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How to do Keyword Research the Smart Way: Targeting Interest and Intent

These days, effective keyword research is an increasingly important skill for digital marketers. Not only do they need to know how to develop a good keyword list for PPC and SEO, but smart content marketers use keyword research to find out what topics they should write about and what phrases they should use while writing.

 

But if you’re reading this, you probably already know how important keyword research is. You’re just here to learn how you might do it better or more effectively.

There are quite a few great, thorough keyword research guides on the internet (see herehere, and here). In general, they tell you to follow this process:

  1. Create a seed list of starting terms
  2. Expand your list using keyword research tools
  3. Refine your list with competitive research

So why am I adding one more article to the stack? Because I want to introduce you to a framework for categorizing keywords that I developed when I was running the paid search practice at Red Bricks Media. The infographic below sums it up:

keyword research target model

 

Click on the image above to see an enlarged view.

The idea behind this model is that different keywords represent different levels of interest and intent; some search terms are used by people close to a conversion, while others are used by people still in the early stages of research.

The model imagines that your desired conversion event is the center of a target.Keywords are categorized by type and arranged by how effective they are at converting. As a rule, it makes sense to invest the most time and money in keywords closer to the bullseye. Only after you have fully maximized the volume from those should you move further out.

1. Brand terms. People who are familiar with your brand already are the easiest of all to convert. In terms of volume, this category of keywords might not produce the most impressions or page views, but they usually will have the best conversion rate (in both paid and natural search).

2. Product terms. This is what your product is or does and what problems it solves. Depending on how diverse your array of products or services is, this list could be huge. People who are searching for these terms are a little further back in the decision cycle, and your cost per action (CPA) on these terms usually will be higher than on brand terms. But you can get only so much volume from brand terms, so eventually you’ll want to start winning with product terms, too.

3. Competitor terms. There was a time earlier in the life of paid search marketing that competitor terms were second only to brand terms for conversion rate and CPA efficiency. However, in recent years, Google has tightened up their quality score requirements; and now it is nearly impossible to find a reasonable cost per click (CPC) on competitor terms. If you have money to spend and are trying to make inroads against a strong competitor, these could be good terms for you.

4. Substitute product terms. This is something someone might use instead of your product. For example, if you’re selling pens, you might consider bidding on (or optimizing for) “pencils.”

As with competitor terms, Google won’t give you a lot of credit for relevance on these terms, so they will be more expensive to bid on for pay per click (PPC) and harder to win for search engine optimization (SEO). However, if you’re getting all the volume you can out of previous categories, they are worth considering.

5. Complementary product terms. These are things that go with your product, such as “TV stands” if you sell TVs. Basically, they are someone else’s product terms. You might win some marginal conversions with them.

6. Audience terms. This category covers all kinds of other terms that people in your target audience might be searching for. Usually the impression volume on these words is vast, so it can be a tempting category to try. Also, since this category is more aligned with traditional display targeting, which is based on the interests and pastimes of the audience, you might get a lot of suggestions from higher ups about trying these types of words.

That’s one reason the target model is so helpful. By understanding that these terms reveal there isn’t much intent on the part of the searcher to discover your product, you won’t be surprised when the terms act like display ads and generate the lowest conversion and highest CPA of all of your words.

 

Using the Target Model in Your Keyword Research

Now that you’re familiar with the target model, here’s how it comes into play during the steps of keyword research:

 

Creating your seed list

seed list is your initial set of keyword ideas. Write down the six keyword categories. Then use a combination of brainstorming and investigation (see below) to fill out the list with keywords, spending the most time on brand and product terms.

You want this list to be thorough in terms of capturing all the things your product does and the problems it solves, but you don’t need to be exhaustive in coming up with synonyms, etc. That will happen in the next step.

1. Research your audience. What terms does your audience use to describe your products or services? What other relevant terms do they use in their day-to-day lives? Look at blog posts and comments, forums, LinkedIn groups, and your own support requests.

2. Find the search terms in use now. Use your analytics tool, Google Webmaster tools, and your weblogs to see what search terms people are using to get to you. If you have access to data on your internal site search, look at those terms to see what people are looking for.

3. Get some suggestions. Soovle is a tool that lets you enter a keyword and see what the top autocompletes are for a number of different search engines and other sites. It’s not worth running every keyword through Soovle, but you might try a couple to see if you missed anything.

