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travis

Targetting The Correct Search Term

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We are trying to promote a site for a phrase which people could type either as one or two words into search engines.

 

Example : Stereo Phonic

 

Some people search for:

 

(i) "stereophonic"

(ii) "stereo phonics"

(iii) "stereo phonic"

(iv) "stereophonics"

 

We have always optimised for (d) and things look good. But....

 

(a) When I look at the traffic coming through the local market in Google Adwords monitor, it says that all four are being searched for in equal proportion.

 

(b) When I look at the Overture Tool, it suggests that the two word phrase is 5 times more popular than the single word term, and the volumes are huge.

 

Are there more accurate traffic tools available ?

 

It would appear one of these two engines' data is being misreported.

 

Technically, one version is just a mispelling of the phrase. Should one optmiize for mispelt search terms if they get traffic intended for your product or item ?

Edited by travis

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In a perfect world where you had all the web shop support hours to throw at the issue that you could ever wish for I'd tell you to set up a landing page for each term- you'll get a return and it's billable hours all the way. On my larger clients sites we've done landing pages for many missspelllings- as long as the traffic payoff is high enough$$.

 

As for a more accurate search traffic tool? HA! You're in the same boat as the rest of us, my friend. The disparity between what Wordtracker tells you, what Google tells you, and what any 3rd party client tells you has always been something to marvel at.

 

I can give you this tip, however... if you *ever* have a keyword issue of any kind just ask Dan Theis of SEO Research Labs. He provides the most economical and professional keyword research out there. Yes, you can do it yourself and, yes, you can do a better job if you dedicated enough time to it... but from a cost-effectiveness standpoint- why on earth would you?

 

Another tip: there's no research like your own research. There are great tools out there that do log analyitics- I've used Clicktracks to great effect. Got a question about what kind of traffic a given keyword will bring? Run your own test and look at the results yourself. The pricetag on products like this is high, but you'll find it worthwhile in short order.

 

Casey

<mod edit>link removed - Tim</mod edit>

Edited by Tim

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Welcome to the Forums, Casey Dubya. You've given some good advice there.

 

Two further small points. Different tools will give you different results because they're measuring the results from different audiences. The audience that is viewing web pages carrying Overture ads is different from the audience that views Adsense ads. Each search engine attracts its own audience and depending on the products you're working with one audience may be better than another.

 

Another aspect which is helpful is that the search engines themselves are trying to handle meanings rather than just the precise spelling of the word. So this may give you some benefit for obvious mis-spellings of the words.

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Way to go Travis, not all of us get to promote well known bands like the Stereophonics.

 

That's the #1 Site already on Google for the term, of course. As it should be. Its way too generic a term to be a stand-alone keyword for much else. After all, it is merely the long version of the word 'stereo'. Stereo what? Stereophonic speaker systems? Stereophonic recording facilities? Or biology class on why it is good to have two ears?

 

I'd guess that many people searching first for stereophonic equipment, or for background into the scientific data of stereophonic technology, with that one word would think of trying splitting the words, just to remove all the fansites from the mix.

 

Unless this is the group, The Stereophonics, you have to examine the searches made in their specific context. Look at which versions went with which other words into which phrases. That's where it will become useful and enlightening.

Edited by Black_Knight

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Cheers guys,

 

The world of keyword research is starting to become an issue for us.

 

Landing pages are probably a good idea. I was also thinking about just using 4 separate variations in the backlink text for the search term.

 

Its difficult to monitor with analytics, because the only phrases that are in your Log Analyser are for search engine traffic that actually hit your page.

 

But it does not tell you when people searched for your product and DID NOT find you. Thats probably the main issue.

 

Adwords is useful to some degree to spread the tentacles a bit further across more terms.

Edited by travis

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Travis:

 

What seems to work most clearly for me is running an adwords campaign with exact match phrases. These are the traffic volume numbers in which I have the greatest faith.

 

I would run ads for each phrase with exact match. On that basis #of clicks will identify traffic totals in google for the specific search terms. Of course your click throughs, and your landing pages will tell you how well you are currently doing for the phrase(s).

