Whether you want to optimize your site for organic search, or get the most out of a paid search campaign, focusing on the right keywords is a critical first step. No matter how hard you try, it’s tough to brainstorm every keyword possibility. What’s more, the relative popularity of various keywords is often hard to predict. Even Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool can be remarkably inaccurate.
What to do? Here’s the first of three little tricks we use to refine keyword lists for our clients:
We’ll often set up a Google AdWords campaign and choose a very broad search term – “greenhouse,” for instance – and bid on it using Broad Match. With Broad Match, any time “greenhouse” is included in part of the search term, our ad is eligible to show.
If our goal were making sales, this strategy would be a budget-killer. However, when our goal is research, we’ll use a low budget cap and a low bid amount. By using the “See search terms” feature in AdWords, you can see exactly how many people searched on exactly which keyword phrases, and – if you have conversion tracking in place – how well they converted.
Armed with that information, you’ll know which search terms will give you the biggest payoff for your SEO and/or paid search efforts.
Stay tuned for our next two posts for additional tips on refining your keyword list.