SEO TUTORIAL – How To Choose The Right Keywords

If you are not familiar with the guys over at IMGRIND it’s run by a super affiliate and the owner of one of the successful affiliate networks out there.  They have a paid forum that contains step by step walk throughs and posts that honestly are priceless.

This is not some promotional post and I am not being compensated in any way other then them giving me the permission to make this post public.  In fact, they currently have over 1500 members and as you can see on their signup page they are pretty picky about new people coming in.  It’s the best money I ever spent and if you are currently an affiliate in anyway shape or form you should apply or reach out to a friend that is a member to get in.

This is a random post that I stumbled onto a while back.  It’s focused on the bizop space but from the example you can really apply it to anything.

The post does contain some links to other posts in their private forums that you won’t be able to access without being a member but the meat of it is all here.  I promised them that I would not edit or alter it in anyway so I left them in for those who are members.canstockphoto5431602

Thank you for Ryan and Ruck for allowing me to share this with readers.
If you find as much value as I have from this please comment below and I will see if I can’t get a few more gems out.

Ok so there’s no rhyme or reason I do this, I just have always. However, a lot of people have asked about keyword strategies so I thought I would outline a basic tutorial here. There’s really too many people out there that spend way too damn long thinking about that winner “long-tail” they’ll somehow find. Keywords are important but not like they once were so don’t over-analyze or over-think.1st – Create Your Basic Keywords

Don’t go out and buy a keyword tool. You don’t need it. Trust me. I’ve made millions of dollars without one. However, I’ve used a ton of paid keyword tools. Weird ehh? Call it addictive personality. I can’t just have one, I gotta have them all. In the end, only one keyword tool to rule them all -> The Adwords Keyword Tool.

You don’t need a tool to create a basic list of keywords because it doesn’t have a brain and you need somewhere to start FIRST before getting to use your little software. See what I did there. You didn’t need that software yet huh!

Every campaign should have the following 5 keyword types:

Root terms
. The most basic keywords that relate to a campaign. For example, keywords for a mortgage lead campaign would include words like “mortgage,” “mortgage rates,” and “mortgage quotes.”

Synonyms. Alternative words that mean essentially the same thing as the root terms. In the aforementioned mortgage campaign, this might include “home loans,” “refinancing,” and “home equity.”

Action Prefixes and Suffixes. Words that can be added to the front or back of a root term or suffix that a user might type in to further qualify a query. There are two types of prefixes/suffixes: general and category-specific. A general prefix would be something like “buy,” “find,” or “best.” A category-specific prefix might include a geographic region, a qualifying statement such as “bad credit,” or a commercial name like “Wells Fargo.” Note that the most generic prefixes and suffixes (like “the”) have now been almost entirely broad-matched out of existence, so if a prefix or suffix is getting no traffic, this may be the reason (and the keyword should be deleted in order to clean up the account).

Run-ons and Misspellings. Like generic prefixes and suffixes, the utility of run-ons and misspellings is not what it once was. Still, you can sometimes get a few cheap clicks by creating words such as “mortgagerates” and “refinancing.” You should put these in separate ad groups, especially if you are using dynamic keyword insertion (DKI ) in your ad text. It is highly recommended not to get too carried away with run-ons and misspellings – this practice should be limited to an account’s highest-volume keywords.

Plurals. There can be significantly different user behavior on singular versus plural keywords (see further discussion below). As such, make sure that all top keywords include both iterations. NOTE: This is not necessary for Yahoo, as Yahoo does not differentiate between singular and plural.

Now that we got all that jargon out of the way…

Keyword Research is fucking simple.

Don’t over-do it. Search Engine broad-matching algorithms have gotten increasingly better at aggregating tail keywords into the same auctions with head terms..

Another hidden danger of millions of obscure keywords is the risk of either “slow bleeds” or sudden keyword “explosions.” A slow bleed occurs when a campaign contains 50 or 100 keywords that each cost $2 or $3 a month and attract no conversions. These keywords fly below the radar but, over time, can cost thousands of dollars a year. A sudden explosion occurs when a random long-tail keyword is suddenly matched on a major search, causing that keyword to get a spike in traffic.

Keep Them Targeted. Although Google allows 2,000 keywords in an ad group, this does not mean that packing as many keywords into as few ad groups as possible is a good idea. In most instances, the fewer the keywords in an ad grouping the better, for two important reasons: click-through rate (CTR) and Quality Score .
CTR will increase if keywords are closely related to the ad text. Segmenting similar keywords into well-defined ad groups enables the creation of very relevant ad text. It also improves Quality Score. Google rewards advertisers who send a targeted keyword to a targeted ad text to a targeted landing page. When a better Quality Score and higher CTR are combined, two of the three factors that impact an ad’s position on Google (the other being max cost per click, or CPC ) are maximized . This can enable you to pay a lot less than the competition for the same keywords.

Track at the Keyword Level. Keywords are the DNA of an SEM campaign. As such, performance needs to be measured on a keyword-by-keyword basis. A tracking URL that reads reflects a campaign that is not being properly optimized . Individual keywords will vary tremendously in terms of performance. Continuing with the mortgage category example demonstrates this phenomenon. A search for “mortgage rate” is most likely looking for today’s current mortgage rate; a search for “mortgage rates” is probably looking for multiple mortgage quotes. Depending on the business, the conversion rate between these two keywords can vary dramatically.

Test Match Types. Google offers four match types – broad, broad modified, phrase, and exact – and keywords should be tested on all of them. In most cases, the exact match keyword will have the highest conversion rate, but it will also cost the most and have the least amount of traffic. The complete opposite is true for broad match. However, every account is different, and performance should be tested for each specific campaign. Note: At PPC Associates, we don’t count match types as part of the total number of keywords in a campaign. In other words, if there are 5,000 keywords each matched three times, an account would have a total of 15,000 keywords – an acceptable-without-overdoing-it number.

Choose Negative Keywords – probably one of the biggest mistakes I see novice marketers make is not adding negatives. To me, it’s as important as creating actual keywords. As Search engines continue to keep pushing the damn limits on broad matching , the best way to defend yourself against unproductive clicks, is excluding mass amounts of negative keywords.