How Do YOU Find Your Keywords These Days?

Yes, I know I should post a lot more often, but (without making too many excuses) I’m juggling a few too many things in the air at the moment, and days just keep slipping by… tut-tut!

OK, now down to business. I wanted to touch on a few topics related to keyword list building in general. Actually I’m about to talk more towards the PPC end of things, and hopefully one of my fellow Chicks will churp in (see what I did there) for the SEO part if relevant.

So I wanted to ask you – where do you find your precious keyword (kwd) “gold dust” these days?

With all these new kwd tools coming out of the wood work, each one claiming to be a lot better than the previous, how do you decide what to use? I’m primarily a marketer, and while I enjoy watching companies in competition trump each other’s offers, I also know for a fact that most of them are just rehashed versions of an old version…

So – I wanted to start a community vote of sorts – and prompt you to share how you find your kwds (give us all your secrets *grin*).

Here is my list of where and why’s – feel free to churp in with your ideas.

  • Wordtracker – I will always start my search here. The data is still some of the most reliable there is, and my strategy is to do a quick test of the market – so this is ideal. If the phrases are here – they have enough volume…

  • Google and Yahoo!’s own kwd suggestion tools – useful to get more specific variations for the search engine, but I take any of those suggestions with a ‘pinch of salt’.

  • Web analytics log files – rummage through your web analytics stats to get some of the best targeted kwds you’ll ever get. The phrases you find in there are the ones people use to find you. If you get one or two specific ‘gems’ in there, you may end up not only cutting your CPC, but increasing your overall conversion rate too.

  • Use an LSI tool – this is where you get to see what kwds are logically related to your core search phrase. I use Lexical, but if you know of another tool suggest it.

  • Get a second opinion… and third and forth – yes, gather a random party of people – friends, colleagues, relatives, and over coffee and tea, ask them what kwds they’d use to find your site with… take notes…

  • Google Suggest – although I must say I don’t use this often.

  • Google Trends – for when you need to look for new ideas on the rise.

  • Related site content – I sometimes perform a “keyword density” report of relevant content pages I find online. It’s not an exact science, but if you’re looking for ideas – it sometimes gives good ones.

  • So that’s what I have of value at the moment. I’m sure I’ve missed somethings, and I am sure some of you will have a lot of other good suggestions – so share – please.

    Before I go though, I wanted to also leave you with this comprehensive list of other keyword research tools – courtesy of Andre Chaperon (you’d need to scroll down about a third of the way). These are tools that perfom a little more than just keyword research, but may be useful for some of you to know they are out there…

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4 Responses to “How Do YOU Find Your Keywords These Days?”

  1. Julie Joyce says:

    A typically excellent piece Anita…I usually use Wordtracker for a starting point but when figuring out keywords to BETTER optimize for a site, I think nothing beats log files since you’re getting clued into how people have previously found your site.

  2. Hey Anita, Nice round-up =)From an SEO perspective I actually use PPC campaigns as a keyword research tool, to get an idea of impressions etc.

  3. DaveDavis says:

    I’ll second Lisa on that. PPC campaigns are the only “real” way to get accurate numbers and running a carefully crafted borad match campaign can yield some amazingly unique (25%?) long tail keywords that can be used for organic optimisation too.

  4. Judith Lewis says:

    I heart HBX because they show me so many of my organic keywords separated from my paid ones (which also yeild weird search results).

    Excellent article!

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