Lee Odden

SES: Advanced Search term Research Tools

The next session I was able to blog at Chicago Search Engine Strategies was Advanced Search term Research Tools Moderated by Detlev Johnson of PositionTech.

Speakers included:  Christine Churchill – KeyRelevance, Lori Weiman – KeywordMax, Shayn Ryan – LSI Systems, James Lamberti – Comscore, David Warmuz – Trellian

Christine was first up and started with keyword selection consideration for PPC and SEO.

Things to look at:

  • Relevance
  • Keyword popularity = traffic potential
  • State in buying process
  • Competition

Golden rule:  It’s not about the keyword YOU want to be found on. It’s about the keywords the end users are looking at.


  • AdWords
  • Yahoo/Overture
  • GoodKeywords.com
  • Wordtracker
  • KeywordIntelligence.com
  • KeywordDiscovery.com

 None of these tools takes data from the same datasource, which should be taken into consideration.

Google Traffic Estimator – Take will a bit of a grain of salt. More useful to forcase budget.

GoodKeywords.com – Allows you to do permutations of keywords. It will concantonate disparate phrases together to give you ideas for new phrases.

Evaluating phrases by the Stage in the Buying Process
Problem Recognition

Eval by search type

To get inside the searcher’s head you have to understand they why behind the search so you can better target to respond. 

Evaluation by Competition
Are competitors using PPC on those phrases?
How optimized are their sites?

Competitive Intelligence Tools:

  • Hitwise
  • Competitive Intelligence – Trellian
  • AdGooroo – Find out what keywords competitors are buying
  • KeywordAnalyzer
  • NicheBOT – Collects information from a variety of sources
  • Google Keyword Tool – Shows keyword popularity, cost data and ad position.

Once you collect your list, then test them. Use PPC and track performance at the keyword level and find out what really works. Many times a phrase appears to be promising and a test shows that is not the case.

Now Christine has switched to show actual demo of:

Trellian Keyword Discovery:
 Gives historical data for a term
 Supports search operators like, "related:" and "like:"
 Export data to excel
Keyword Intelligence:
 Search term suggestions
 Success rate

GoodKeyWords – free tool using Overture data
  Misspellings, typos
  Phrase builder


Next up is Lori Weiman from KeywordMax, a bid management tool provider.

Ways to grow an existing list of keywords.

Start by mining referreral data. On referrers from PPC, make sure to capture the phrase and the url to check what the actual phrase used for the clickthrough was in cases of broad match. The term that you’re buying may not be the term that was clicked on.  Use analytics software to extract this info.

Build a keyword list using Excel. Combine data from two columns and output to a third

Start with root phrases in one column and one phrase in column two. Perform the concantonate command and it will combine column 1 with the one phrase from column 2.

Keyword Research Tools:

Use free tools like Oveture
 How many people are searching on phrases
 What are the bid costs

"gems" Niche phrases, higher conversion
"workhorses" drive large amounts of traffic, expensive

Now that you have a list, you’re not done. Must do some analytics.

Case Study:  "photo marketing" Created high volume, poor performance.  Checked referrers to discover that traffic was coming in on variations to that phrase. Modified from broad match to more specific.


Next up Shaun Ryan SLI Systems, New Zealand

Use site search to help with keyword research. SLI hosts site search for clients.

How to get the data:
Manually, but better to use a tool or script, analytics

Site search is great because is direct feedback from your site users. Keep in mind the context of the phrases discovered.

Track keyword popularity
Use clicks on search results – this may lead to better performing phrases

Assemble keywords by category.


Next up James Lamberti from comScore.

Today’s challenges:
Extracting phrases and discover the "people beind the keywords".
Integrating search marketing with other media
Better competitive intelligence

comScore technology – Gathers data from largest opt-in research panel in the world.

What’s missing in search marketing:
– How many people are you actually reaching? Brand exposure?
– Who are they – demo, psycho, clickstream
– How are they performing against competition
– Trends

James gave a case study using iPod. Giving market share data, general and niche demographic data, where else they visit on the Internet.

Share of Voice: Allows you to enter web sites to find out what their "share of voice" is.

Time was up.


QA – Also included David Warmuz from Trellian.  Lots of questions.

Question for comScore: Give a percent of clickthrough for top 2 SERPs on Google
Answer:  Doesn’t have that info, and capability to get it is recent.
Detlev: With disclaimer, cites Jakob Nielsen case study of up to 40% of clickthroughs going to #1 position.  Study also reported the way your listing looks, "snippet, title tag" matters.

Question for Lori: In a previous session the importance of coordinating organic and SEO?
Answer: KeywordMAX focuses on PPC
Christine: Data you get from PPC, feed into organic.

Question:  For non consumer prods what period time gives you enough data?
Christine:  For B2B there’s a longer latency – practice patience.
Lori:  To determine testing period look at your sales cycle. Look at buying patterns to identify the point where conversion is most likely and target that.

Question:  Do you have a recommended time period for re-evaluating keywords?
Christine:  PPC is an ongoing test ground for SEO. So it is an ongoing process.
James: Important to watch trends and how other advertising is affecting how consumers are searching.
Shaun: SLI will send an email at whatever interval the client sets up of the top on-site search phrases.

Question:  Seems to be easy to get lots of keywords, what’s the process in themeing them.
christine:  Uses excel to manipulate and organize. Also can output keywords for use in PPC.

Question:  How many keywords should be targeted on a web page? In general – organic or PPC.
Christine: It would be different for PPC and organic. For SEO it depends on how competitive the phrase is. On Paid you can have a very large list.  1-3 phrases per page for SEO. PPC is nearly unlimited.

Question: When you have thousands of keywords, what’s a best practice for tracking changes to keyword bid history?
Christine:  Keep a manual log. Doesn’t know of a tool in bid management that does that.
Lori: KeywordMAX is developing this functionality within the KeywordMAx tool.

Question: How much of an impact does a bad landing page have on conversions.
Christine/Lori: Get rid of pages that do not work
Shaun:  Test, test, test

Question/Statement: Put weblog into Excel. Uses SQL queries in Access to output data.

That was pretty much it!


Other SES Chicago session coverage from Search Engine Roundtable includes:

Book Search
ClickZ Forum: Ads Beyond Search
Global Search Landscape
Targeting Search Ads By Demographics & Behavior
Podcast Search
Reputation Monitoring and Management
Video Search
Introduction to Search Marketing 

Tags: SES, SES+Chicago, Keyword+Research, Keyword+Analysi, comScore, hitwise, Trellian, Keyword+Discovery, Keyword+Intelligence, Competitive+Intelligence

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank 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 B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.