SMX Search Marketing Bootcamp March 2014 - Keyword Research and Copywriting


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Smx West 2014 Search Marketing Bootcamp Session #Smx #11B - Keyword Research & Copywriting For Search Success Presentation By Christine Churchill Of Key Relevance

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SMX Search Marketing Bootcamp March 2014 - Keyword Research and Copywriting

  1. 1. Keyword Research And SEO Copywriting Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 1 SMX West Christine Churchill President, KeyRelevance @KeyRelevance @ChrisChurchill
  2. 2. @ChrisChurchill • President of KeyRelevance, LLC • Member of Founding Board of Directors of Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) • Member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Organization (DFWSEM) • Author at Search Engine Land & Web Marketing Today • Longtime Speaker & Instructor, Search Engine Strategies, PubCon, and Search Marketing Expo Conferences • Masters degree and over 15 years online marketing experience Speaker: Christine Churchill Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  3. 3. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 3 Keywords = Dead SEO = Dead (but some of the rules have changed and we have to be better MARKETERS!) @ChrisChurchill
  4. 4. @ChrisChurchill • Keyword Research – What is it? Why do it? • Hummingbird Algorithm • How to do KW Research • Keyword Tools • How to use Keywords to Optimize Content • SEO Copywriting Tips What We’ll Cover Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  5. 5. @ChrisChurchill Keyword Research Fundamental step to all search marketing Keyword Research is the process of researching to identify the keyword terms customers use to find your products and services Keyword Research helps you get inside the mind of customers Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  6. 6. @ChrisChurchill • People use search engines to find you on the web • Engines use text to categorize pages • Research unveils terms people actually use • KW Research improves performance of online marketing Why Do Keyword Research? Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  7. 7. @ChrisChurchill Who Benefits from Keyword Research? • Everyone in publishing • Marketing staff and Search Marketers – both paid and organic • PR – Better pickup if use keywords in articles & in press releases • Content writers – a way to keep content fresh and relevant – Inspires topics readers are interested in • Your targeted audience – By using the phrases readers are using in search, your audience can find your great content • Your Company – targeting the phrases people actually use brings motivated customers to your site which improves conversions and user experience Knowing the best words to target helps you plan your content marketing strategy Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  8. 8. What is Hummingbird? Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 8 Hummingbird is the name of the new search algorithm that Google launched last year. According to Google the new delivers better results that are "precise and fast" - like a hummingbird. It’s Google trying to figure out user intent and improve conversational search. Google wants to match the meaning, rather than pages matching just a few words. Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than a few exact terms. @ChrisChurchill
  9. 9. Do We Still Need to Worry About Keywords? Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 9 Yes, for several reasons: Keep in mind that although Hummingbird is an overhaul of Google’s algorithm, many of the old parts are still used. Google’s semantic analysis considers the language in your content - so you still need to use keywords and related phrases on the page to communicate to users and Google what the page is about - means some on-page optimization still is needed Exact phrase matching for SEO is a thing of the past. @ChrisChurchill
  10. 10. Tips on Surviving Online After Hummingbird Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 10 Marketers now need to: - Create high quality longer content that establishes your site as the place to go for answers - Develop ways to increase the authority of the site - Become a leader in your vertical - Consider multiple ways to show leadership: social media, links, user metrics, online relationships Google has made it harder for “fake” authority to win. Going forward you have to earn your position. @ChrisChurchill
  11. 11. How Hummingbird Changed Our World Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 11 The New Approach: - Learn to focus on the intent behind the search term, then try to develop content that delivers answers to what the searcher wants -Stop focusing on exact match phrases and look more to long tail and related phrases. Build a vocabulary of terms that are related to the phrase - When doing KW research, now you research core phrases plus related, synonyms, and words that frequently occur with your main terms (co- occurrence) - Use phrases naturally and include a vocabulary of related phrases @ChrisChurchill
