some of these things – I’m interested to see what you have to say on other areas now so I’m off to explore your site further.

    3. February 27, 2008 at 11:37 am

      Excellent read. Thanks for the education! *-)

    4. March 6, 2008 at 8:12 am

      For keyword research you may try seodigger.com.
      it allows you to input a site URL and it will then show you the keywords that site has that will rank it among the top 20 in Google. It returns quite a few good answers and allows you to see the Wordtracker and Overture results as well.
      One of the neat features of this site is that you can sort by the position, wordtracker
      ranking, overture ranking and also the most recent keyword request.

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