 

My service has a problem like yours. Fortunately we are optimized and get visits for many variations on the main phrase(s). The total number of variations are extraordinary.

 

How well do we do for all of them? I'm not sure since my traffic is only tracking the visits that come through to my site. But the click totals at Google adwords gives us total traffic for the specific phrase in google (I assume).

 

Dave

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It would appear one of these two engines' data is being misreported.

 

If they were to report on identical datasets then yes, one of them clearly is wrong. But as is, both are reporting on something different.

 

Overture is often used as a research tool. Could this influence the reported data? Could Overture report a higher number of searches for a particular term as many, many SEO's have done searches for those terms?

 

It's similar to receiving feedback on a query from Yahoo, MSN and Google. Given the fact that Google users seem to be more Internet savvy, have a higher income and a higher education, would the data be identical?

 

Its difficult to monitor with analytics, because the only phrases that are in your Log Analyser are for search engine traffic that actually hit your page.

 

But it does not tell you when people searched for your product and DID NOT find you.

 

No. That type of research comes very close to marketing research. The alternative would be access to search engine queries and even then you would have to sift through a large amount of data to figure out which malformed search actually should have been about your keywords.

 

There are of course ways around this.

 

Take tagging, social tagging as performed on delicious.

 

We can use tagging both to research and analyze.

 

 

Research

 

I market blue widgets. How would the majority of people see this? As blue, widget, blue widget or something else entirely?

 

I can go to delicious and have a look around. Pages tagged with widgetfreak appear to be mainly about people who build their own widgets. I don't like that. They won't buy my widgets. Widgets itself forms the largest cloud but is too wide, too non-specific. Not surprisingly a good number of people tag it as bluewidget or blue-widget. But now I see something special. They also tag these pages with design, interior and cozy. Aha!

 

Would cozy blue widgets be a hit then? Or could it be that people who come in on cozy interior design represent a lower number of traffic but convert better and against larger orders?

 

You could even use one of the many tools for delicious such as the graph related tags one.

 

 

Analyze

 

You can also turn this process upside down. You tag pages and see what happens. Tag a page with 10 tags and see which ones drives more traffic. Keep an eye on those conversions! Which traffic is worth to go after?

 

 

Other sources

 

Related searches are good. Certain topics can even be researched on Amazon. For example, on Amazon.com I see that "stereophonics" has as related searches Oasis, Snow Patrol and, yes, Travis.

 

On Yahoo's related searches I see:

 

Also try: stereophonics lyrics, stereophonics maybe tomorrow lyrics,

stereophonics dakota, stereophonics superman lyrics, dakota lyrics stereophonics,

stereophonics official site, stereophonics tabs, stereophonics discography,

kelly jones stereophonics, stereophonics tickets, stereophonics website,

stereophonics guitar tabs, rewind lyrics stereophonics, stereophonics long way round,

stereophonics wallpaper, stereophonics devil, stereophonics band,

stereophonics tour dates

 

Between these two I can predict that if you target stereophonics you will receive a lot of music related traffic which won't necessarily convert well if you're selling, say, stereophonic headphones.

 

 

Finally

 

Should one optmiize for mispelt search terms if they get traffic intended for your product or item ?

 

If the misspelling most probably is identical to the product you sell, sure, why not? Search engines are capable of "understanding" misspellings but I wouldn't rely on it.

 

That said, seeing that you're talking about a product or item, something you want to sell, it could very well be that this traffic doesn't convert. Could it be that these people misspell the product they're interested in because they had a lower level of education, therefore a lower income, and are therefore more hesitant to dish out the dollars you're looking for?

 

Driving shotgun traffic is actually pretty easy. "Watch those traffic stats!" is somewhat like the hand of slight when a magician performs his trick. What is that traffic getting you; that is analysis piece that has to be part of your puzzle.

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Thanks guys.

 

Magic advice as always. I will have to sit down and digest most of this, as a lot of it is new to me.

 

Excellent post Ruud. The ideas presented are real eye-openers.

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