  12. 12. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 12 How to Do Keyword Research @ChrisChurchill
  13. 13. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 1313 Keyword Research is an Iterative Process Brainstorming & Discovery Keyword Expansion Keyword Evaluation @ChrisChurchill
  14. 14. @ChrisChurchill Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 14 Keyword Brainstorming and Discovery Phase
  15. 15. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 15 Create Keyword List Using Diverse Sources • Brainstorming session – no judging words at this stage. Goal is to cast your net widely and generate broad list. • Keyword lists from within company – Review company web site and print collateral – Press Releases – Often too much insider jargon – May or may not be customer’s lingo @ChrisChurchill
  16. 16. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 16 Learn the Lingo of the Customer – Customer interviews – Customer Surveys and Focus Groups – Talk to support or sales personnel who talk directly to customers – Review discussion forums, user generated content, blogs, social media The best keywords come straight from the customer’s mouth. @ChrisChurchill
  17. 17. @ChrisChurchill 17 Speak the Language of Customer Increase conversion by speaking the customer’s language Correct bad keyword choices – Missing traffic – Missing sales Discover new keyword opportunities - Find overlooked or new keywords - Take advantage of longer tail phrases “Duplicate a CD” vs “Burn a CD” Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  18. 18. 18 The Long Tail Finding New Opportunities • Based on frequency graph • Chris Anderson wrote book about it – Describes it as new economic model – Unlimited selection – Amazon books, iTunes – Idea is that non-hits can make money based on sheer volume • Popular phrases on left – highly competitive and expensive. Less popular on right – lower volume “20 to 25% of the queries that Google sees today have never been seen before.” – Udi Manber, Google VP of Engineering Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  19. 19. @ChrisChurchill Example Head-Tail Keywords Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 19 Image: jscreationzs / Camera, digital camera, Sony Nikon D7000 digital SLR camera compare digital cameras buy digital slr camera
  20. 20. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 20 Create Keyword List Using Diverse Sources • Online and Traditional Print Magazines • Company and Product Reviews • Online Thesaurus • Search in Google with tilde ~ for synonyms @ChrisChurchill
  21. 21. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 21 Create Keyword List Using Diverse Sources (cont) Competitors – Review their web site and collateral for keywords – Look at words they are buying in PPC – What terms are they – targeting in SEO – Can give you competitive insights and ideas on overlooked terms @ChrisChurchill
  22. 22. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 22 Use Site Search Data Site Search Box • Reveals keywords and expressions that visitors are actually using / wanting • Acts as a direct feed from the visitors brain • Make sure you collect site search data – can tie it to your analytics for easy viewing Downside is data is limited and site search is usually a fall back when users can’t find what they are looking for on your site. @ChrisChurchill
  23. 23. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 23 Site Search @ChrisChurchill
  24. 24. @ChrisChurchill The Not Provided Issue • Biggest change in SEO and Keyword Research to date • Means site owners and marketers have lost the connection between the search keywords and their performance on Google Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 24 See for tips on workarounds
  25. 25. Keyword Research Tools Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  26. 26. Benefits of Keyword Tools • Saves money and time • Provides insight outside of your site • Identifies keyword opportunities you might miss • Offers popularity numbers you can’t get from your own analytics • Moves you beyond keyword assumptions • Allows you to compare phrases 26Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  27. 27. 27 Keyword Research Tools Free • Google Keyword Planner Tool • Google Webmaster Tools • Google Trends • Google Display Planner • Google Instant • Bing Keyword Tool • Bing Ads Intelligence Excel Plug-In Fee Based • WordTracker • Searchmetrics • Trellian Keyword Discovery • Hitwise • WordStream • SEMRush • ComScore • SpyFu Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC Remember: No one tool has all the answers. You need several tools in your toolbox. Combining the tools synergistically works well. Some tools are better for certain functions. For instance, Google Instant is used for discovering new keyword phrases and Google Trends is good for comparing. @ChrisChurchill
