Lee Odden

Session: Search Term Research & Targeting

The success of an entire Search Marketing Campaign is rooted in the selection of keyword phrases and contrary to popular belief; the selection of these phrases is not contingent upon popularity and competitiveness alone.

Christine Churchill of KeyRelevance led part of the discussion on search term targeting at this year’s SES.

Perhaps the most important message of this session, one often overlooked by clients and SEOs alike is the idea not to choose solely what you would like to be found for, but also to select phrase for which you are being found by your target audience.

There’s more to selecting keywords than comparing popularity and competitiveness scores. It’s important to be aware of the needs of your target audience and the service offerings of your website. It’s also important to consider the terms that fall beneath the three types of searches.

We want to consider the following:

  • Navigational Search: Audience is familiar with website and directly inputs the URL
  • Informational Search: “How To” keyword phrases
  • Transactional Search: Interactive phrases near the end of the buying cycle i.e.”purchase hybrid cars in MN”

The bottom line is to optimize for your audience as well as the search engines.

The session also suggests frequent keyword glossary audits, taking into account the seasonality of keyword phrases. The search volume of particular keyword phrases may increase or decrease according to the season- this particularly affects paid search campaigns.

Keyword evaluation is the final phase in keyword research (preceded by the discovery phase, and expansion phase respectively) and it is ongoing.

Its important to keep in mind the internet is driven by humans whose behavior is constantly changing search marketing campaigns should accommodate these changes.

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About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.