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Successful Online Marketing Requires Effective Keyword Research

Aug 6, 2008
The fundamental building block of successful online marketing is keyword research. Unless you can identify what it is your customers - or potential customers - are searching for online and the words and phrases they use to describe the products or services they are looking for, there is little chance that you will be able to optimize the flow of web traffic to your site - or the site's revenue.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has aptly been described as a mixture of art and science. With the introduction of a new, more detailed key word research tool from the world's leading search engine, Google, there has now been a decided shift to the science end of the spectrum - at least when it comes to identifying the key words you can focus on to drive web traffic to your site.

Google Adwords' New Keyword Tool

Google Adwords, the pay-per-click advertising side of Google, recently introduced a new and improved Keyword Tool in July 2008. Where the key word research tools SEO professionals had formerly relied upon to gauge the web traffic associated with a particular search query - tools such as Wordtracker, a paid-subscription service, and Overture's Keyword Tool - provided good approximations of web traffic for a particular word or phrase, Google Adwords new and improved Keyword Tool, provides a great analytic breakdown of the approximate search volume for keywords across the Internet's dominant search engine.

Unlike the Keyword Tool formerly offered by Google, which showed only a rough approximation of traffic flow based on a series of green bar graphs, the new Google Adwords tool offers much more quantified numbers and trends for specified and suggested keywords.

Generating Keyword Ideas

Google's new Keyword Tool offers two ways of generating keyword ideas and suggestions. Firstly, by entering descriptive keywords or phrases in its search box, Keyword Tool will show the keywords and keyword phrases associated with your descriptive word or phrase (and their synonyms). The list of associated keywords and phrases, with detailed metrics about the search volumes for these associated terms, will allow you to quickly identify which profitable keywords you have not targeted.

Secondly, Keyword Tool allows you to enter a specific website address into the search box. Keyword Tool then analyzes the keywords that Google associates with that website's URL. This website content function of Keyword Tools provides two very valuable streams of information. It gives you valuable insight into what keywords your competition is focusing on and highlights keywords and keyword phrases you may not have otherwise identified. Moreover, by entering your own website's URL addresses in the search box, it allows you to see the keywords that Google itself identifies as being related to the content on your web page. In many instances you may find that Google views and interprets your page in a much different way than you do. Difficulties in ranking a page may be quickly diagnosed and corrected to the extent that Google is seeing your page as being associated with keywords you have not intentionally focused on. Thus, Keyword Tools functions as a quick diagnostic tool that allows insight into the way your site, and its individual pages, is viewed and ranked.

Researching Search Volumes

The new Keyword Tool from Google Adwords also provides detailed metrics for each keyword or keyword phrase it identifies or suggests. Keyword Tools displays both the approximate search volume for the current month, but the approximate average search volume per month as well. Other valuable metrics include search volume trends. If the product you are marketing is seasonal by nature - for example you prepare tax returns, or distribute children's Halloween costumes - Google will show you month-by-month the rise and fall in numbers of search queries for your particular keywords, as well as indicate which month the highest volume of search queries for each keyword appeared. (Not surprisingly, searches for children's Halloween costume flatline throughout the year only to jump in September and peak in October.)

Google's Keyword Tool is specifically designed to assist paid advertisers target the keywords they wish to purchase for sponsored links. Yet its usefulness to organic SEO is obvious. Even the estimated "cost-per-click" information available through Keyword Tool gives organic search SEOs vital information about the popularity, or perceived popularity, of keyword terms.

Value of Keyword Tools to SEOs

For most SEO purposes, the new and improved will function nicely alongside (and may even replace to a large degree) Wordtracker and Overture, although for niche marketing purposes the two programs that were formerly the preferred tools of experienced SEOs may continue to dominate. However, for many online marketing purposes the new tool from Google, which was formerly highly resistant to broadly disclosing the metrics of its search numbers, may prove to be a one-stop keyword research shopping experience. Much will depend, of course, on how "approximate" the reported approximate search volumes are. To the extent that reported search volumes accurately track web traffic on the search engine that handles approximately 80% of all search queries, Keyword Tool may prove to be a one-stop shop for online marketers.
About the Author
For expert help with your company's online marketing and search engine optimization needs, visit Wolf 21 Inc.'s website at http://www.smallbusinessmarketingwolf.com/search-engine-optimization/ or call us toll-free at 1-888-756-2444.
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