  28. 28. New Google Keyword Planner Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 28 - Combines old Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator Tool - Oriented for Paid Search - Must be Logged Into AdWords to Use - No device filtering (no mobile vs desktop filtering) - Numbers shown are average search volume numbers for ALL devices (old tool defaulted to desktop) so numbers may look higher @ChrisChurchill
  29. 29. Google Trends Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 29 Google Trends provides trends from web searches, images, news, shopping and YouTube @ChrisChurchill
  30. 30. Google Hot Trends Copyright 2014KeyRelevance LLC 30@ChrisChurchill
  31. 31. Google Webmaster Tools shows top search queries Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 31 Sort by Clicks to see the terms that actually brought the most traffic to the site If you click on the query, it shows which pages appear for the term Using Filters can separate brand/non-brand and core terms, plus sources from web, image, mobile, & video Shows up to 2000 top queries for the last 90 days Not affected by the Not Provided – this is limited but actual keyword data Provides Impression, Clicks, and CTR, but no conversion data @ChrisChurchill
  32. 32. @ChrisChurchill GWT KW Data Advantages: – Shows KW, impressions, and click data – Impressions w/out clicks might indicate a Title/Meta Description/Snippet issue Disadvantages: – Cannot break out data by other segments (KW leading to conversions, for example) so data is not highly actionable – Mapping KW to landing page is tedious 1-at-a-time process – not useful for large scale KW analysis – Requires you to download reports regularly since GWT data expires in 90 days Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 32
  33. 33. GWT Top Pages Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 33 Sort by clicks to find which pages brought the most traffic. Can click on Page URL to see which terms the page ranked for @ChrisChurchill
  34. 34. Google Display Planner (replaced Contextual Targeting Tool, Placement Tool, and the Google Ad Planner) Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 34@ChrisChurchill
  35. 35. Bing Keyword Tool Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC - Shows actual queries numbers (not rounded) -Has 6 months of data -Drill down by Country @ChrisChurchill
  36. 36. Bing’s Ad Intelligence Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 36 • Plug-in with Excel • Data source and adCenter • Provides related keywords • Extracts keywords from a URL • Gives insights on seasonal “spiky” keywords • Shows geographic and demographic info on keywords @ChrisChurchill
  37. 37. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 37 Keyword Discovery Suite of Tools Includes Keyword Density Tool @ChrisChurchill
  38. 38. • Data pulled from meta search engines • Eliminates most skewing issues caused by robots • Differentiates between singular & plural • Offer Free Tool for trial Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  39. 39. Wordstream Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 39 / Useful for developing your vocabulary of related terms for Hummingbird @ChrisChurchill
  40. 40. Google Instant Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 40 Shows suggestions as you type @ChrisChurchill
  41. 41. Google Instant – Shopping Search Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 41 Different set of keywords on Shopping search from regular web search @ChrisChurchill
  42. 42. @ChrisChurchill Gives suggestions from different perspectives Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC Provides suggestions from Google Wikipedia Answers YouTube Bing Yahoo Amazon Plus option for15 other sites
  43. 43. Ubersuggest Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  44. 44. YouTube Keyword Suggestions Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  45. 45. YouTube Keyword Tool Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  46. 46. Twitter Search Provides real time search results and trending topics Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  47. 47. Tag Clouds helps identify related terms Copyright 2010 KeyRelevance LLC 47@ChrisChurchill
  48. 48. Searchmetrics Can Identify Co-Occurrence Terms, Competitors Terms, etc Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 48@ChrisChurchill
  49. 49. Keyword Expansion Phase Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  50. 50. @ChrisChurchill Target Variations of Your Keywords • Comparison (best, compare, reviews) • Price (cheap, discount) • Product Description (green, plus size, unique) • Intended use (gift for mother, baptism gown) • Product (gift basket, mortgage, flight) • Location • Action (apply, book, find, buy) • Season (holiday, Christmas, Halloween) • Abbreviations • Brand / vendor / manufacturer Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC Modifiers are great at helping you expand your keyword list, but remember to keep “user intent” in mind when you combine the modifier to the core term!
