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April 05, 2010


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One of the major challenges facing search engine marketers is leveraging every relevant keyword for their brand and market sector. Often new marketers focus exclusively on high-profile keywords, which are heavily impacted, and offer a great deal of competition. While this is, of course, necessary, diversifying by targeting lesser-known and tangential keywords can have a profound impact on your overall traffic. Of course, in order to do this, you need some reliable way to find other brand keywords that relate to your product.

Thankfully, Google offers a tool that can be used to generate lists of keywords quite easily: the Keyword Tool provided by Google AdWords. By entering a keyword or phrase, Google will provide you with a list of keywords that its algorithms have determined are related. While the bulk of these may be too broad to be useful for your marketing, if you sort through the list you will find many that you have not thought of. Each also includes a rough idea of the monthly search volume for the key phrase as well, so that you can determine how valuable it would be to target.

Using the Google Keyword Tool is a great way not only to discover other phrases used to describe your industry, but also to see which competitor brand names are most searched for. By targeting these competitor brand names not only as AdWords, but also as keywords for organic results, you can work towards ensuring that your company will come up in searches for your competitor’s products. A large portion of search traffic is directed towards a specific brand, rather than a generic industry term, and people using individual brands are on average much more likely to purchase a product or service, as they have a direct interest.

In addition to finding other brands to target, the Google Keyword Tool can give you a lead on what misspellings might be common in your industry. Often misspelled key phrases generate a sizable amount of search engine traffic, but are much less competitive than the accurately spelled key phrases. This gives you the opportunity to target high-quality phrases without having to deal with the same level of competition.

It is, of course, important to find these alternate keywords and phrases that users might use when trying to discover your brand for proactive reasons – marketing your product and services. But it’s important for defensive reasons as well. Any strong online business depends on its online reputation, and to keep that reputation positive you need to track what is being said about you in relation to your industry. There are many tools for tracking your reputation, but they all rely on sets of key words and phrases. By being equipped with a larger set of relevant key phrases, including misspellings and alternative nomenclature, you will be much more likely to get the full picture, rather than just a part of it. And when taking corrective action to improve your brand reputation if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to much more accurately target the full range of web traffic.
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