Search Term Research & Targeting

Jun 18, 2007 - 3:35 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Latino 2007

The following live blogging post comes from our friend Dave Rohrer.

Search Term Research & Targeting

The bedrock to success with search engines is understanding which search terms to target. Fail in that and your audience may never find you. Where do you find keyword suggestions in Spanish? This session covers ways to undertake search term research that is crucial to succeeding with your search engine marketing efforts, whether that be via free or paid listings. Moderator:

* Jessie Stricchiola, Founder, Alchemist Media Inc.


* Sylvio Lindenberg, SEM & Center of Excellence Manager, Media Contacts Brazil * Sarah Bernier, Spanish Language Search Marketing Consultant, FindLaw - A Thomson Company * Larry Mersman, Vice President, Trellian Software * Liana Evans, Search Marketing Manager, Commerce360

Larry Mersman


German Beer – 9853 searches Beer [from] germany – 49 searches

Looking to New Markets

Trying to add new product categories and marketing tot hat demographic can create new keyword challenges. Adding Latin brewed beers means finding keywords that will get you found in all markets.

Compiling Keywords Lists - – Shows how to use the tool and how to read the results. * Regional options – has Spanish, Portuguese, access to Overture info as well. Expanding your Lists

Related Search Terms

Identify alternate spellings, the most common spelling and typing mistakes. - 9.7 million searches for “accommodation” - 1.7 million for “acommodation”

Learning from your Competitors - Keyword Density analyzer break down page content into a list of unique words and phrases

Tool: Competitive Intelligence - Competitive Intelligence enables you to identify your competitor’s top performing PPC keywords

Sylvio Lindenberg 1. Research a. Look for: i. Client’s business ii. Products iii. Read the content iv. Some keywords and synonymous v. Site’s objective vi. Market vii. Target audience viii. Region ix. Seasonality x. Etc. xi. Knowledge and a first draft of search terms will come from this 2. Gathering a. Grow your list i. Search Engine Tools 1. Google Adwords 2. Yahoo/Overture tool 3. Miva (especially for Europe) ii. Paid tools 1. Keyword Discovery 2. WordTracker iii. Be creative and use alternative sources 1. Go to or Linkshare and see what keywords advertisers allow affiliates to use iv. Keyword variations, synonymous, plural, misspelling, geographic, etc. v. Yahoo Answers – can be a very good source to see what people are calling things. 3. Selection a. Use the parameters and be wise to find a balance i. Search volume ii. Competition (difficulty / frequency) iii. Just use your common sense and include terms related to the client’s business (brand, industry related vocabulary) 4. Filtering a. Less is more i. Using the parameters and specific tools to identify real search habits 1. Focus 2. Relevancy 3. Volume b. Can use Google Trends to assist with filtering. c. Use your web analytics. You can use it to see how people get to your site, and what content people are NOT finding.

5. Definition a. The last word is always the client’s word. b. We know search but they know about their business. c. They are the ones in contact with the final client on a daily basis…. The client is always right

This is a cyclical and continuous process – for evaluation and action

The search term selection is one of the most important phases but the structure cant be ignored in order to make the entire content crawled

This is a constantly changing environment (internally and externally) and the keywords needs to reflect these changes - Search habits * Two studies -- Jan 2007 Survey. 28% use 2 words, 27% use 3 keywords, 17% use 4 keywords and 13% use 1 keyword -- from Feb 2007. Showing July 2004 to July 2006. Short searches are declining and the number of longer searchers are growing - New content adding - Competitors

Jessie brings up a Fact.

- At a conference last year John Smart gave a keynote and presented data on search queries. In 1999 the average of search words was 1.6, Google recently gave the number of 3.6, and John had said that in the next 5 years the # would double again. - His prediction that after the 5 keyword level we will jump to 11 keywords. 11 words is the average number of words that people use to ask someone a question. - This brings up the future of search and how eventually we will interact with search engines just like we do with humans (in terms of asking questions)

Sarah Bernier

Gives background of services.

Optimization of Custom vs Translated content - translation of existing material * we don’t perform keyword research -- hard to “keyword stuff” with translation -- create meta data after the fact * still optimized but not like customized content -- translators don’t focus on SEO; keywords might not necessarily be those we’d choose.

Custom Content - perform keyword research - straight translation vs. original research of keywords * can choose most appropriate and/or utilize synonyms * custodia de Ninos / Menores vs. custodia de hijos * Danos Corporales / lesions personales - create meta data from scratch around which to build pages

Keyword research Tools - Is the data source Us or Global? - How rich is their data source for Spanish-language search? - Many tools with US databases show ‘Spanglish’ and Spanish misspellings, but we do not add such terms into content * Right now those “keywords” are showing up in our analytics - We don’t research keywords with accents; little to no results * Web users don’t “generally” use accents – keyboard issues - Use keyword research tools s GUIDES only * In English keyword research, we look at relative numbers of searches, and assume the reported number gives an idea only * In Spanish keyword research we cannot even assume proportions are accurate. * Experiment, then use your analytics to make final decisions.

Keywords and Special Characters - to use or not to use accents - majority of search engines recognize them - use grammatically correct meta data * “call to action” / conversion * Shows professionalism / knowledge of language

Linking between pages of a site - Spanish-English or only Spanish-Spanish? * If not all relevant practice areas(topics) are written in Spanish – offer information in the other language or opt for monolingual areas of site? * Measure weight of importance of information against loyalty to one language * Add “disclaimer” after links to English content - Spanish keywords / phrases are longer * Link text and navigation tends to be longer * Effects the user experience…. But can be difficult

Inbound links to site - keywords in anchor text need to be specific to the site/page to which they’re pointing - if more then one language represented, should have relevant inbound links for each

Use geographically-specific terms - professional services - qualified traffic vs. quantity of traffic - doesn’t affect e-commerce as much

Lack of competition on Web - depends on subject matter – Spanish language legal information is still scarce in US - May show up for broader searches than those targeted

Spanish vs English Content - newly releases sites with both English and Spanish content show searches right away for general Spanish terms. - English results for name-only or VERY VERY specific keywords - Spanish content unique * Initially performs at a higher level than English counterpart * Appears more authoritative

Liana Evans

No matter what language, keyword research is fundamental - gives insight into your market - understand what your competitors are doing - understand who your competitors are * do you have the same competitors online as you do offline? - discover niche market opportunities

Keyword Research

- Utilize tools that give more than monthly results so that research is not biased or skewed. - Research how many searches are done on a keyword over the past year. - Understand your keyword * Sandals – the resort or what you wear on your feet? - Niche Markets * Instead of Sandals, try Open toe sandals - Know your audience * Synonyms * Jargon * Country/area specific * Common misspellings

Misspellings and Negatives

Example: recipes, sesame street

Negative (for PPC) - Example: Avenue (-candy bar, -street, -road,-song) - TriplePlay ( -baseball, -base ball)

General vs Converting The phrases will give you where they are in the buying cycle. Are they beginning, close to buying, buying now.


Free vs Paid

Free – Yahoo Overture tool, SEO Book Took, Google, MSN Paid – Keyword Discovery, Hitwise, Word Tracker

Seasonality - free tools give you only one month at a time - think globally, summer in Brazil starts in December, Summer in Canada starts in June

Brands vs. Terms - Example: Cable internet, phone & TV providers * Optimizing for brand limits your reach * Optimize for terms instead such as: -- Servicio de alta velocidad del internet -- Servicio de la tv ... And so on

Remember!!! - use phrases rather than just one word - free tools and the seasonality factor - general terms vs terms that convert - brand blindness - fish where the fish are

Q: Where do the paid keyword tools get the information from? A:Wordtracker has 4 sources and Dogpile is one of them. Trellian pulls from over 180 search engines. Hitwise has deals with ISP’s to track and obtain the information that they present.

Q: For someone starting out, what is the best tool to use? A: Sylvio gave the analogy of buying a car. If you are buying a car for the first time you don’t buy a Ferrari. You buy a more common popular car and start. As you get more advanced and comfortable you move up the chain to more complex tools.

Q: Is there any way you can see what your competitors are bidding on? A: Liana gave as a source that is free and cheaper then Hitwise. Larry: goes into Trellian’s Competitive Tool as a source but states that it does not give the costs of the clicks yet. Sylvio mentions Adgooroo that does a lot of what the person is looking for.

Q: Seasonal fluctuations, how is the data “predicted”? A: Larry – if you are looking at the past year, it starts today and goes backwards. It doesn’t have future data and doesn’t predict. Sylvio suggests Technorati and Blogpulse to track mentions of your company or keywords you are tracking.

Q: How accurate is the Spanish numbers and English numbers for search tools? A: Sarah: I don’t look at the number, look at the proportion instead. Look if the keyword is even being searched on, and you may just have to go with your gut. Track it in your analytics and see if you are really getting a lot of traffic – she goes back to her example of how the keyword tools said one thing but in the analytics they results were way different. Jessie adds: When doing research its gut and intuition. Back 10 years ago when many people were doing the same research there weren’t tools.


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