  51. 51. @ChrisChurchill Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 51 Keyword Permutations • Number of keyword permutation tools – Tools that allow you to mix and match terms to create new keyword phrases • Enter keyword terms, and modifiers • Combines variations of phrases • Can use concatenate function in Excel or specific tool
  52. 52. 52 Using Excel to Expand KW List Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  53. 53. @ChrisChurchill • Group related keywords into lists of related terms • Remember to identify terms that frequently occur with your main terms • Do a series of keyword research projects on a site, not one • Develop a keyword matrix Keyword “Buckets” Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  54. 54. @ChrisChurchill 54 Evaluating Keywords Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  55. 55. 55 KW Selection Considerations • Relevancy to Site • Keyword Popularity • User Intent • Competition • Performance Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC Always test your keywords. Keywords can sounds like a good idea, but upon testing, they can fail miserably. @ChrisChurchill
  56. 56. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 56 Relevancy Considerations Relevancy means choosing the keywords that best describes what the site offers Traffic alone isn’t the goal, you want targeted traffic that is searching for what you sell Best bet: Find words that resonate with your target audience and are descriptive of your site @ChrisChurchill
  57. 57. Popularity Considerations • Popularity gives insight on traffic potential • Being popular Is overrated • Popular phrases – Less relevant – More competitive – Examples: “cars” or “homes” • Less Popular – More Focused – Satisfies Need of Searcher – Higher Conversion – Less Traffic Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  58. 58. Popularity Considerations (cont) • Consider seasonality and cyclical popularity of phrases • Identify trend lines • Many phrases lost or increased popularity in recession Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC Seasonal trends of term “air conditioner” @ChrisChurchill
  59. 59. @ChrisChurchill Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 59 Consider User Intent Getting inside the searcher’s head • Understand the “why” behind the motivation for the search and you can better target how to respond – Research vs Purchase – Stage in buying process – Audience Demographic Buying vs Browsing “car reviews” “fast auto financing” “80% of all searches on the Web are non- commercial” - Jim Lanzone of
  60. 60. @ChrisChurchill Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 60 Evaluating by the Stage in Buying Process • Keywords indicate where consumer is in the Buying Process • Match your content to satisfy the user’s intent when using the keyword Problem Recognition Information Search Evaluation of Alternatives Purchase Decision Adapted From: Marketing Management by Philip Kotler Select Alternatives
  61. 61. Searcher Behavior Three types of searches: • Navigational - I just want to be at your web site. • Informational -Do hybrid cars require special maintenance? •Transactional -Interactive, purchase, subscribe, download -I want financing to buy a hybrid car. Adapted From: A Taxonomy of Web Search by Andrei Broder Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  62. 62. Evaluating KW By Competition Who Are Your Competitors? • Who is ranking for your keyword terms? • Who has PPC ads? Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  63. 63. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 63 Evaluating KW By Competition To compete, you need Search Term Parity You need to see how active the competitors are within the same marketing environment - What keywords are they targeting? - How optimized are their sites? - Are they doing PPC? How much are the bids? - What’s their linkage situation? @ChrisChurchill
  64. 64. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 64 Competitive Intelligence Tools • Hitwise • ComScore Marketer • Trellian’s Competitive Intelligence • Keyword Difficulty Tool • SpyFu • SearchMetrics • KeyCompete • Compete • SemRush • KeywordSpy • AdGooRoo • Keyword Analyzer @ChrisChurchill
  65. 65. SearchMetrics Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  66. 66. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 66 SEMRush 66 Provides: • Top Keywords • Rankings • PPC Terms • PPC Bids • Traffic Trends @ChrisChurchill
  67. 67. SEOMOZ Keyword Difficulty Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 67 Relative yardstick of difficulty @ChrisChurchill
  68. 68. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 68 Performance Considerations • Use PPC to test candidate KWs • Gives quick quantitative feedback on the KW performance while controlling costs Test Keyword Performance Early @ChrisChurchill
  69. 69. @ChrisChurchill Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 69 Get Feedback Down to the Keyword Level Note: If using PPC to test, make sure performance problem isn’t bad ad or poorly converting landing page..
