The Death of Trial and Error, SMX London 2013 by Sean Malseed of


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This presentation describes how to remove the element of trial and error from your PPC keyword research. Everyone always talks about testing and optimizing, but where do you start? You need to have something to test, and something to optimize. This presentation shows you how to get that something, without resorting to trial and error. It's possible to know the results before you take the action, using a few tools and a certain way of looking at things.

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The Death of Trial and Error, SMX London 2013 by Sean Malseed of

  1. 1. Sean MalseedStrategic Development
  2. 2. @smxIntroduction• Why is SEMrush qualified to talk about eliminating trial and error?• Simple: its the basis of the software we make.• We track 95 million keywords and 40+ million domains, and usemathematical models to find incredibly detailed information on domainsand companies in general.• This gives us a very unique insight into exactly this topic. We know whatcompanies spend and where, which of their products are profitable, whatads they buy on Adwords, Adsense, and much more.Introduction
  3. 3. @smxStop, look, listen and think
  4. 4. @smxJumping in
  5. 5. @smxTrialError
  6. 6. @smxSo, where do we start?Start by thinking differently. We need to figureout a real approach.
  7. 7. @smxConfidence is the feeling you haveConfidence is the feeling you havebefore you fully understand the situationbefore you fully understand the situation
  8. 8. @smxDo reconnaissance1.Identify your real competitors2.Check what they are doing before you buildyour list3.Avoid their mistakes, find holes in theiradvertising, build from their successes
  9. 9. @smxIdentify the competitionGreat tools to do this:Your brain. You or your client is in the industry youre marketing to. – great metrics on websites that share commonfactors and common visitors, ranked by Similarity Score.Competitive analysis tools – KeywordSpy, WordTracker, SEMrush,SpyFu, etc.
  10. 10. @smxIdentify the competitionGrouped bysimilarity score
  11. 11. @smxIdentify the competitionRanked by numberof shared visitors
  12. 12. @smxIdentify the REAL competitionTransactional vs. Informational CompetitorsOrganic is tough – a blog about skateboarding does notcompete with a website selling skateboards.Transactional keyword – looking to buy something. “proskateboards”Informational keyword – looking to learn about something. “proskateboarders”
  13. 13. @smxYou dont compete with “competes” with everybody.
  14. 14. @smxIdentify the landscapeNow that you know who to look at, you need toknow what to look at.Well identify the PPC landscape, and see how wewill fit in effectively.Theres a few simple things you can do.
  15. 15. @smxPro Tip #1If several competitors bid on a keyword, and you dont –youre missing something.If a keyword seemsreally good to you, butnone of yourcompetitors bid on it...theres a reason.
  16. 16. @smxBuilding a keyword listStart from a proven foundation
  17. 17. @smxCombining competitors experienceThese three sites have 520 paidkeywords in common.
  18. 18. @smxScooters are lame
  19. 19. @smxCut out irrelevant information233 shared AND relevant paidkeywords.
  20. 20. @smxPro Tip #2If a competitor bids on a keyword each month, it converts.They did the trial and error. You just look for their successes.
  21. 21. @smxExpanding the listTake the top terms from the previous step, and toss itinto Google Trends, limited to Product Search.
  22. 22. @smxExpanding the list
  23. 23. @smxPro Tip #3Exact match matters! Do all of your research withexact match keywords.Singular and plural keywords should be treated asseparate keywords.
  24. 24. @smxWhy exact match?In this presentation, Ive focused on PPC. Forexample, we find that “buy pro skateboards”converts more than “buy a pro skateboard”If it looks like plural converts way more than nonplural, make sure youre bidding on plural.
  25. 25. @smxWhy exact match?Because Google Keyword Tool is a salesman.
  26. 26. @smxWhy exact match?Setting Google Keyword Tool for Exact match is simple.
  27. 27. @smxWhy exact match?You need to accurately compare keywordsagainst each other, without overlapping volume.How to compareapples to oranges?Use exact match...they share broadmatch volume.
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31. @smxCheck everything in GKT
  32. 32. @smxRecap – the IdeaKnow your competitorsSteal your competitors experienceUse tools to build smart keyword listsTransactional vs. Informational keywords
  33. 33. @smxRecap – the IdeaAlways use [Exact] match.Whatever youre planning, someone has donesomething comparable.Dont always trust Google. Remember, they want youto bid on as many keywords as possible.
  34. 34. @smxRecap – The ToolsUse your competitors experience! Here are the tools – Find out who your real transactionalcompetitors are by shared – Find out what PPC keywords are successfulfor your competitors, and use – Quickly get combinations of keywords,great for localizing.
  35. 35. @smxRecap – The ToolsUse your competitors experience! Here are the tools – Find purely transactionalkeyword using Amazon, eBay and Google Product – Find out what PPC keywords aresuccessful for your competitors, and use them.Google Keyword Tool – Of course, check everything in GKT!Dont trust any one third-party tool 100%
  36. 36. Thank you!Sean month of Agency level service: