Advanced Search Term Research Issues

Aug 5, 2004 - 5:21 pm 0 by

Taking the simple, basic session and discussing the advanced parts. Danny introduced Andy Beal.


Andy Beal said he will talk about 10 minutes on advanced topics. Andy does some company bio stuff, etc. He started off with inside the searchers mind. We (as owners) focus on the solution rather then the needs of the searcher. Search on "one hour photo" not "on site processing". The higher the cost of the product or service the more searches a potential customer conducts before making a decision. If you can position your products based on the searcher's problem rather then on your own idea of the solution, you can convert better. There are four different stages of an online buyer and he will discuss this in more detail later.

The Buying Cycle: (1) The awareness stage; provide info pages to educate, target phrases in the "i need" format, built trust with the searcher, and 8.7% of potential customers use search for this phrase. (2) The research stage; offer comparisons, target competitors search terms, and 68.3% of potential customers use search for this phrase. (3) Decision phase; write your product reviews/articles, license content from review sites, list customer testimonials, target search terms that aid in the decision process, and 42.6% of people use search for this phase. (4) Buying phase; focus on model numbers, make sure the product page content matches those phrases, add buzzwords "free shipping", and 28.2% of potential customers use search for this phrase.

Low Cost Products have fewer searches, less need for multiple search terms, and lower the costs the higher the likelihood of an online conversion. There are fewer instances for research types (comparison reviews) for these low cost keywords.

High cost products have increased number of searches per day, target all the phases of the buying process, and anticipate where the conversions will take place.

The number of keywords searched from July 2004: 2 word phrases reduced 2.5% since 01/04 3 word phrases increased 1.22% He gave more detail but ran out of time, couldn't write all the information from the slide down.

Dan Thies starts off saying he is from Texas, and he is working on the accent part. He will talk about "keyword mining" and VERY briefly discusses his company. He talks about Semi automated keyword discovery, what if you can automate the keyword discovery phases, quicker and cheaper. He discussed how he used to do it, get search results, spider top ranked sites and analyzes the keywords from those pages using ( Dan talked about some of Orion's posts and he discovered the EF Ratio, which is the the ratio of results form an exact phrase search and a final all search. You can easily identify what is a language phrase versus non language. He gave some easy to understand examples. This allows Dan to sort out what phrases are real and not real. Term frequency; common words vs. uncommon words. It is helpful in sorting 1 - 2 word search terms. Adding relevance involves the "c-index", co-occurrence; term 1 appears with term 2 in a document. This kind of bridges which terms are relevant semantically allowed. So Dan built/building a tool named STAT (for now) where you can input a keyword, queries google, fetches cached page, extract's candidate search terms, and sorts by c-index and ef ratios and term frequencies and then gives you search terms to add to a project. Can't wait to see it! Should be available for free in a week or so, check out and sign up for his newsletter. This is going to really revolutionize this keyword business (WordTracker on steroids.)

Bill Tancer from Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence service. I saw their demo in NY, very expensive but powerful tools. Traffic interception; find your closest competitor, identify what search terms are driving traffic to their site, identify which search engines are driving traffic to your competitors, and use this data as a base point to launch your search campaign. He came up with a case study for a site. He typed in backpacks and found ebags, analyzed ebags traffic with this tool. It showed you everything. GAP analysis; identify additional competitors, perform a gap analysis; what keywords are driving traffic to my competitors? He pulled his own data showing the number of words per search query in the shopping and classified category; cool stuff. He was able to show the distribution of number of keywords entered into search engines based on very specific categories (like automotive, etc.). With this data you can determine if you should target 1 word phrases or 2, or 3 or both. This program also has a search term phrases. You can understand the psychographics profile's of your searchers per industry (again, very cool).

James Lamberti from comScore qSearch is going to talk about his tool. They use passive tracking of actual consumer search activities. Its an opt in panel, they know exactly what they are doing through a proxy. The tool track everything the people are doing online. Step 1: Share of voice reporting, what are the keywords my competitors are buying? Step 2: Source of search traffic by term, what keywords are driving traffic to my competitor sites? Step 3: Source of conversion by term, what keywords are driving direct sales? Step 4: Sizing the market; detailed keyword reporting. Step 5: Profiling the consumer. They can look at the offline impact, latent impact and branding impact. A "reverse conversion" analysis, buy-cycle/research cycle, and custom studies as required.

Trellian was next to talk about, a last minute presentation. They have collected searches from 37 different engines, and have about 9 billion records right now. Just type in your term, and it will come up with the top searches that incorporate those keywords. In addition, it shows you an historical graph of search for a specific keyword over the past 12 or so months. You can also type in a URL and it can extract the keywords from the entire page.

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