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April 3, 2009

Hitwise, Michael Wamsley on Keyword Research, SMX Sydney

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Michael is the MD for Hitwise, one of the pre-eminent competitive intelligence providers in Australia. Michael will be elaborating on one of the most vital topics in SEM; Keyword research.

Search engines account for 10% of all website traffic in Australia. Google has a market share of around 83% in Australia. Facebook is the top brand searched for, while ‘games’ is the most searched generic term. Best case scenario for keyword research is when there is a high correlation between website terms and customer terms.

Elements to consider when trying to find the right keywords:

  • Consider multiple angles
  • Build the most comprehensive list from internal and external sources
  • Conduct a GAP analysis
  • Evaluate how effective terms are in driving traffic to your site
  • Consider the Luntz factor (what you think people are searching for as opposed to what people are actually searching for)
  • Consider seasonality when evaluating terms i.e. Christmas, Mother’s Day etc.
  • Be cognizant of changing market forces, changing behaviors and booking cycles
  • Create a keyword value chart to find your longtail terms
  • Avoid general terms – the more targeted the term the higher the ROI
  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes when seeking keywords
  • Target local markets
  • Check out your competition
  • Look for variations i.e. misspellings, plurals and synonyms
  • Understand who is leveraging misspellings of your brand in the search engines
  • In Australia it is possible to protect your brand
  • Add descriptive and action words to your keywords

Ultimately its all about relevance, poor keywords reduce ROI, have a poor quality score and can effect brand reputation. Test, test, test and refine your keywords to unitl they are optimal.

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