Newbies - Are You Making This Simple Keyword Mistake

12 replies
This post actually came about because I have been talking to some friends about IM and they have started to delve into it for themselves. But they made the same mistake (or at least it is a mistake in my opinion, other, more experienced IM'ers may correct me) I made at first when it comes to keyword research.

When using the Google Adwords keyword tool (which whilst far from being accurate is the best free keyword tool I have come across for at least being somewhere near the figures it claims) people are using the default 'broad' results.

When I was starting out I wondered why a site of mine - lets choose a random niche and call it gaming - wasn't getting the results adwords was telling me it should despite ranking well for the target words.

The reason is the results weren't exact. What you need to do, when using the tool, is use the small drop down menu on the right (it should say 'broad' right now) and select 'exact' instead. This will tell you the real searches for that exact term.

The difference is often marked. To take the gaming example we would be looking at broad results of

Nintendo wii - 11,100,000 searches
Wii console - 2,740,000 searches

BUT make them exact and you get

Nintendo Wii - 2,240,000 searches
Wii console - 550,000 searches

And it is the exact terms that you will be targetting with anchor text, keywording etc. Yes you will get other long tail keywords but your initial keyword that you are trying to rank for matters first and foremost in the exact search option, other searches are something you should integrate afterwards.

So don't get excited by the numbers you see in Google adwords when you first start, change your options and make sure they are giving you exact matches - things often look a lot different then.
#keyword #making #mistake #newbies #simple
  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Well, actually, you want to base your analysis of a keyword's potential on the numbers of searches being conducted in the way that most people use Google. That's BROAD, not EXACT. Very few "real" people search for something with quotation marks around the phrase. Some do, but many more search just the phrase (broad).

    What some people find helpful as they evaluate keywords, though, is to see how many other pages have been optimized specifically for a particular keyword. That's when using quotation marks can help narrow things down. It isn't perfect by any stretch, but it's a good start.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author John Hixson
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Well, actually, you want to base your analysis of a keyword's potential on the numbers of searches being conducted in the way that most people use Google. That's BROAD, not EXACT. Very few "real" people search for something with quotation marks around the phrase. Some do, but many more search just the phrase (broad).

      What some people find helpful as they evaluate keywords, though, is to see how many other pages have been optimized specifically for a particular keyword. That's when using quotation marks can help narrow things down. It isn't perfect by any stretch, but it's a good start.

      John
      from my experience I have found that the 'exact' results are far more inline with the traffic that comes in from words I rank with than anything else. Which is exactly why I rate it as a method of judging keyword worth abover others.

      Is there a definition of exact? because you say that few 'real' people do but in both the examples above it is about 20% of the broad total - which is a huge amount if 'real people' don't use it.

      My guess was exact meant that it was the exact phrase used, not that it was used with quotation marks. e.g. broad meant nintendo wii controllers counted as a nintendo wii search as it had nintendo wii in the search term, whilst in exact only those who searched for nintendo wii (no quotations, no other words) registered as exact

      any clarification appreciated
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    • Profile picture of the author jammer_jaminski
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Well, actually, you want to base your analysis of a keyword's potential on the numbers of searches being conducted in the way that most people use Google. That's BROAD, not EXACT. Very few "real" people search for something with quotation marks around the phrase. Some do, but many more search just the phrase (broad).

      What some people find helpful as they evaluate keywords, though, is to see how many other pages have been optimized specifically for a particular keyword. That's when using quotation marks can help narrow things down. It isn't perfect by any stretch, but it's a good start.

      John
      Google Adwords broad match will bring back some whacky unrelated terms too, so I think John's point is valid.

      The difference between broad match and exact match is NOT just "quotes around the KW." That is definitely incorrect, broad is a lot more broad than just unquoted or rearranged...

      On Google's own help page on the topic (google "adwords broad match" and it should be #1, I'm a new warrior and cant post the link!) they even mention a broad match for 'web hosting' will also show under a search for 'hosting company'. I know that sounds relevant still, but in many cases they bring in synonyms that are not relevant in a broad match.

      If you read up on the strategies for cleaning your AdWords account through adding negative search terms you will find the pros advice is to look through the actual KW that your AdWords ads showed up for, and there you can get ideas for new negative terms.

      I have done this, and some of the terms are totally unrelated to the broad match KW we are bidding on. So some broad results are too broad, and clearly not relevant.

      Bottom line, broad is not just the same KW terms in another order, or with s at the end, sometimes it a lot more broad than that, so much that it is no longer relevant. Because of that, I think John's advice to not rely on broad counts is valid.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Hixson
    Having thought about it I still think I am on the right track (still open to be proven wrong as I am not that experienced).

    The options (ignoring negative for now) are 'broad', 'phrase' and 'exact'.

    In my mind

    'broad' - the words that you are using appear anywhere in a search term. To use the nintendo wii example

    e.g. nintendo console wii

    would count towards the nintendo wii keyword total

    'phrase' - the words in the order you specify but with anything else there as well.

    e.g. nintendo wii pads would count towards the nintendo wii reults but nintendo console wii wouldnt

    'exact' - ONLY the term nintendo wii counts as part of the search total, nintendo wii pads wouldnt register as part of the results.

