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|Finding the right keywords - Data Mining|
A second bite of the cherry!
The core of any sucessful SEO campaign, imho, is indentifing the right keywords. The major problem faced is the amount of "noise" obsuring many valuable keywords, the popular sources of data have become so corrupted that in the main all they show is what other SEO's think are the value keywords.
We fell into this trap almost 18 months ago on one particular site and amongst a keyword set of 20 odd followed the pack on a very important phrase. We had a choice between a couple of two word keyphrases, very close to each other, in fact almost indentical save for two letters. We plumped for the shorter version, the most competitive and seemingly much more searched for, wrong!
After nine months of running the site we switched to the alternative phrase, more on a hunch than anything. BAM! what a difference it made. The worst thing is all the time the right keyword set was under our nose's, our customers reminded us everyday how they searched, we were just too dumb to notice.
Data Mine your emails. For a quick and dirty method fire up whatever Find feature your email app has and stick in some keywords. Compare the numbers, you may just find a gold nugget [or is that a golden nugget :)].
Data mine your friends and your customers and believe in your results, I've had similar experiences like you NFFC, did optimize for a kw, customers and friends always used a shortened version of that word (actually the most used version of the word can't be found in dictionaries), used that (non)word and everything went up, up, up.
Sorry about the unknowledgeable question but what is data mine ?
and how would you go about putting it into action ?
Thanks for any info
<what is data mine>
In datamining you don't (normally) know what you are looking for, when you start looking.
Datamining is the search for patterns in (large amounts of) data, the search for new hidden information in those patterns.
It's one of those hyped words, that none of us are sure of
Hope this helped
Thanks Kim, I think I get it :)
Thanks for the great tip NFFC. This is such an important subject. These are my current sources of key phrase data, but there must be something better:
1. Overture (*skewed).
2. Word Tracker (*skewed).
3. Web logs (don't have the KWs that your site isn't optimised for).
4. Client knowledge of their customers (good - but often has gaps).
5. Common sense / feeling (what is most likely that people will search for?).
6. Data mine emails (great tip from NFFC).
What else is there??? - any suggestions?
*Skewed: I have a strong feeling these are multiplied-up to make them more representative of all the data they don't have access to.
Don't forget about web logs from competitors. There are so many using Analog, WebTrends, etc and most are found by search engines.
It's already been mentioned on other threads but basically you just need to search for something like "top referring sites"+keyword
and so on, to pull up a few reports.
I like mining the Extreme tracker reports in particular. There's so many people using them. Lots of keyword ideas in there !!
I know this is a really dim question, but just to clarify, are you suggesting that your clients/prospects emails to you will include the keywords they use when they go to a search engine?
>5. Common sense / feeling (what is most likely that people will search for?).
This is IMO the greatest trap, you get a hunch of an alternative kw expression from one person, hear it again from others, the word(s) is commonly used in emails, etc. but "common sense" says, "no - you can't call it that", fact is that people do!
This said, ofcourse common sense is part of the process, but it's a two edged sword.
fom2001uk, nice tip, thanks ;)
>are you suggesting that your clients/prospects emails to you will include the keywords they use when they go to a search engine?
It's all emails (subscribtions, friends, customers, etc.)
Compare synonyms (web, net, online, intertnet, etc.)
Find most used word combinations (airplane ticket, flight tickets, tickets online, etc.)
Got inspired by NFFC's post, and it's just great!
I allways ask family and friends which terms they would use if searching for something.
I've tried searching for competitor web logs but Analog (and others) put a 'Robots no-index' tag in the report.
Would really like to know if there is a way round that one :)
Ulstrup: <Common sense / feeling... a two edged sword>. Yep, I agree. Thats why I need to know some better sources of keyword info.
May be too simple, but Google Adwords can help determine choice.
>that your clients/prospects emails to you will include the keywords they use when they go to a search engine?
For ANALOG, try "Web Server Statistics for" and "Analyzed requests from"
For EXTREME, try "Unlimited Multiple Page Tracking"
For WUSAGE, try "Top Referring Sites"
For WEBTRENDS, try "default report"
then play around with the numbers in the URL
(e.g if the top page is default_01b.htm, then try default_02, 03, and so on.
Eventually you'll get to the keyword section :-)
fom2001uk :) :) Thankyou !
Here's another question:
fom2001uk where would you search for such information and how would you get the competitors you're looking for? do you add some to the "Unlimited Multiple Page Tracking" search? I must not be understanding this correctly.
<edit> I think I figured it out... this is interesting thanks!</edit>
I like having a search engine for the site. It doesn't tend to give the general terms (why search for widgets if you're at a widget dealer's site) but it's great for labelling deeper content (eg. big widget vs. large widget) and for finding new pages to put up (eg. people search for blue widgets but you don't advertise them...yet).
For FASTSTATS ANALYZER
"FastStats Analyzer Report" or
"FastStats Report" or
"Access logs for"
This data is undoubtedly available elsewhere in Webmaster World, but "just in case", here are links to the above-mentioned sources of comparative keyword popularity data:
Go/Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool [inventory.overture.com]
Strength: Exhaustive list of related keywords for many keyword searches
Weakness: Aggregates popularity data for plural and singular forms of words, e.g., searches for both "blue widget" and "blue widgets" will yield the same popularity score. Is the score an average of the singular & plural versions, or perhaps just the highest of the two scores, omitting the lowest? Only Overture knows for sure, and it's exceedingly important data for precise keyword targeting.
Wordtracker (free trial) [wordtracker.com], click "Take the trial"
Strength: Exhaustive list of related keywords for many keyword searches; unlike Overture above, offers precise popularity scores for singular vs. plural form of keywords.
Weakness: Often slow.
Disclaimer: I haven't tried the paid version yet (I'm getting around to it), so I'm not sure to what extent the paid version differs from the free trial in terms of speed and accuracy. It may turn out that the paid version is much faster and offers different popularity figures, i.e., making the trial version worthless for meaningful keyword popularity research. "Try-er beware."
(https://adwords.google.com/AdWords/) (Sorry, URLs starting with "https" apparently don't link well from this system.)
Strength: Ostensibly draws on actual usage data from mega-popular Google SE. Very quick. Unlike Overture above, offers different popularity scores for singular vs. plural versions of same keyword.
Weakness: Rounds popularity figures to 100's, making data less useful for keyword popularity research.
"...But wait, there's more! (Now how much would you pay?)"
7Search.com's Related Keywords, Bids, and Estimated Monthly Searches [7search.com]
Strength: Offers alternative related keywords for many keyword searches, though not to the same extent as Overture or Wordtracker.
Weakness: Slow. Since it isn't as popular, many search terms have very low popularity scores, e.g., 0 for "blue widget" when plugging in "blue widget" in Overture's tool showed 500 searches for the monthly period.
(edited by: Winooski at 7:25 pm (utc) on Jan. 16, 2002)
(edited by: Winooski at 7:27 pm (utc) on Jan. 16, 2002)
Kapow, I'm glad to help. I've had lots of help from people here, that's what it's all about :-)
Jill, you just have to add a related keyword to the search. So if you're looking for say, vitamin related keywords, you'd search for
I use Google every time for searches, but you can try others. Just be careful, some of them don't accept exact phrases with a "plus" added to it.
Back to NFFC's comment:
'...the amount of "noise" obsuring many valuable keywords...'
What is the source of noise, specifically? What differtiates noise from data?
If I understand you correctly then you used a key phrase that was searched on more often then your second choice, but the click-through was much higher on the less searched, second choice key phrase?
Maybe we can ask SEs to provide click-through instead of searches. This is kind of like when we started with visits. First, we talked about hits, then discovered that hits on a page does not equate to actual visits…
>What else is there???
This is one of the best uses for your 404 page. I have mine set up as a form. It sends a hidden field for the referrer, but for type-ins it simply provides a text box and the question "If you entered the url via keyboard, or came from another site or search engine, what were you TRYING to find [google.com]?" I also have a comment field immediately below this box, but they rarely use it. Most are routine, usually two word phrases, but every now and then a gem comes along. But if I start getting steady repeats, it's time for action.
We have, as most others do, have a product/brand name search on our site.
EVERY search word/term a customer enters in this search box we collect into a table on our database.
Our search function then pulls from both the usual product database plus this growing user search word table to display results. Amazing the word/term permutations that we have collected this way.
Repeats of these permutations are used as keywords/phrases on allied product pages we put up on the net.
I have an idea...
Google now lets you search entire newsgroup listings. How about taking a count of how many posts come up containing your "exact phrase"
Not a bad idea. When SE databases finally started gaining some size, one of them (AV??) used to tout a down-and-dirty spellcheck method (put both in, see which one has the highest word count). It works.
In Italy lots of people use a free Analyzer called Shinystat if you search on the web for
"Statistiche Account" : your competitor
it'll appear a list of reports for Shinystat.
>What is the source of noise, specifically?
Other SEO's running ranking reports.
>then you used a key phrase that was searched on more often then your second choice
Only by SEO's.
Also, people intentionally stuff keywords into search queries so that they can show up in the lists. These are keywords that they already rank highly for. Theory is, that those that bid on such keywords will "attract" traffic.
One of the best sources for data mining is here right under your nose. Forums like emails are where real people use real language. If you haven't got one of your own, just find one that relates to your industry and mine it, one with a site search is obviously preferable.
If you have the opportunity and you have the time to moderate it, I would encourage adding a forum to any site. The increased traffic is well worth the effort, there is wealth of traffic to be had from misspellings and obscure keyword combos.
As an aside, I got a nice late christmas present yesterday - a referral from someone else's Extreme log stats :)
Most tools that return list of keywords return useless data such as "mp3", "britney spears", ...
What is a good source of keywords related to a specific topic ?
"This is one of the best uses for your 404 page. I have mine set up as a form. It sends a hidden field for the referrer"
How do you add a hidden field for the referrer?
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