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October 3, 2013

Keyword Tools from Bing & Google, Plus (Not Provided) Workarounds #smx #32B

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Keywords have been a hot topic of discussion, especially since Google turned all organic keyword referral data into (not provided) a week ago. These speakers are going to tell us about keyword research and planning tools, the Google Keyword Planner tool and the Bing Ads Intelligence Excel add-on, plus some suggestions for how to piece together the lost (not provided) keyword data.

SMX East 2013 SponsorModerator: Debra Mastaler, President, Alliance-Link (@debramastaler)

Speakers:
Stephanie Carrera, Global Product Lead: Search Tools, Google
Christine Churchill, President, KeyRelevance (@keyrelevance)
Paul Corkery, Senior Operations Program Manager, Microsoft (@c0rk)

Bing Keyword Tools: Ads Intelligence

Paul Corkery will share tools that internal paid search account managers use.  Go to Keywords.com for the Bing Ads Intelligence tool (only PC for Excel 2010 or later). The tool is built on a large cloud-based research stack. The data warehouse about keywords is accessed by API calls, and he’ll be showing us the Microsoft applications for calling that data, and if you want to, you can call the data yourself with the API. (That’s what the SEOToolSet does!)

Bing Ads Intelligence (BAI) is an Excel plugin. It let’s you use the services including:

  • generate keywords (extract keywords from URLs, keyword suggestions)
  • understand search supply (traffic volume, categories/location/demographics to let you scrub lists)
  • invest intelligently with marketplace insight (keyword performance and bid estimation, pricing guidance)
  • NEW to BAI: account keyword pull (pull account keywords directly to Excel), account keyword post (build bulksheet for easy import), context aware insight (generated keywords dedupe against your account, bid recommendations consider your history)

He’s going to demo how to use BAI now, and rather than trying to follow this here, you’d probably be better served by this Bing tutorial. The tool is free to download; all you need is a Bing Ads login to use it.

Google Keyword Planner

Stephanie Carrera leads AdWords search tools, the Keyword Planner and Opportunities Tab.

Google Launched Keyword Planner to provide insights and increase efficiency. It combines the functionality of several different tools. It’s important to launch the KP from the account you’re optimizing/planning for. Open the tool and you’ll have 4 options:

1. Search for new keywords and ad group ideas

2. Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups (this is a newly launched functionality from the start page)

3. Get traffic estimates for a list of keywords (previously it showed historic search volume, but now it shows what traffic you can expect based on your bid)

4. Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas

Add Ad Groups, Keywords or Categories to Your Plan – it’s like shopping for keywords. Get ideas and insights into related topics people search for that are related, and you may be surprised that there are enough variations for how people search on that topic that it merits its own group. There’s a panel on the right called “Your plan” and it’s like a shopping cart for your ad group, and you can just click and select keywords suggested to add to the ad group. This shopping cart can hold up to 10k keywords.

When you’re happy with your plan and want to move to the next step, a Review Estimates button brings you to where you can see how many clicks and impressions and you’d get when you enter your expected bid. When you select a bid, traffic estimates show up in a table per keyword or ad group. You can save this as a new campaign or merge it into an existing campaign, or you can download the info into an Excel file.

New Feature: Exact Match Search Volume. Historical search volume is now exact match. This tells you exactly the keywords people are searching, rather than expanding out to other keywords. Traffic estimates calculate traffic across match types, and you can still select different match types.

New Feature: More Location Targeting. KP offers statistics for countries, states, provinces, cities and Nielsen DMA.

New Feature: Ad Impression Share. This tells you how often your ad was triggered by a keyword. You can filter your keyword suggestions by this metric and you’ll find low-coverage gaps to plan for.

Preview: Mobile Segmentation. How much traffic on a set of keywords will come from mobile devices, along with a mobile modifier. By default the mobile bid modifier will be 0%, with option to scale up and down to see how it affects traffic from mobile, desktop and tablet devices.

Preview: Seasonality. There’s now an ability to enter target flight dates. This lets you find seasonal keywords. A start date and end date will factor in seasonality and search trends into the projections.

The preview tools she just described may change based on advertiser feedback. They’ll be in testing over the next few weeks.

Debra Mastaler, Paul Corkery, Stephanie Carrera, Christine Churchill

Debra Mastaler, Paul Corkery, Stephanie Carrera and Christine Churchill.

Ways to Survive the Not Provided Trap

Christine Churchill says that a week ago she had a different presentation, and then last Monday (not provided) was the big news and concern in the search industry. She’ll be sharing some ideas for workarounds for managing the loss of keyword data in Google Analytics.

Once upon a time when visitors landed on your site from search pages, Google reported the referring keywords in GA. Site owners used the keyword data to improve the user experience on their site and provide visitors with pages for which they were searching. Things went dark when people pulled the data – and note that it was only for organic searches. In September 23, Google stopped showing all organic keyword data. The biggest loss, she says, is a loss of insight into the keywords bringing people to the site.

Remember, this applies only to Google organic searches. There’s still keyword data out there, including Bing and paid traffic. And there are ways of capturing keyword info. Some options:

1. Use Bing data. Bing market share (comScore, August 2013) is 17.9%. Bing provides all keyword information.

2. Use PPC. The performance of paid and organic visitors is a little different, but it’s a source of data you can test on.

3. Analytics for top landing pages. Look at the landing pages that are getting traffic in analytics. Then focus on optimizing the whole path of visitors that land on that page. You can usually tell the keyword theme of the page. You may not know specific keyword phrases but you can get close by looking at the optimization. She often finds that conversion optimization on landing pages is often where you’ll see the biggest boost for your efforts. One drawback is this approach doesn’t scale well.

4. Site search data. It reveals keywords and expressions that visitors are actually using/wanting, but it may be misleading as the data may reflect a user experience flaw, like something a user can’t find on your site.

5. Competitive intelligence tools applied your own site. Put a keyword or domain name in the tool and you’ll get a lot of good data on keywords that are ranking, bringing traffic to the domain. Examples are Searchmetrics, SpyFu, SEMRush.

6. GWT KW data. Shows all KW impressions and clicks. Impressions w/o clicks might indicate a Meta tag or snippet issue. A downside is that you have to collect the data regularly since you can only see the last 90 days of query data and it’s limited to up to 2000 terms. Sort the Search Queries data in GWT by clicks and you’ll see the terms that brought most traffic to the site. One important key to getting the most from this data: use filters to separate brand and non-brand keywords, core terms, sources form the web, image, mobile and video search.

Important tip: GWT query data defaults to all web data (including image and video, etc.). To use the corresponding SEO query data in GA, filter for Google Property Web.

7. Use keyword tools for brainstorming. Google KP, Google Trends, Bing Ad Intelligence Excel Plug-in, Bing Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, KeywordDiscovery, WordStream, Compete, SpyFu, Searchmetrics, SEMRush, Google Instant, UberSuggest, Soolve

There may be no perfect workaround, but a combination of multiple tools will make up for lost data.

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