Competitive Keyword Intelligence for Search Marketing
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Competitive Keyword Intelligence for Search Marketing



Learn how to collect intelligence for competitive keyword research and analysis in this detailed presentation from Larry Kim at the SEMPDX event.

Learn how to collect intelligence for competitive keyword research and analysis in this detailed presentation from Larry Kim at the SEMPDX event.



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    Competitive Keyword Intelligence for Search Marketing Competitive Keyword Intelligence for Search Marketing Presentation Transcript

    • Competitive Intelligence in Search
      SEMPdxSearchFest: March 9, 2010
      Larry Kim, Founder, VP of Products, WordStream, Inc.
    • Agenda: Competitive Intelligence in Search
      Gathering competitive intelligence (CI) for search marketing
      Interpreting CI data: Common pitfalls & misconceptions
      Suggested workflows for leveraging competitive intelligence data in paid & organic search
    • Gathering CI Data: Plenty of Tools Available
      Alexa Search Analytics
      Google Keyword Tool
      Keyword Spy
      SEM Rush
      SpyFu (Mike’s company)
      WordStream (my company)
      … many others: too many to list out!
    • Competitive Intelligence (CI) Data
    • Interpreting CI data: Common pitfalls & misconceptions
      Wow. This is a TON of data!
      How do I interpret it?
      What should I do with all of this CI data?
      4 popular competitive intelligence blunders (and how to avoid them)!
    • Competitive Intelligence Blunder #1
      Assuming your competitive intelligence data is relevant
      Never blindly assume what works for your competitors will work for you!
      Review the data, test it out and see for yourself.
      Repeat this process!
    • Competitive Intelligence Blunder #2
      Too much analysis, not enough action!
      Don’t get overly hung up in analyzing CI data
      Ideally whatever CI data that you track is actionable (in a scalable way), and that your actions are data driven.
    • Competitive Intelligence Blunder #3
      Mistaking estimated CI data for actual campaign data
      A PPC Example: Suppose CI data shows indicates that your desired target keyword has a high estimated competition and high average CPC
      Give up? Never!
      The actual CPC you pay in your campaign can be below average, depending on how well you structure your campaigns
      How? Focus on improving Quality Score!
      • Ad Rank = Bid * Quality Score
      • Actual CPC = (Ad Rank to Beat/Quality Score) +$0.01
      • Mary bids less than Tom but wins the top spot and pays just (16/10) + 0.01 = $1.61
      • By improving Quality Score, Mary beat the average estimated CPC!
      How Estimated CPC is NOT the same as Actual CPC!
    • How to Improve Quality Score
      Select specific keywords & negative keywords
      Group together closely related keywords
      Write relevant ad text and landing pages that speak to the intent of the searcher
      OK: Somewhat Related
      Awful: Too Broad!
      Better: Reflects Intent
    • Estimated vs. Actual CI Data: Key Takeaway
      Don’t be deterred by unfavorable estimated CI data but rather take it under advisement.
      There are no set rules on how to interpret CI data
      Try to get a quick read on the true PPC or SEO competitive landscape by creating either an ad group (PPC) or content (SEO) and measuring the actual results.
    • Competitive Intelligence Blunder #4:
      CI data is an important component of keyword research – should be used in addition to other keyword research tools
      Don’t forget to leverage your own Web analytics data to get a proprietary competitive advantage!
    • The Problem with Keyword Tools
      Everyone Shares Same Keyword Data
      Keyword Tools
      How do you get a competitive advantage?
      How does a keyword tool know what’s relevant to your business?
    • Use both CI Keyword Suggestions & Web Analytics Data
      Some of the BEST keyword opportunities come from your own web site.
      Successful Keyword Research integrates both Web analytics and Competitive Intelligence Keyword Tool data
    • A workflow for using competitive intelligence data in PPC
      Assemble your keyword list (include CI data, keyword suggestion tool data, Web Analytics, etc.)
      Filter & organize your list into small keyword groupings of closely related keywords
      Building out themed ad groups & landing pages around your keyword clusters
      Get an read on actual PPC competitive landscape
    • Workflow using Competitive Intelligence data for PPC
      Was your target PPC cost-per-action achieved?
      If YES:
      Mission accomplished. Move on to next keyword grouping.
      If NO:
      Try targeting sub-niches (long-tail keyword variations)
      Look for negative keywords to improve CTR
      Try out different bid strategies & match-types
      Ad text & landing page optimizations
    • Targeting More-specific (Less Competitive) Keyword Niches
      • Typical “Head Term”
      • Challenging from both a competitive PPC & SEO standpoint
    • Targeting More-specific Keyword Niches
      • Look for clusters of longer-tail variations
    • Finding sub-niches within a sub-niche
      • Group keywords by intent
    • Workflow for using Competitive Intelligence data in SEO
      Assemble keyword list (include CI data, keyword suggestion tool, Web Analytics, etc.)
      Filter & organize list into small keyword groupings of closely related keywords
      Try publishing a content page that targets your desired keyword
      Get a read on the actual SEO competitive landscape – how did your page end up ranking?
    • Workflow using Competitive Intelligence data for SEO
      Google your target keyword.
      If your page is found on page 1:
      Great! Mission accomplished. Move on.
      If not found anywhere:
      Try working in long-tail keywords variations of your main keyword topic into your page copy
      Create content targeting more specific keyword niches.
      Do internal & external hyperlink building
    • Competitive Intelligence for Search: Bonus Tip
      • Stop thinking of competitive intelligence in terms of individual keywords. Why?
      • Wordstream’s internal keyword research consists of ~100k keywords – trying to track CI data on such a big list is a path to madness
      • Tip: Instead try to break up your keyword research into categories/subcategories, then track CI data on a per-grouping basis.
      • Target the “head terms”, exploit the “long tail”.
    • Competitive Intelligence in a Nutshell
      CI is important component of keyword research for PPC & SEO, but…
      Pick keywords relevant to YOUR site first, use CI to uncover possible gaps in your coverage or to help prioritize work
      Try not to get too mired in competitive intelligence data …
      Be Bold. Act. Don’t be deterred by challenging CI data – try it out, analyze, adjust your strategy (repeat).
    • How I Use Competitive Intelligence
      Sizing up a competitor – where are they focusing their PPC & SEO efforts?
      How successful are they?
      Getting keyword & hyperlink ideas
      Stealing traffic / draining link equity
    • For More Information, check out…
      The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Competitiveness –Tips from 35 Experts – Free!
      Todd Mintz (SEMpdx)
      Aaron Wall (SEOBook)
      Rand Fishkin (SEOMoz)
      Ann Smarty (Search Engine Journal)
      Many others!
      Free Keyword Niche Finder (WordStream)
    • About WordStream
      A provider of keyword research & management solutions for PPC & SEO
      Tools for continuously discovering, filtering, organizing, analyzing and implementing campaigns based on your own keyword research.
      Your own, private hosted keyword research, plus integrated tools to help you understand and act on it.
    • WordStream Keyword Management Tools
    • Actionable PPC & SEO Tools
      Turn your organized keyword research into PPC ads or optimized SEO content.
    • Spy on Competitor Keywords
    • WordStream Negative Keyword Discovery Tools
    • Thank you SEMPDX
      Thank you Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland!!
      Contact me:
      Twitter: @larrykim