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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.
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
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.
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 !!
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.
Ulstrup: <Common sense / feeling... a two edged sword>. Yep, I agree. Thats why I need to know some better sources of keyword info.
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 :-)
<edit> I think I figured it out... this is interesting thanks!</edit>
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)
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.
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…
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.
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 :)