  70. 70. Content Optimization Putting the Pieces Together Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  71. 71. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 7171 Everything Is Better with Chocolate Image: Graeme Weatherston / Keywords • Web sites • Paid search • Articles • White Papers • FAQ pages • Product Feeds • News • Blog Posts • Press Releases • Images • Videos • Podcasts • Schema • Social Media • Content Marketing Optimize all digital assets @ChrisChurchill
  72. 72. @ChrisChurchill Good SEO Copywriting Is a Balancing Act • You have to write to engage human reader • You have to write so search engines understand relevancy of content • It is this talent for doing both that separates high quality SEO content from spam Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 72
  73. 73. On-Page SEO Guidelines Has to be NATURAL Elegantly work keywords into visible content on web pages - Don’t stuff keywords - Do the “Read Aloud” test to gauge natural tone Image: winnond / Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  74. 74. 74 On-Page SEO Guidelines (cont) Think keyword phrase NOT single keyword Create a matrix chart to assign different phrases to different pages - Divide and conquer Use synonyms and related words on page to reinforce main topic Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC@ChrisChurchill
  75. 75. Don’t Stuff Keywords! Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 75 From Bing Webmaster Guidelines (in section on things not to do): “Keyword Stuffing When creating content, make sure to create your content for real users and readers, not to entice search engines to rank your content better. Stuffing your content with specific keywords with the sole intent of artificially inflating the probability of ranking for specific search terms is in violation of our guidelines and can lead to demotion or even the delisting of your website from our search results.” @ChrisChurchill
  76. 76. @ChrisChurchill Where to use keywords Title Tags Meta Description Meta Keywords H Tags Visible portion of page Alt Attribute Links and anchor text File names URL Schema code Bold, strong, emphasized tags Breadcrumb Navigation Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  77. 77. @ChrisChurchill Title Tags <title>Interesting Relevant Keyword Rich Blurb</title> • Most important “on-page” tag • Title contents appears in first line of listing on SERP • Spend extra time to create compelling titles that grab attention • Include keyword phrase early in title • Should be unique…don’t use same title on multiple pages • Title should be accurate and reflect content of page Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 77
  78. 78. @ChrisChurchill Meta Description Tag <meta name="Description" content=“Compelling marketing message that reads well and contains targeted keywords"> • Should provide a summary of the page • Frequently used as snippet on results page • Should contain keywords relevant to the page • Should be unique to the page Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 78
  79. 79. @ChrisChurchill Home Page SEO • Usually your strongest page • Target most competitive relevant keyword phrase • Depending on strength of your site and the competition, target 2-3 keyword phrases • Don’t try to cover EVERY KEYWORD related to what your company does Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 79
  80. 80. @ChrisChurchill Internal Page SEO • Divide and conquer: Assign KW phrases to different pages on site • Focus, focus, focus: Make that page ALL ABOUT the keywords you’re targeting • Use related terms and synonyms on the page to reinforce what the page is about • Balance: resist temptation to stuff Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 80 Image: winnond /
  81. 81. @ChrisChurchill Golden Rules for Writing Copy Talk about benefits, not features - You have to tell them why they should care Appeal to emotions and senses….most buying decisions are emotionally based Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 81
  82. 82. @ChrisChurchill Make Content Easy to Read • “Chunk up” the content – Use headers, subheadings & bullet lists to add hierarchy – White space is your friend – Keep paragraphs short • Avoid “noise” and distracting items on page • Include visually attractive graphics – Faces & bright colors attract the eyes • Hook the reader in title and initial paragraphs • Make it easy to share! • Doing these things increases user engagement Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 82
  83. 83. @ChrisChurchill Points to Take Home 1. Keyword Research is first step in online marketing & content development 2. Keyword Research needs management support – Requires time, budget, tools & resources 3. Use tools to increase productivity & provide insights 4. Don’t use keyword popularity as sole evaluation criteria – Look at popularity as traffic potential and consider seasonality – Review keyword competition 5. Use keywords in all digital assets 6. Remember the user experience when publishing content on the web 7. Remember to use synonyms and related terms to reinforce what your main content is about 8. Make content easy to share Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC
  84. 84. Copyright 2014 KeyRelevance LLC 84 Thank You! Christine Churchill @KeyRelevance @ChrisChurchill @ChrisChurchill