4. Check out the competition. Tools such as SpyFu or SEM Rush let you see what competitors are bidding on. As with Soovie, there’s no need to spend hours on these sites. But it can be helpful to put in a few competitor names or key terms to see if there’s anything you didn’t think of.

 

Building your keyword list

Now it’s time to expand your list. Pop open your favorite keyword research tool and start entering your keywords.

“Wait!” I hear you saying. “What should be my favorite keyword research tool? Do you have a secret weapon?”

Nope. Many keyword research articles recommend a whole list of tools, but in my opinion you can start and end with the Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool. In the U.S., the majority of traffic comes from Google, and the proportion of PPC traffic is even higher, so you might as well get your words – and your traffic estimates – from the authority. A few tips for how to use it:

1. Group words by topic. As you start putting in your keywords, you can enter more than one keyword at a time, but keep them topically grouped. For example, if you sell both mustard and ketchup, you can put “mustard” and “Dijon mustard” in at the same time, but put ketchup in separately.

2. Under Match Types, select Exact. You can find a thorough explanation of Google match types here, but basically Exact Match will give you the number of searches for that term and that term only. This is a better and more conservative estimate of the search traffic you might get from a term.

3. Under Advanced Options and Filters, select the language and location you’re interested in. If you want only Spanish speakers from San Francisco, set up the filters that way. The number you see in Local Monthly Searches will reflect searches from people matching your criteria.

4. Set up your columns. Select the columns Competition and Local Monthly Searches. There are columns with other data, including approximate CPC, but I never have found them as useful as these.

5. Check off the keywords that seem interesting; then select Download/My Keyword Ideas. This will produce a spreadsheet of your results. The keyword ideas stay in the left column as you enter more seed terms, so you can just download after you are finished.

 

Refining your keyword list

Now that you have a good list of keywords, it’s time to refine it and zero in on the best keywords. This is especially important if you’re developing a keyword list for SEO, where there is a limit on how many words you can reasonably optimize for. There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules here; you’re generally looking to eliminate less interesting words. Some factors to consider as you hone your list:

1. Keyword Category. If you ended up with 500 audience keywords but only 15 product keywords, you probably can drop some of the less interesting audience terms. Focus on the categories closest to the center of the target.

Also, use the categories to understand the intent of the search. In other words, if you sell a B2B financial product, then “financial management” is a potential product term, but “financial management jobs” is an audience term and therefore less interesting.

2. Competition. In the online tool, Google rates keyword competition from Low to High. In your downloaded sheet, they’ll have changed this to a number from 0 to 1, with higher values meaning more competition. Google’s number relates to paid search only. Moz has a tool (available to paid subscribers) that gives a keyword difficulty score for SEO.

These tools can help you find words that you might have an easier chance of winning. Don’t spend a lot of time fretting over these numbers, though. You shouldn’t be discouraged from going after more competitive words, just understand that it might be harder.

3. Search Landscape. Enter some of your most important terms into Google (or another search engine) and see what comes up. For example, if you’re doing a campaign for the bath-and-body brand The Body Shop, until you see the search results, you might not realize that “body shop” also refers to cars.

Also, if you have a marginal term of ambiguous meaning, it might be worth dropping it off the list. And you can start making a list of potential negative keywords for any off-topic results you see (that is, keywords you don’t want your ads to appear for).

4. Semantic Grouping. As you go through your words, create a column to group them semantically. For example, words like “free website,” “free website creation,” and “free website tool” might be grouped under “free website.” These tightly-connected groups of words can be used later as your PPC ad groups. If you find a group with a large number of words, you might drop some of the ones with a lower search count.

Many people want to know how big their keyword list should be. This depends a lot on how big or complex your product or service is, but it doesn’t need to be huge. Unless you are developing a list for a large enterprise, think dozens or hundreds instead of thousands. In PPC, you can use broad match (to capture long-tail terms) and Google’s keyword reports (to add the effective ones to your list).

Categorizing your keywords to capture the interest and intent of the searcher can help you develop, refine, and analyze your list. Have you tried something similar? Let me know in the comments.

5 Things to do for Teenagers to Stay Productive

The state of being a teenager is the most crucial bridge of state in becoming an adult. Vast opportunities that a teenager can learn and be productive in this stage.

Thus, being a teenager is prone to becoming easily bored and wanting to do something – like being productive.

