SMX East: Advanced Keyword Research Tactics

By Jessica Davidson | Oct 4, 2012
More Articles by Jessica


Keyword ResearchAs a search engine marketer, we always automatically default to utilizing Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool to conduct our keyword research. But, what if other tools existed to help us expand our keyword research efforts? In this SMX East session, Shawn Livengood and Laura Thieme introduce new keyword research tactics in order to perform better keyword research.

Shawn Livengood, Online Marketing Manager, BuildASign.com (@slivengood)

Shawn Livengood provided insight as to how to perform keyword research in a language you do not speak. I currently am in the process of conducting keyword research in Spanish; therefore I found this presentation extremely helpful to aid in my process.

Research Strategy #1: Utilize Google Images

Google Images offers an easy to understand visual as to what foreign keywords mean that may be coming through in your PPC campaigns. By obtaining an image, you can determine the relevance of a keyword.

Research Strategy #2: Search Query Reports are your friends

Through SQR’s you can discover associations of your campaign’s keywords that you may not have realized in your initial research.

Research Strategy #3: Ask a real foreigner

Literal translations do not take into account the cultural differences in meaning and slang and often tends to be of poor quality and lack searcher intent. Obtaining research from someone who actually speaks the language can improve your keyword research and provide higher quality keywords. If you do not have anyone in-house that speaks the language, you can hire freelance translators on sites like Odesk and Elance. Also, do not rely on bulk translation as your language resource. You will gain a greater knowledge by working through keywords one by one to discover meanings.

Pitfalls to Avoid Conducting Keyword Research in a Foreign Language

  1. Relying too heavily on Google Translate – This tool provides a literal translation and can provide a general idea as to the meaning of the word. Unfortunately, it fails to incorporate the searcher’s intent and context of the word.
  2. Relying too much on outside agencies for translation – Hiring an outside agency is good for a bulk translation of a website or a PPC account, but they often do shoddy work. Also, these agencies understand translation but not PPC and searcher intent.
  3. Failing to recognize cultural differences in meaning – Translation tools do not include shorthand, slang, and subtle differences in words.

By incorporating these strategies and spending the money to hire someone that understands the language and PPC, you can conduct keyword research that incorporates the human element of search.

Laura Thieme, CEO, Bizwatch (@bizwatchlaura)

Laura Thieme goes beyond Google AdWords Keyword Tool and offers additional research outlets and a process to conduct comprehensive keyword research. She stresses the importance of keyword research being an ongoing process and not just a onetime activity. This ongoing process consists of data mining, utilizing all available data sources to conduct research.

            Keyword Discovery: Data Mining Sources

  • Historical data
  • AdWords – search query reports, KPI’s
  • Analytics performance KPI’s
  • Wordtracker
  • SEO vs PPC visibility
  • SEO vs PPC competitors
  • Hitwise

Once you have discovered your potential keywords, group them into categories, which include branded and non-branded.

This session broadened my keyword research techniques and I will definitely be incorporating them into my future researching endeavors.

Are you going to utilize any of these new keyword research tools? Leave your comments below or find me on Twitter or Google+, and stay tuned for more SMX East (#smx) live blogging.

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