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3 Tips for Doing Keyword Research

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3 Tips for Doing Keyword Research

If you have spawned an interest, need, or aspiration for search marketing, you'll soon learn that keyword research is an integral aspect to building a solid campaign. One of the best tools to start your keyword research is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. And although the Keyword Tool appears easy to use, there are a few things that you most certainly need to know to get the best results.

Whether for SEO or PPC advertising, successful keyword research is the foundation for any search marketing campaign. In this post, I will share with you three tips to help ignite your research in the right direction.

Learning the 3 Match Types

An important part of doing keyword research is understanding the three keyword match types. The names of these three match types are Broad, Exact, and Phrase match. Although the basis for each match type is for PPC keyword bidding, learning the differences between each match type is critical for SEO.

For instance, observe my example below for research for "marble cleaner" keywords. Each match type (which can be filtered in the left-hand navigation of the Keyword Tool) is shown for the keyword "marble cleaner;" however, different search volumes are shown for each match type.

 

The reason for this variation in search volume is best denoted by defining each match type:

  • [marble cleaner] (exact match) - search volumes represent only the two-word phrase marble cleaner, and that is all
  • "marble cleaner" (phrase match) - search volumes include exact match, as well as long-tail variations (e.g. best marble cleaner, marble cleaner for counter tops, marble cleaner reviews)
  • marble cleaner (broad match) - search volumes include any keyword search that includes similar semantics (e.g. how to get marble its cleanest, cleaning marble, marble floor cleaners)

As you can see, the broad and phrase match types for marble cleaner can appear inflated, from a SEO standpoint. Broad in particular is almost useless for search engine optimization, and in some cases, PPC too. Broad match is just far too ambiguous to get an accurate gauge on traffic potential. In almost any form of keyword research, de-select broad match, and select exact match. Again, this can be done using the options in the left navigation.

Using the Advanced Settings

Depending on your target search market, you may need to modify some of the advanced options when doing keyword research. Here you can set the geographic and language parameters so that your results are more focal to your search market.

You can also filter the results based on the device used to perform a search (e.g. mobile and tablet devices vs. desktop or laptop.) This can be very useful if you're pursuing a mobile search campaign, or sticking solely with desktop or laptop-based searches.

One tip that I recommend to considering is checking the filter box (above the advanced settings) that reads "Only show ideas closely related to my search terms." The thing is Google's Keyword Tool will give you a lot of keyword insights - almost too much. Checking this option helps keep your results more focused to what you're researching.

Look-up Results in Chunks

With respect to the latter tip of choosing to "only show ideas closely related to my search terms," you'll want to segment your research into semantic-related chunks. That is, you do not want to insert the keywords marble cleaner, granite polish, cleaning marble, granite restoration, all in the same batch. The results that Google will offer will probably have too much overlap. Instead, segment your keywords into relevant groupings.

Based on our example, we'll definitely want to keep granite and marble keywords separate. Additionally, we will further segment our keywords in secondary tiers based on cleaners, polishers, etc.

So based on the image shown, we'll look-up keyword results in relevant chunks. We will do this again for a grouping like marble polish, polishing marble, marble polisher, etc. This will not only provide more focal keyword results, but help keep the research organized throughout the process.

This blog post was written by Tyler Tafelsky, SEO and Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. You can contact Tyler directly via email at Tyler@oicgroup.net, or connect with Tyler on Google+. He's publish other content that you can explore, like How to Use the Google Keyword Planner, a project with YisooTraining.com.

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