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How The Keyword Came To Rule The World

keyword research
Suddenly, everyone is realizing how much a premium position on the Net is important.

And this is all important to realize, since we all hail from the Internet generation.

I was in high school when the first dial-up services were introduced. For you to have Internet access way back then was a definite status symbol. And the joy of seeing websites was unparalleled. You would dream of actually making your own web site—which is what I, along with a couple of friends, did.

Looking back at that website, I could not help but surmise how the graphics were crude when compared to today’s standards. It wasn’t perfect: after all we were just catering to a select group of people, some people off to college and might not have the chance to catch glimpse of again until the ten-year get-together (All though social networking sites and IMs took care of that, but that’s entirely a different topic. Insert laughter here).

Anyway, the reason why we’re bringing this up is that the Internet has changed since those lowly times. Everything has come up on the web. Most significantly, online businesses, saving people time, effort and some gas in purchasing stuff.

And the recent recession has even helped the boom, as more people are realizing a work from home strategy can be done.

Yet only a few will ever succeed. And their level of success all depends on a powerful force in the Internet: The search engine.

Not all people will see website addresses. Many have employed creative ways, like some NBA teams post their URL’s on top of the hoops just in case they show an instant replay of a good play. Of course, that sight will only available to select group tuned into their TV sets at that time.

But with the search engine around, there is little need to memorize. They could just merely search for the topic, or the product online.

And more importantly, the use of keywords.

Admit it. We’ve actually typed a million keywords in our lifetime. When we needed the answer to something, or wanted to download a photo of a celebrity we had a crush on, we’d Google it. Or Yahoo it.

And everyone came to realize the value of keywords, creating a scene reminiscent of prospectors settling in California for the Gold Rush. The concept of SEO was born, and soon, PPC advertising, or SEM, followed.

And keyword research and tracking tools came to the fore. They came both in software and Web-based formats. All with their own unique strategies and operations. People would have to put out dough to avail of these complex services, but because of the wealth that these researches could provide, especially in the fields of SEM, PPC and SEO.

But it is important to note the effectiveness of your keyword tool. More so, the trust you can put on it to give you the best and most useful results out there. We are therefore grateful that a keyword research and tracking tool such as KeywordSpy covers the services in the most in-depth manner: it can research the PPC and SEO metrics of every keyword/domain, and it can track the PPC and SEO performance of a keyword over a certain period of time.

To be all nostalgic about it, a keyword tool such as this should be testament to how far we’ve come in the e-world. And our lives are better for it.

Concerns With Keyword Research

keyword researchIn doing keyword research - or even keyword tracking - for your SEM, PPC and SEO campaigns, there are numerous concerns that need to be looked at. Here are just some of them:

1. The keyword you’re bidding on may be too broad.
Your keywords may not be hitting the mark. Maybe what you are putting in your site or your ad may not be the words your competitors are typing in. On that, you should be cautioned.

For example, you bid for term such as “video games” That alone as a search may be too broad, considering that we’re way past the ‘80s and games are just more than Pong or Qubert. You’ve now got RPG games, combat games and so on, and you have to specifiy which of these games you want to be searched for.

Another factor is that broad/general keywords have too much competition. “Bags”, example, could still compete with “accessories” when customers do their search.

2. Different words used by business-owner and customer
The keywords you think are ranking highly in search engines may not be the ones they are looking for. You may be thinking that whenever people are looking for outdoor gear, they’ll be typing in “hiking gear”. Then you find out later on that they’re actually searching for “camping gear”. Not only do they miss your website, they troop to your more knowledgeable competitor more.

3. It’s not in the quantity, it’s in the quality
Remember the time when you’d search for a topic and you’d actually go to pages that barely have anything in common with the term you searched for?

Say, while doing a search on Ab Machines, you’d see this site called “AbMachines.com” that claimed to be “the comprehensive guide to Ab Machines”. But then when you click on it, you’d get an intro copy—in big bold letters—that runs: “Find Ab machines in your area. Discounts on Ab machines right at your fingertips! We have the most ab machine information about every machine ever invented.” And right below it, are links to obscure pay sites that don’t really give you what you’re looking for.

By stringing together words that didn’t make sense, yet since they made heavy use of keywords, such sites made themselves irritatingly visible on the front pages of searches. Well, Google, Yahoo and Bing have made controls on that now and it’s not just easy anymore to rank high for a keyword, even if SEO is still a primary basis for research.

That is why it is important that you have to keep a lid on the SEM, PPC and SEO competition. You should know their every move, and allocate a good part of your money for market research. The money you put out will give you better returns. But just as important is what you will be spending it for.

