Keyword Analysis Part 4 of 12
This is the part four in the series that is designed to guide you through finding the best keywords for your small business. If you missed it, here’s the link to read Part 1 Keyword Analysis: How Keywords Work, so you can get the series from the beginning.
If you’ve been following along, remember to have your business plan handy, so you can refer to it and make any additional notes to it. As mentioned before, if you haven’t had the opportunity to finish it yet, no worries, just do what you can when you can.
If you are just getting here for the first time, and are wondering “What business plan?”. Our first series was dedicated to putting together a Simple Business Plan to market your small business online. There is a downloadable kit and a series of 7 articles to walk you through step-by-step. So, go check it out here.
So, now that everyone is on the same page let’s move onto part 4…
What do all those numbers mean?
We’ve looked at number of searches and relative competition, but Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool gives you lots of other information, too.
You can pick and choose what information is displayed by clicking on the button labeled “columns” on the far right of the page.
Let’s see if we can decipher some of the other numbers you can use in your keyword analysis research.
Local search volume is similar to global search volume, but is limited to the country and language of your choice.
By default, Google uses your country and your language (yes, it knows where you are) but you can change this by clicking “advanced options” and choosing from the drop-down lists.
So if you’re targeting buyers in Japan, (1) choose Japan from the list, (2) choose Japanese under the language category, and (3) click the “-” and that will close the drop-down lists, then you’ll get numbers specific to that country.
To dig deeper, let’s see how much marketers are willing to pay for these terms. We have to scoot over to another screen called “Traffic Estimator“. You will find the link on the left below the “Keyword Tool” link.
Update: Google now requires you to set up an AdWords account to use the Traffic Estimator. It’s free, just use your Gmail account easily sign up.
The Estimated Average CPC is the average cost of an ad click for that term. In other words, if a marketer is using pay per click advertising (AdWords) to drive traffic, she is paying this amount per click, on average. The higher the number, the more valuable (and more competitive) this keyword is.
Update: The look of the Traffic Estimator page has changed slightly and does not include “Global Monthly Searches” or “Local Monthly Searches” anymore, you can view these numbers in the Keyword Tool page. A new column on this page is the “CTR” column. CTR stands for “click through rate” and the higher the percentage the high the chances are that term is clicked on when it comes up in the search terms.
This is also a good measure of the potential AdSense earnings for a particular keyword. If you’re monetizing your site with AdSense, keeping an eye on this figure can help you maximize your earnings.
Ad Share is used only for exact match keywords (more on that in a minute) and is an indicator of the percentage of time your pay per click ad will display in an exact match search. If you’re not using AdWords to drive traffic, this column will not matter to you. It has nothing to do with AdSense.
Search Share is also only used with AdWords, and has no bearing on keyword value or AdSense earnings.
Exact, Phrase, or Broad Match?
When keyword analysis is discussed, there’s typically a lot of debate surrounding the use of exact match, phrase match, or broad match terms. For the record, these distinctions are only really important if you’re using PPC for traffic. However, the choice you make here will have a bearing on the number of searches you see, so it’s worth noting the differences.
Update: As mentioned in Part 3, Google now uses the words “High”, “Medium”, and “Low” in the “Competition” column instead of the colored bar.
Choosing broad match (the default choice) will give you search numbers for the actual term, along with other, closely related terms. So the search volume for “women’s clothing” might also include the number of searches for “tall womens clothing” and “women petite clothing” or possibly even “women tall clothing.”
Choosing phrase match will only give you the number of searches that contained the exact phrase. In other words, a search for “women’s clothing” will include the number of searches for “plus size womens clothing” and “tall womens clothing” but not the number of searches for “discount clothing women’s.”
Exact match is just what it says – exact. The search volume represents the number of searches only for that exact keyword in that order, and nothing else.
Again, these only matter if you’re buying traffic. The important thing is that you conduct your research consistently. If you’re going to use broad match numbers, then you should always use broad match numbers. The search volumes and other statistical data Google gives you is only useful when it can be compared to other data using the exact same parameters.
It’s Homework Time
Now, grab a piece of paper and your favorite pen and enter the phrases you came up with in part 2 that are relevant to your business. To help you organize the term search numbers make a table and enter the terms on the left. Across the top make columns for Board, Phrase, And Exact Match numbers. Take a look at the different related terms that also appear, these will probably give you even more ideas for possible keywords for your business.
In the next part of the keyword analysis series we’re going to talk about another keyword tool called Wordtracker.
If you have any comments, questions share them below.
Hope this helps!