Whether you are constructing a new PPC account or expanding an existing one, keyword tools and research is an ongoing part of the job for all account managers. By far the most well known tool is the Adwords Keyword Tool correctly called the Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
I will argue any day that successful keyword research sets the foundation for new campaigns. It is also a tactic that is often neglected when it comes to ongoing account management. Keyword research can be used to grow PPC accounts and bring additional revenue. Too often however, when thinking about keyword research we are quick to use Google’s Keyword Tool. We also too often stick to the keywords on the website and build synonyms around these words, neglecting the research and tools all together.
By all means continue to use the Google Keyword Planner as you build out keyword lists. However, I will show you 10 other tools you may or may not be using to build out your campaigns.
Search Query Reports (Google & Bing) – Whenever I conduct a search query report (SQR), I always do it from two perspectives. One of the views is always an approach to find new keywords. For example one client I worked with sold flooring. I found people looking for flooring for specific projects that went well beyond the common rooms one would think of such as living rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Searchers were looking for pantry flooring, and laundry room flooring. These terms were a factor that helped grow the account volume by over 30%.
Google Trends – This tool shows category interest, but it also shows related terms which are great for building competitor campaigns for conquest of the competition.
Google Correlate – I love this tool. You can find keywords that exhibit similar trend patterns to your keywords. If I were working for Best Buy I would create a campaign with Black Friday specific keywords, instead of relying on the phrase match to pick up these terms.
Google Webmaster Tools – Google Webmaster Tools lists the keywords that appear on the search engine results page along with the average rank. You can see which terms users are clicking on to come to your website. The data is stored for 90 days so it is a good idea to save the data and keep a history.
Internet Marketing Ninjas – This tool is fantastic and saves a lot of time in Excel. It is also free. This tool can help you build out keyword lists quickly because it uses base words and concatenation and does the work for you.
Bing Keyword Research – While Bing and Yahoo hold less search market share the engines are still heavily used especially when looking at raw numbers. In order to use this tool you will need a Bing Webmaster Tools account.
Bing Ads Intelligence – This tool is an alternative to Google Adwords Keyword Planner. You download this tool and use it as a plugin for excel. The bad news is that you must be using a PC. Sorry Mac users.
Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool – This keyword tool is included with a subscription to Moz. It will retrieve the top 10 rankings and give a difficulty score based on the pages that rank. You can definitely use this score to help predict CPCs.
Your Own Internal Search Engine – All too often we neglect the easiest tools at our disposal. All websites offer internal search and this can be particularly useful in finding terms that visitors are looking for on your site. I recommend looking at this data frequently as it is of high value. Consider a user that comes to a website, does not find what they are looking for and then takes the time to perform a search. These searches have more value than the most popular approach, which is simply to abandon the site. Pay attention to these terms.
Social Mention – To be fair this is a social media tool. However, if you look on the sidebar you will find terms. I performed a search for “Best Buy” and found more keyword ideas. Many people are looking for “tablets” this year. Perhaps a tablet campaign is worth the effort.
We all use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, and certainly understand the value of the tool, especially when looking to build out campaigns quickly. We hopefully were able to provide some alternatives to help you step outside the norm. We don’t predict keywords going away anytime soon and stepping outside your comfort zone and using different tools you will soon find hidden gems to grow your accounts.