Again, with web-based keyword research and tracking tools at your disposal, you have the information right at your tips. You get information on not just a keyword, but also the basic results that come with it. More than the rankings, you’ll have to have a deeper analysis on the PPC returns it could give you, why they get the number of clicks the get, how much they fare at that current time, and how the rates of search for it fares with your competitors.

In doing so, you’ll be able to hit more targets and have less blanks in your SEM, PPC and SEO campaigns.

9 Things Your Keyword Tool Should Have

The battle for visibility on search engines has become more intense, and it has become more important that people be discerning in the keyword research and tracking tool that they use for their SEM, PPC and SEO campaigns. But how would you know which keyword tool to use?

Before we dive into the details of this discussion, let me stress how important it is to devote your self to a keyword research tool. Sure there might be keyword research tools that have the free trial option, and you could toy with it as long as time permits you, but if you really want to get the very gist of the function of the keyword tool and utilize it to the fullest in conjunction with your business, then you would have to subscribe.

Knowing that you have to shell out cash in order to bring in more cash, you should realize that in finding a keyword research and tracking tool, it is important that one considers the following criteria:


1.
A user-friendly nature

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The starting page should already show where to do your keyword search. Aside from that, the information should be presented in an orderly manner. Graphics should not be too distracting, but also not too dull, in order to communicate the needed information well.


2.
Comprehensiveness in information

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Your limit on your keyword tool should be a reasonable one. With thousand upon thousands of keywords on the Internet, your goal is to get each and every one of them. You should have a goal of at least 50,000 keywords to collect, and skim the cream of this already precious crop.

3. Distinguishability in information

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This means that once a person gets on a keyword research site, they can search for any of the following when they go to the site: a keyword and its PPC profitability, a competitor’s domain, an affiliate which helps sell his product, and a product which he can take an interest in examining.


4. Relevant metrics

Doing keyword research with having to go all over the search engines is like firing a misguided missile. The bottomline is, when doing your keyword research, you need to consider the metrics or analytics that will put you at the top of the heap. Namely, your keyword ROI, cost per click, and click per day. Such numerical statistics could prevent you from always making a wild guess and actually pinpoint what your customers usually search for.


5. A detailed description of how your competitors’ ads go


Most likely, a keyword research tool will give you the whole copy of the ad, from the title to the description down to the URL. KeywordSpy utilizes this to a hilt, for example, as it has the Ad Variations sections tab for every SEM and PPC related category in the Keyword and Affiliate Research sections, which shows the ad next to the landing URL.

6. Frequent updates

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Current information is needed for more accurate scouring of the SEM, PPC and SEO competition. And on the average, keyword tools will give you that on a per-week basis.

Monthly updating is also a reasonable time if it involves meticulous keyword research. Since websites, as a whole, tend to relaunch a campaign on a monthly basis, techniques are fully fleshed out only in such a period. Your keyword research tool would then pick up that information once the database is refreshed and give it to you instantly.


7.
Affiliate search capability

It’s not only the product owners themselves who are involved in the selling of their merchandise or service, but also the affiliates who sign up with them. It would be to your advantage if your keyword research tool monitors the PPC activities of these affiliates. Moreover, affiliates also publish keyword ads of their own, and the ideal tool would make sure to pinpoint those and present it to the client.


8.
Option to track the competition

What would give your keyword research tool a great advantage is if it can, literally, follow every move of your SEM competitors. Your competitors can always pull out a surprising strategy against you, so you must know what to do in order as a counter-attack by way of tracking them—their changes in the use of keywords, ad copies, strategies and so forth. An example of such a site is KeywordSpy, whose revolutionary tracking feature helps you in accomplishing that.


9.
Ready support service

Some sites go as far as having chat support for them to better address their market’s concerns in real time. Support via email is also helpful, for a more detailed description of how the service goes, and in addressing one’s concerns regarding the site. But all in all, a support service represents the value the company gives to the customer.


So, knowing all of these things, you can now set about wisely for a keyword research tool for your SEM, PPC and SEO research. And not just any keyword research tool—but something that you will use continually and give you the best value for your money.

Single Character Difference Part 2: Mother’s Day

Earlier, we saw how the keyword research results on KeywordSpy came up for St. Patrick’s Day. Now let’s look at another ambiguously spelled holiday—Mother’s Day.This day, just like other days, brings a promise of profit, especially for people who want to give the special woman in their lives a token of appreciation. Of course there are the traditional players such as Amazon and eBay. But we can also expect a lot of specialty stores either bidding on the keyword on PPC, or optimizing for it on SEO.

