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Some Help With Keyword Research


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9 replies to this topic

#1 matogl0397

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:53 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm currently working on an SEO campaign for a small, family business. I'm new to the field but I do have some background in web design. The website in question is a wedding planning resource for our local area. As such, the navbar (and respective pages, obviously) includes topics such as "Beauty & Spa," "Bridal Shops & Attire," "Cakes and Catering," etc. When considering each subcategory as a landing page of its own, it becomes obvious that keyphrases such as these are way too broad in scope to serve as effective page keywords. How many Googlers of "beauty and spa" are actually looking for bridal beautification services in our local area, and more importantly, what chance do we have against the sheer volume of pages that might already be optimized for such a general search phrase?

So I'm on my last day now of the Wordtracker free trial. The overall concept of this service seems great, but I find the site itself to be rather unintuitive and difficult to manage. I'm having a TON of trouble trying to find replacement phrases for things like "Beauty & Spa," mentioned above. Sometimes Wordtracker even seems to suggest to me that NOBODY searches for a term like "Bridal Beauty Services," although I find that pill hard to swallow. I've read about other popular keyword research services like Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly Overture), and I'm thinking about trying that one out.

To try and wrap this up, my request is twofold: (1) could anyone provide me a list of well-reviewed keyword tools to take for a spin and (2) does anyone have just a very basic overview of the keyword research process and what I might do to refine my techniques?

If I've left out any pertinent information please feel free to point that out, and thanks in advance for reading and replying!


King regards,

Matt

#2 Jill

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:39 PM

You're probably better off to use Google's keyword research tool as you'll get info straight from the horse's mouth and it finds a lot of good local words.

#3 mal4mac

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:32 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 10 2009, 03:39 PM) View Post
You're probably better off to use Google's keyword research tool as you'll get info straight from the horse's mouth and it finds a lot of good local words.


This has to take the title for best SEO Tool. Absolutely essential!

What do most local searchers do when searching for bridal shops? I would just type in "bridal shops" 'cause I know Google knows where I am (and yes, it frightens me!) So would most local searchers *now* bother to type in "bridal shop New York" or whatever?

Google now pulls up a map of my local area on page 1 of the serps with a list of bridal shops and a map showing where they are. So your aim must be to get on that list for all major bridal search terms. Should be easy! Just and do good global SEO for the terms and your local boost should get you into that local list.

To get a rough estimate of how many searchers might be coming your way involves a simple sum:

p - population of America
t - population of your town
s - number of searches last month.

So you want s * (t/p)

Very rough, I know! Living in Florida or Las Vegas might skew the results horribly. But rough data is better than no data.

P.S. Do a search for "Alternatives to Wordtracker". You'll probably soon find a page with a couple of free tools with no expiration time (including wordtracker!) Get some keywords from these tools and feed them to Google's keyword research tool...


#4 bobmeetin

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:38 AM

So Google knows where I am? Well sort of. I just did a google on "bridal shops" and the local results focused on shops about 30 miles south.

There is a Change Location link next to the local results. Clicking on it takes me to "Local business results for bridal shops near Denver, CO" and an input field to enter a City or Zip Code. Denver is about 30 miles south, south, east of where I live. Since I never remember updating this locale I'm guessing that based upon some guidelines I was assigned a default locale of Denver.

I wonder how many folks would think to select the Change Location link?


#5 matogl0397

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:12 AM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions,

I've played around some with Google's keyword tool and I can already say that it was a good suggestion. I'm actually using it in conjunction with the Keyword Difficulty tool from SEOmoz to map out some Excel charts of possible new keyphrases for each subcategory. I'm thinking some input straight from my "boss"/Aunt would be helpful at this point to learn a little more about what she thinks these brides are really Googling for (and the feminine insight should be invaluable considering it's a wedding website). Yall think I'm on the right track now? Basically just measuring the difficulty/competition of the keyword verse its search volume and a subjective "relevance" score that I determine.

