Search: The Key(words) to Success
As for jargon keywords and nicknames, to optimize your site it's important to understand how people in your specific industry use search and which keywords they use.
Don't forget misspellings and alternate forms. An easy way to find these is to analyze your site's internal search logs for misspelled searches, including the "not found" list.
Use adjectives. The more specific you can be with your keywords, the more relevant your sponsored listings will appear to users who choose those keywords, and the more likely they'll be to click on your ad.
This is where the use of modifiers comes in. Many people search on generic keywords like "apartment." But a large number of those users are looking for a specific kind of apartment—cheap, luxury, spacious, oceanfront, etc. What are the specific adjectives that apply to your product or service? Add those modifiers to your core keywords, and your list of search keywords could increase exponentially.
4. Prioritize Keywords
Once you have an organized keyword list, sift through it to determine which words are best to include in your campaign based on historical performance data and account objectives.
Keyword selection is a manual process and will require you put yourself in your customer's shoes. Think about concepts like: Would my targeted customer search for this term? Is this keyword in line with my product or service offering? Do my landing pages support this keyword set? And so forth.
Google's Traffic Estimator may help you in this process. It can provide insight into volume and estimated cost-per-click (CPC). Here are a few best practices in prioritizing your keyword list:
- Keep in mind that even if a keyword has a high volume of traffic, that doesn't mean it's a good fit for your business. Don't prioritize just based on which keywords have the most traffic. Look for the keywords that connect with your unique selling proposition for competitive advantage.
- Picking the right keywords for your site is dependent on campaign strategy. If your search engine marketing budget is small, you may not be able to afford higher cost keywords and should perhaps focus on long-tail terms to start.
- For some campaigns, volume is the main objective. If so, you may want to target broader, more general keywords that show higher volume in the traffic estimator.
Creating a keyword list for SEO and PPC campaigns requires you to develop a strategy that fits your campaign's objectives and specifics—budget, trackability, etc. You also have to think like your customers. What language are they using to find you online?