START KEYWORD RESEARCH
Create a Detailed Excel Sheet
In an excel sheet set up the follow columns:
- O/S/B (Outcome, Solution, Brand)
- Keyword Type (Phrase, Exact, Broad)
- Avg. Monthly Searches
- Suggested Bid
It’s also advised to tag phrases with “+” or “*” o “-” so you know which keywords to keep now and which ones to leverage later as negative keywords.
A few more best practices to get started:
- Begin with one product or service line.
- Identify keyword variations and synonyms.
- Populate as much information into your excel sheet that you have available.
- Use the average monthly search data and suggested bids from Google’s Keyword Planner.
USE EVERYTHING AT YOUR DISPOSAL
A Few Free Tools We Love
The phrase everything but the kitchen sink comes to mind when talking about keyword research, meaning use every tool at your disposal.
We have a few favorite tools, and they’re all FREE:
- Keyword Planner
- Keyword Spy
- Uber Suggest
Keyword Planner is the most obvious and frequently used tool for AdWords keyword research.
Anyone with a Gmail or Google account can use the Keyword Planner tool. In addition to coming up with your own keywords, you can also analyze competitor sites for keyword ideas by entering a URL or phrase.
We use this tool to populate keyword terms used throughout a competitor’s site.
Make sure to select the “Keyword ideas” tab to get each match type to populate the most comprehensive list. Downloaded the results as a CSV file. Then scrape the list to remove any terms that don’t apply. Repeat these steps for other competitors.
*Note Google may withhold some information, especially if the user was logged into a Google account when conducting the search. The “not-provided” language is data Google is withholding.
Similar to the Keyword Planner tool, Keyword Spy can identify terms and phrases that competitors are using and help determine which to add to your campaigns. Keyword Spy also has a domain spy functionality to analyze how competitors may be using their keywords; including estimates on cost-per-click (CPC) and which keywords cost them the most.
Sometimes with keyword research, you should go directly to the source.
- Don’t Hit Enter Keyword Research
- Start by entering some keywords into the Google Search tool and do not hit enter. In anticipation of your possible entry, Google will automatically produce a list of suggested terms with significant search volume. Then repeat the process with the other terms that are populated.With our Wi-Fi example, we see phrases for “Wi-Fi extender” “Wi-Fi assist” These could fall into our keyword list as well as inform content that needs to be created.
- Related Searches Keyword Research
- In the same form as “Don’t Hit Enter,” Google will also produce a list of related searches after you hit enter. So after you conduct a Google search for a key term, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see a list of related search terms.
Ubersuggest.org helps users to extend their existing keyword lists by suggesting related terms with significant search volume. UberSuggest also allows you to select a group of keywords by simply clicking “Get” and copy and pasting into the Keyword Tool.
This helps by highlighting the terms that are frequently searched each month but are not too competitive.
Think Outside the Box.
Use online tools like a thesaurus, Quora and Wikipedia to see related phrases you might not think of. Don’t forget the AdWords search terms report. Make sure to build off of phrases noted there for expansion of already relevant topics.
CREATE LONG TAIL QUERIES QUICKLY
Concatenate or link together phrases and modifiers to use for exact match queries. This is a very helpful link on how to concatenate columns in excel. Create a new column in your excel document for the new concatenated terms.
CONDUCT INFORMED RESEARCH
Back Keywords Up with Data
After making a first-pass, verify that the terms you’ve selected align with the phrases people are using to connect with your site.
The best way to do this is by logging into Google Analytics and Search Console, Search Analytics. Identify the terms getting the most impressions and highest click-through rates (CTR) to your site.
Consider using those terms for brand-specific campaigns to reinforce the authority of your site and leverage the data to help identify additional keywords for your list.
It is of the utmost importance if the phrases you typically associate with your product or services aren’t showing up in Search Console, you have a bigger problem, and your website might need a major overhaul. In this case, call us ASAP.
(Note throughout the process, we repeat several of these steps. Evolve Digital Labs also uses a proprietary tool that scrapes search engine pages to find additional phrases.)
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN KEYWORD RESEARCH IS COMPLETE?
For our next few steps, we go back to our Excel sheet and begin tagging and segmentation to identify keywords to use in campaigns and phrases to use as negatives. Those critical steps are time-intensive.
As for completing the keyword research process because marketplaces are dynamic, technologies and consumer behaviors change it can feel like a never-ending process.
We believe quality keyword research should be conducted periodically. It should reveal something you did not know before. Keyword research should expose the opportunities within the market, and significantly improve your odds of successful AdWords advertising.