The Sims Life Stories : missingghosts

The Sims Life Stories

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How to Find More Keywords!!!

More than 300 million times each day in the United States, a person types in a search request and receives a set of results. According to estimates, approximately 50 percent of all searches are commercially driven, meaning the user is seeking a specific product or service.

How many keywords is enough? Over years of talking with and surveying our advertisers, we have found that the most successful marketers have between 50 and 5,000 keywords. The fact is, most of our clients could be bidding on many more unique terms, and, consequently, are leaving many potential sales on the table. Ironically, it's relatively simple for any advertiser, in any industry, segment or product category, to increase their list of keywords.

Finding Your Niche

Very specific keywords, which we call "niche" terms, should be your focus in expanding your keyword mix at minimal cost. Niche terms often feature few competing bids, or none at all, and they also convert very well.

At a recent Yahoo! advertiser event, one of our clients shared a story that illustrates this point. One of the products that she offers is bed jackets for women. While most of us unfamiliar with the product might think, "who's going to search for that?", our advertiser stated that she was pleasantly surprised to receive a significant number of potential customers through Yahoo! once she bid on the term "ladies bed jackets". She also explained that users who clicked on her listing were extremely motivated, thrilled to find the product, and highly committed to purchasing.
Buying Cycle

A Web site attracts many potential customers who are at different stages of the buying process. This paradigm, known as the "Buying Cycle," explains why different customers who ultimately purchase the same item will search for it in a variety of ways.

The Buying Cycle has three stages. To illustrate their differences, let's assume you sell DVD players:

1.Become Informed: Users are gathering information about products, as
well as the key retailers or service providers that offer the products. Searchers
in this stage use more general search terms. Thus, to attract this customer, you
only need small number of fairly general terms, such as "DVD."

2. Shop: Users
are tracking and comparing purchase criteria, including availability, price, shipping
charges, etc. Buyers in this stage reveal their preferences, so more specific
keywords (for example, "Panasonic DVD") are needed to cover all possible search

3. Purchase: Users show a commitment to buy through their choice of keywords.
The keywords you use to attract buyers at this stage are the most specific; for
example, "Panasonic DVD-RP91K black". Don't forget to bid on the name and URL
of your own site to ensure that committed buyers can find you for a return visit.
It's important to select words across all three stages of the Buying Cycle, so
that all types of search users can find your site. The Search Begins

Perhaps the best way to start generating more keywords is to look within. Start with your home page, and make a list of all the words and phrases that relate to the content of your pages. These keyword ideas should range from the most general words relating to your site to the most specific.

When you've run through your home page, methodically complete the same exercise for every page on your site. If you are a retailer, every model of product you sell should be in your keyword roster, along with brand names and product features, when relevant.

As you do this, it's important to do some "reverse thinking." In other words, think like your customer, and determine what search terms he or she would use to find each product or service.

Another way to get inside the heads of your customers is to review your internal search logs, if you offer that function on your site. This will enable you to look at the terms that visitors search for after they've arrived.
The (Mix and) Match Game

Do you market multiple products from a single manufacturer or product line? Or maybe you offer products or services that vary by color or location? Search users will potentially seek out your offerings using a multitude of phrases. For example, if you sell sports apparel, it's not enough to bid on "jerseys." You'll need to scour your product database and make lists of your products, including all of the teams you have represented, all of the sports represented, all of the colors you offer, etc. Then combine these variables in all possible combinations to instantly create new, specific keywords, such as "UCLA home blue football jersey", "Texas burnt orange basketball shirt", "Cleveland Indians batting practice jersey", etc.
Know Thy Enemy

Once you've exhausted every source of keywords on your own site, it's time to start looking elsewhere. A key place to mine ideas is on your competitors' Web sites. Because they are marketing similar items, this research will likely yield some keywords that are highly relevant to your own site. An added bonus is that you might come across some ideas for changing your own site in terms of page organization, the user interface or checkout process.
Tool Time

Last, but not least, there's the Yahoo! Keyword Selector Tool, one of our most popular tools. The Keyword Selector Tool is available from the Add Listings page in your account. Advertisers who need some help in coming up with new terms to bid on can type in a general topic and immediately review a number of related keywords, plus forecasting data and real-time bid prices for those terms. This lets you instantly see how users are searching for particular products or services.
Traps to Avoid

While we clearly advocate that our advertisers seek out more keywords to increase their customer traffic and sales, we also stress the importance of discretion in selecting new terms. Make sure your keywords are relevant to your site, so that your listings will get approved by our editors. Customers will be much more likely to spend time--and money--at your site if they immediately find what they're looking for. Also, your site credibility will be enhanced if you accurately represent your offerings in search listings. Finally, using relevant keywords will maximize your budget, because your clicks are more likely to convert to sales.