I have another question though, and hopefully someone won't mind having one more answer. smile.gif

I've noticed a useful variant on some keywords is to tag "local" onto the beginning. An example would be "local wedding chapels" instead of "wedding chapels" or "kentucky wedding chapels" (these are all purely examples as I haven't researched any of them). A lot of these local- phrases seem to have relatively low competition but with decent "low hanging fruit" volume returns (I think that's the right term). I'm still a little confused on how Google returns local results though. Obviously it will still direct people in this geographical area to the site, but with a high enough real PageRank would Google even direct searchers of "local wedding chapels" in Alaska to my site (providing a useless result)? Is the "local" idea good, bad, been done?

Thanks for any input that can be provided, I really appreciate the assistance.

#6 Jill

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE
Is the "local" idea good, bad, been done?


That's what the keyword research is for. Do you see the word "local" showing up when you research your phrases? If it's being searched upon, you should see it, and vice-versa.

#7 mal4mac

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:58 PM

QUOTE(bobmeetin @ Jun 11 2009, 11:38 AM) View Post
So Google knows where I am? Well sort of. I just did a google on "bridal shops" and the local results focused on shops about 30 miles south.

There is a Change Location link next to the local results. Clicking on it takes me to "Local business results for bridal shops near Denver, CO" and an input field to enter a City or Zip Code. Denver is about 30 miles south, south, east of where I live. Since I never remember updating this locale I'm guessing that based upon some guidelines I was assigned a default locale of Denver.

I wonder how many folks would think to select the Change Location link?


Interesting. I'm in a minor UK town/city but they have me bang to rights! And I did nothing to tell them where I am. There's an article in PC World mag "Google Tries to Guess Where I Am -- and Misses" that's worth a look.

No doubt they will get better at this, and searchers will get more used to it. So be prepared....

#8 mal4mac

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE(matogl0397 @ Jun 11 2009, 12:12 PM) View Post
I'm thinking some input straight from my "boss"/Aunt would be helpful at this point to learn a little more about what she thinks these brides are really Googling for


Any input is useful, but she's probably too expert. You need to survey the brides. I would ask them to step into the usability testing suite before trying on a dress. That's probably why I don't run a bridal shop... :-)

(and the feminine insight should be invaluable considering it's a wedding website). Yall think I'm on the right track now? Basically just measuring the difficulty/competition of the keyword verse its search volume and a subjective "relevance" score that I determine.

QUOTE(matogl0397 @ Jun 11 2009, 12:12 PM) View Post
I've noticed a useful variant on some keywords is to tag "local" onto the beginning. An example would be "local wedding chapels" instead of "wedding chapels" or "kentucky wedding chapels" (these are all purely examples as I haven't researched any of them). A lot of these local- phrases seem to have relatively low competition but with decent "low hanging fruit" volume returns (I think that's the right term).


I don't get the neat local map when i do this! i just get local Alaska :-( . maybe Google are trying to train people not to type in local?

You could shoot for the low hanging fruit and have a link directing people to your shop if they just happen to be near you. You could also put AdSense ads on the page so the people in Alaska can click on the AdSense ads that Google will throw up for them automatically.



#9 bobmeetin

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 01:38 PM

QUOTE
maybe Google are trying to train people not to type in local?


I never thought to enter the word, local, but I do enter the city and sometimes state or perhaps zip code. If I enter "bridal shop erie" it returns Erie, PA results. For me I would need to enter "bridal shop erie colorado" or "bridal shop erie co" or "bridal shop 80516" - but unquoted.

Once it exhausts the Erie, CO region it returns Erie, PA results - much larger city and metro region. My view of the world suggests that you might benefit from submitting your business to the FREE local services even if a national business. Since they're free...

#10 mal4mac

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:16 PM

Since the experiments I've conducted since this thread started I'll never type in my city name again! Excuse me, I need to go make dinner. First I'll type "what's in my fridge" into Google... Ah fish & chips yummy...




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