Use Google AdWords to Plan Your SEO Keyword Strategy

Jun 13, 2007 • 9:48 am | comments (7) by twitter | Filed Under Keyword Research

When you have a website and are looking to market it, which keywords should you target for your SEO campaign? How can you tell which keywords convert? In a Search Engine Watch Forums thread, a member is advised to use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

Google AdWords is a very useful tool for SEO. You can use it to test which keywords convert best for your site. Once you determine the best converting keywords, then you can invest the time and money into your long term search engine optimization strategy. Why use AdWords? Simply because you can see results immediately, while SEO can take months before seeing any results.

Also, say you've chosen your keywords, but you notice that some of your search terms are more competitive than others. Searching for some terms yield 300 results, while others yield 30,000 results, all the way to 30 million results. Where do you draw the line for a viable marketing campaign?

In the same Search Engine Watch Forums thread, moderator Marcia says that the answer really depends on the term and if those terms are already being targeted: isn't only the numbers, but what type of sites are being competed against and whether their numbers are deliberate. Numbers can look for high for some non-commercial, non-revenue search terms, for example, and yet nobody is actually trying for them.

You really do need to do competitive analysis and see who you are up against, because each term varies.

Forum discussion continues at Search Engine Watch Forums

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Paul Grieselhuber

06/13/2007 05:46 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it often the case where a single term converts differently for paid than for organic? This in mind, the usefulness of this tactic seems marginal.

Barry Schwartz

06/13/2007 05:57 pm

Is there anything much better than this Paul?

Paul Grieselhuber

06/13/2007 06:30 pm

Yes and no. No: The void in existence of a tool that provides what this alleges to doesn't inherently make the information gained from such an exercise valuable, let alone actionable. It is well known that significant segmentation exists among searchers who largely rely on organic and those who largely rely on paid as a means to retrieve the information they seek (of course there is overlap, but the divide is well recognized). Therefore, it cannot be assumed that these two segments would convert similarly on the same term. Yes: There is the collective set of best practices known to the SEO industry for development of keyword strategy, as well as those proprietary to those who have their own. Granted, the “yes” of what I’m saying here can easily be whittled down to “do SEO, its good,” and it doesn’t address the issue of how results can take months. I personally have experienced the issue of inconsistent conversion rates on the same word between organic and paid. Perhaps my commentary on the usefulness of using adwords to determine conversions of keywords could be summed up as “proceed with caution.”

Paul Grieselhuber

06/13/2007 06:36 pm

Correction: "Perhaps my commentary on the usefulness of using adwords to determine conversions of keywords could be summed up as “proceed with caution.” should have read "Perhaps my commentary on the usefulness of using adwords to determine conversions of keywords across both paid and organic could be summed up as “proceed with caution.”

Barry Schwartz

06/13/2007 06:36 pm

Would love to see a blog post or study released from you on the different conversion rates between organic and paid listings. I know there is a difference and I have seen different types of studies that can be used for this.

Paul Grieselhuber

06/14/2007 08:50 pm

I am completely open to the idea that I may be incorrect on this, it was more of a question to begin with. Would you mind speaking to the issue raised? I wasn’t sure from your last post if you were saying you had experienced this as well.


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