    I stand to be shot down but thats how my experience and some rough logic in my head has suggested that it works
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  • Profile picture of the author woodley
    Either way, useful to know thanks, and as anything in IM, it's down to testing. I'll give it a try
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    John,

    If someone goes to Google.com and types in nintendo wii controllers in the search box, that's a broad search. Google will scour for pages that have the phrase on it, but also pages that have the individual words of the phrase and even just words that it deems to be related in some way to the individual words in that phrase.

    When you search with quotation marks around the phrase, Google will only return pages that have that phrase in exact word order appearing on it. You're telling Google you ONLY want that exact phrase, as written.

    As marketers, we want to optimize our pages for the exact search, because if done properly that will give the best boost up in the BROAD search results. In other words, we want to tell Google through both on-page and off-page methods that our page content is very much about that exact phrase.

    That way, when people do EITHER a broad or an exact search, we have the best chance to rank near the top for that phrase.

    I think I made that as clear as mud, but it's hard to explain when I've not had my coffee this morning. Damn machine's on the fritz.

    Let me see if this works better...

    Most people search Google without quotation marks (broad). That's why those search volume numbers are the ones to use as you decide if a keyword is one worth going after. But you still need the exact count (some say) to determine roughly how many competitors you have. I actually don't really care because I only want to beat out those in the Top 10, but that's another kettle of fish.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author John Hixson
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      John,

      If someone goes to Google.com and types in nintendo wii controllers in the search box, that's a broad search. Google will scour for pages that have the phrase on it, but also pages that have the individual words of the phrase and even just words that it deems to be related in some way to the individual words in that phrase.

      When you search with quotation marks around the phrase, Google will only return pages that have that phrase in exact word order appearing on it. You're telling Google you ONLY want that exact phrase, as written.

      As marketers, we want to optimize our pages for the exact search, because if done properly that will give the best boost up in the BROAD search results. In other words, we want to tell Google through both on-page and off-page methods that our page content is very much about that exact phrase.

      That way, when people do EITHER a broad or an exact search, we have the best chance to rank near the top for that phrase.

      I think I made that as clear as mud, but it's hard to explain when I've not had my coffee this morning. Damn machine's on the fritz.

      Let me see if this works better...

      Most people search Google without quotation marks (broad). That's why those search volume numbers are the ones to use as you decide if a keyword is one worth going after. But you still need the exact count (some say) to determine roughly how many competitors you have. I actually don't really care because I only want to beat out those in the Top 10, but that's another kettle of fish.

      John
      to me I think (I don't know) that you are confusing exact searches in terms of quotation marks with the 'exact' option in terms of Google adwords - which are, in my mind, different things (as in the above examples).

      So if you are targetting a specific keyphrase you want to know how many exact searches for that phrase there are - this allows you to 'snipe' it far more accurately. Secondary key phrases, additional long tails etc are all further possible but if you are looking at one keyphrase to know the searches I don't see exact being the quotation marks. Simply playing with google adwords a bit makes me seriously doubt that there are that many people searching with quotation marks across some very odd phrases.

      for example are we to think over 18000 people a month search Simpsons Voices inside quotation marks - never mind what they do without it? I have strong doubts, especially as that is a massive percentage of the 40,500 broad results - and as you say few 'real people' search their results in quotation marks (I very rarely do myself unless researching something for IM).

      The broad results give you what the general niche is getting, but the exact ones (imo) allow you to choose which keywords are best to target specifically
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  • Profile picture of the author John Hixson
    The link that jammer was referring to above is What is broad match? - AdWords Help - saves people hunting it out themselves

    EDIT: This suggests that I was on the right lines with my thinking http://adwords.google.com/support/aw...en&answer=6100
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    • Profile picture of the author Udt
      So now I am confused. Anybody who has been doing this for a long time comment on this? I always thought the same way as zeus but maybe that isn't how it is?
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      • Profile picture of the author Dave Ward
        Originally Posted by Udt View Post

        So now I am confused. Anybody who has been doing this for a long time comment on this? I always thought the same way as zeus but maybe that isn't how it is?
        Exact Match in the google keyword tool means what it says.

        So if the searcher typed into google the search term below :

        nintendo wii

        and in adwords you were set on exact match which is [ nintendo wii ]

        You will only show up for that exact term.

        you won't show up for nintendo wii games for example.

        You would show up for nintendo wii games in phrase match

        broad match you would show up for anything google feels is relevant, so it could be

        wii nintendo
        fix my wii
        nintendo games console

        here is the link to google help page https://adwords.google.co.uk/support...uk&answer=6100


        Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Yes! Sorry, now I see that we're actually talking about different things. LOL Sorry to have really muddied things up here. What ADWORDS deals with in terms of broad, phrase, exact, negative is not the same "animal" compared to what people looking for good keywords for SEO (not Adwords campaigns) would be looking at.

    My bad. Hope it didn't make any newbies go to the nearest corner and start drooling.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author John Hixson
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Yes! Sorry, now I see that we're actually talking about different things. LOL Sorry to have really muddied things up here. What ADWORDS deals with in terms of broad, phrase, exact, negative is not the same "animal" compared to what people looking for good keywords for SEO (not Adwords campaigns) would be looking at.

      My bad. Hope it didn't make any newbies go to the nearest corner and start drooling.

      John
      LOL, thought it seemed we were arguing on crossed wires! Probably should have been clearer from the start - apologies
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