Below are the best known five things that a teenager can do to stay productive in time.

  1.       ENGAGE TO SOMETHING NEW

  Engaging to something new is first thing to do in order to be productive- go beyond the outside box. Thus, in engaging to something new also means learning something out of it and can be used to be a productive teenager. For instance, surfing the internet to search for a simple side-line job that a teenager can simply do by creating an account in some sites that offers a job or a sort of platform in searching a job.

Just stay away in those addictive video computer games, in which a negative one in delaying a teenager in becoming productive.

  1.       LOVE YOUR SELF

Loving one-self is also the most important thing to do for a teenager to stay productive, because in this way youths can improve themselves – improving their different abilities and skills like reading a book, exercising, appreciating oneself and socializing to other people to gain a certain relationship. Thus, loving your self is an expression of accepting one-self for what you really is, and not for who you are.

  1.       STAY HEALTHY

Staying healthy in all aspect of the body such as the mental health, physical health, emotional health and spiritual health can be a good thing to do to be a productive teenager. Have enough sleep, a teenager needs at least 8 hours of sleep for the different body parts to function well.

  •       Mental Health – Read books
  •       Physical Health – Exercise
  •       Emotional Health – Meditate
  •       Spiritual Health – Go to church and Pray
  •       Social Health – Go outside and make friends
  1.       BECOME A VOLUNTEER

There are various organizations in the government and Non-Government Organizations that are in need of volunteers, why not register and go for it. Thus, by volunteering as a teenager will be more connected and adept to the community.

  1.       GOALS WHAT MATTER THE MOST!

The most important thing for a teenager to stay active is to have a certain degree of goals. In which, a teenager is aiming for it to be achieved. Hence by thinking about a goal is also thinking about the future. List it down, and choose the goals that can be achieved being a teenager. As an early age, it is way better to plan ahead of time about the future career.

Thus, being productive in the early stage of being a teenager can be a fruitful way for the future of a person to flourish well. There are still many different things that a teenager can be productive but as a teenager it is still important to chill and relax in that way it may not sound being productive – but it is.

Top 5 Great Female Leaders Around the World

Leadership is a process of guiding other people towards achieving great things. Thus, being a leader is not an easy thing to do, especially living in a patriarchal world that most of the leaders are men. Historically, women in some parts of the world during ancient times are not allowed to join any social activities, and what they do is to remain at home and serve their own family.

  However, today’s current times have changed – that women today are now allowed to participate in social activities like voting, and even running for candidacy.

There are many known female leaders around the world that are known for being such a good leader in serving other people and even a nation. Below are the top five lists of great female leaders around the world, arranged in no particular order.

CLEOPATRA

She was a legendary Egyptian female leader that set up a good political leadership towards  North Africa. Further, she was also known as the women of the great leaders Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. Her complete name is Cleopatra VII Philopator, also known as the last active ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra really shows in that time that women in that era can also rule a nation. However, archeologists are still bothered looking for the tomb of the said queen ruler.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE

  She is a female nurse and one of her greatest achievement is reducing the casualty during the Crimean war. In which, she also set a good role model of being a female leader on how to really care to their patients. She was also known as “The lady with the lamp” and the founder of the modern nursing.

ROSA PARKS

Her full name is Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, and she is a contemporary African-American civil rights activist she was best known as the first lady of civil rights that was given by the United States Congress. Further, this is one of the main reasons why there is a civil rights movement during this time. When on the December 1st, 1955, in which she refuses to follow the order of the driver of the bus to give her seat to a white passenger this scene helps ignite the fire of civil rights movements in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She became the most important symbol of that movement during that time and also a great icon when it comes to the racial segregation.

QUEEN VICTORIA

  She was also known as Queen Victoria of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also gain the title of Empress of India in which it is a great privilege to be to be given to a foreigner to that land. She reigns in for over 63 years and 7 months in which she really becomes a great female leader of that time. She was also successful in increasing the territory during her reign across the globe.

WU ZETIAN

  The best known female leader of China in which she ruled for over 15 years. She made Buddhism as the main religion of China. She gained the respect of the people for her wits and being intelligent in leading a nation, thus most of the time of her rule no great wars really happens,  harmony and peace can be found in the sleeping giant – China.

  Thus, there are still great female leaders who have done something to prove that they are capable of doing beyond expectation; and these women had just made history interesting and inspiring.