This is Mother’s Day 2009: wherein even in the midst of a recession, spending for Mom is still a time-honored tradition. And online commerce takes a huge chunk of that homemade apple pie of mother-honoring merchandise.

Without further ado, let us make the Mother’s Day-keyword research connection. For this day, there are three common variations of the word that pop up: “mothers”, “mothers’” and “mother’s”. Just like in our earlier example, where the apostrophe is placed could determine how it will pop up in searches.

For example let’s take a look at the KeywordSpy research results of “mothers day”:

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From our keyword research, we can see that it gave us vague numbers for the keyword metrics. We also see that it only gives us two PPC results, which is surprising since Mother’s Day can be a fairly profitable holiday.

Now let’s take a look at “mothers day”, without the apostrophe:

keyword research

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In this keyword research, we find that people bid more on just Mothers Day. It could be that probably cause it’s easier to punch into the keyboard than that with an apostrophe.

Now let’s look at the alternative spelling for Mother’s Day—“Mothers’ Day”.

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This is somehow because the use of Mother’s is more prevalent than Mothers’. The probable reason? It has been a notorious mistake that the apostrophe is inserted in the word itself even when it refers to more than one person, so the spelling variation “Mothers’” may not be as lucrative an investment, even if it is more correct than “Mothers Day”.

This sample keyword research is, of course, a mere experiment on our part, and should not reflect the situation as a whole. But as a KeywordSpy client, we may have helped you shed light on market strategies for keywords. The focal point? Apostrophes can be a factor.

On that note, I would also to greet my mother a nice and warm Mother’s Day. Yes, even SEO, PPC and SEM Specialists can be sentimental creatures themselves, even in the cutthroat arena they tread through.




Global SEM and PPC Keyword Tools

keyword researchSEM and PPC is fast becoming a global phenomenon, much like anything else that has found its way to the Internet. Much as SEM and PPC have made their mark in American websites—with the proliferation of search engines specific to every country, paid competition has gone on a global level.

In lieu of this, you cannot just merely rely on a normal, generic keyword research tool anymore. You need something that will take your game to the next level. Just because Google and Yahoo are US creations doesn’t mean you should not consider advertising in them. For all you know, you might have competitors who are also operating in your area and might be using the SEM and PPC to their advantage, thanks to keyword research they have done on their end. Don’t you think you should, too?

KeywordSpy, a keyword research and tracking tool which taps into database of both PPC and organic keywords of every site, recognizes this. And what makes it more suited to use wherever in the world is its country-specific domains, which reflect the willingness of the keyword research tool to reach out and empathize with its market.

If one goes to any of the sites, the first thing he notices is the top part, with the logo and the search tab:

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In this example from the KeywordSpy Indian domain (www.keywordspy.co.in), you can see that while it is similar to the top part of KeywordSpy.com’s main page, the logo is different because of the different URL. In addition, the nation served by the URL (in this case, India) is already highlighted as the main nation to search for on the Keyword Research tab. Finally, the examples listed and hyperlinked at the bottom of the bar include actual Indian domains, and frequently search keywords in the nation. This adds to the localized feel of the site.

Another thing to note is the graphic underneath the toolbar. Let’s look at the version of it by KeywordSpy UK (www.keywordspy.co.uk):

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While it mirrors KeywordSpy.com’s version of the graphic that caters to the US market (it also uses the keyword “flowers” as an example), the demo graphic shows actual UK sites which are related to the keyword “flowers”. By incorporating local examples into the demo, KeywordSpy speaks to the heart of the customer, and imparts to prospective clients why they need this keyword research and tracking tool.

Finally, just to demonstrate how much the SEM and PPC phenomenon has caught on in other parts of the world, let us take a look at ads searched by KeywordSpy:

Italy (www.keywordspy.it):

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Brazil (www.keywordspy.com.br)

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Even if you’re not a linguist, you can tell that the techniques in constructing these ads take heavily from the US-pioneered style, from the inclusion of the keywords, to the conciseness of getting the message across. No doubt that the PPC method has taken the world by storm, and has become a language that has become as important as English, bringing in profits for those who can master its use.

And the presence of a site such as KeywordSpy helps us do research on our competitors’ SEM or PPC and SEO moves, wherever we are in the world, whatever market we are catering to. And the information we can get from it will help us set our corresponding counter-campaigns. With several domains that are country-relative, a database that stretches up to 17 countries plus a PPC search that stretches across nations, it is no wonder KeywordSpy is one of the leading SEM and keyword research and tracking tools today.