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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.

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Competitive Keyword Intelligence for Search Marketing

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