Every diligent search marketing specialist should be constantly researching new keywords for his customers. Over the years, I’ve come up with a list of “must-see” sources for new keywords. Some are traditional keyword research tools/methods, whereas others tend to be more unorthodox.
Traditional Keyword Research Tools
Traditional keyword research tools are an absolute must for any successful search- engine-marketing campaign. There are quite a few out there including KeywordDiscovery, WordTracker and Google’s Keyword Tool. Those are great for getting your feet wet and getting started. At some point, however, you might find yourself struggling to come up with new keyword ideas using those tools. When it doubt, start thinking synonyms.
Just because you think the right terminology for your product/service is XYZ, that doesn’t stop prospects trying to find you typing ABC into the search engines. I’ve often seen business owners get frustrated by consumers/searchers not using proper terminology. Guess what? The successes of these business owners were often considerably less than those who were willing to experiment. Try looking to Microsoft Word or any other dictionary for synonyms, and test new keywords.
Server Logs/Web Analytics
Both old-fashioned server logs and robust web analytics keyword reports are a great source for new keyword ideas. Reviewing those will give you insight into what keywords people are typing in to find your website. Besides the obvious ones, you’ll often stumble upon a few surprises with “long-tail” words. Consider implementing software similar to Hittail.com to help you with this process.
Are you keeping an eye on your competitors? When was the last time you reviewed their Meta tags, new pages and keywords they are bidding on? If you’re not looking at what’s going on with your competitors, chances are that they are nonetheless looking at your site. Use tools like GoogSpy.com to find keywords that you’re missing out on. I am confident that by spending some time researching your competitors you’ll generate quite a few keyword ideas for your own website.
Did you know that 587 people search for “googles” instead of “goggles” each day? If you don’t mind attracting customers who are not spelling gurus, consider adding misspellings to your search marketing campaigns. Microsoft’s adCenter Labs has an excellent tool to research misspellings. There is also SEOBook’s misspellings generator that automatically generates hundreds of possible keyword typos. Don’t expect to get thousands of clicks from misspellings however they are often a great way to get some cheap traffic.
Play around with Google Sets and Google Suggest to come up with new variations, roots, or thematically similar words for your campaigns. These gadgets are as close as you’ll ever get to Google’s “way of thinking.” Keep in mind, keywords that you find might be great candidates for new pay-per-click (PPC) tests as well as negative keywords for your existing PPC campaigns.
Keyword research is an ongoing process. I recommend printing this article and going through each source/method every single month. Otherwise you may be potentially losing customers.