by Robin Nobles
If youre in the search engine industry, or if youre a Web
designer or Webmaster, its an almost sure thing that youve
heard of, and probably used, Wordtracker.
But, for those who may not know about Wordtracker, lets back up
for a minute.
What exactly is Wordtracker, and why is it so important?
Most search engine optimizers would agree that one of the most important
things you can do for your Web site is to target the right keywords. If
you target the wrong keywords, you may get scores of traffic but no conversions
to sales, or no traffic whatsoever. Either is disastrous for an online
Before Wordtracker, it was up to the search engine marketer, or the client,
to choose theright keywords for the site. We also had GoTos Search
Term Suggestion Tool, which was one of our only sources for keyword help
at that time.
Then Wordtracker entered the picture. With Wordtracker, you can plug in
some keywords,and the Web-based service will give you ideas for additional
keywords that might work for your business. Not only that, but the service
will also tell you how competitive those keywords are (how many other
Web pages have been optimized with those keywords in mind) and how many
people have actually searched for those keywords in the past 24 hours
at each of the major engines.
Ideally, your goal is to choose a keyword phrase that doesnt have
a huge amount ofcompetition but that (hopefully) a large number of people
are searching for. This is where the KEI comes in. KEI, which stands for
Keyword Effectiveness Index, refers to the number of times a keyword has
appeared in Wordtrackers data compared with the number of competing
Web pages, which points to which keywords would be most effective for
your search engine marketing campaign.
In other words, the higher the KEI, the more popular your keyword phrases
are, and the lesscompetition they have. According to Wordtracker, a good
keyword to target is one that has a KEI of around 100, but an excellent
keyword to target has a KEI of over 400. Okay, enough of the background
into Wordtracker. Most of you probably already know all of that. In fact,
your path through Wordtracker most likely looks very similar to mine.
The old way to use Wordtracker
In the past, I have always started at Keyword Universe, or maybe at Keyword
Projects. From there, I work my way through the system. Does it work?
Yes, very effectively. Is it time consuming? Yep.
But, lets look at an easier, and even more effective, way to use
Wordtracker. And with thisalternate way, youre actually considering
keyword phrases based on your target audience.
Introducing John Alexander
To write this article, I interviewed John Alexander, an authority of Wordtracker
who has spent countless hours working through each of the features and
developing his own unique strategy.
As means of introduction, John is a professional search engine optimizer
with Beyond-SEO and a trainer of onsite search engine marketing workshops
through Search Engine Workshops.
Besides using Wordtracker to find keywords, John actually uses the service
to target an audiences surfing behavior. Once he determines the
surfing behavior, he can use that knowledge to target those who are most
likely to purchase his clients products or services. Unlike most
of us, John doesnt get stuck in Keyword Universe to
where the system does all the thinking for him. Instead, he begins at
Comprehensive Search (found under the Multiple Search heading).
He explains, Where youll find most of your revelations
or insights is in the Comprehensive Search feature of Wordtracker.
Try entering one part of a search phrase and letting Comprehensive Search
figure out the best full use of the phrase.
Lets look at an example
John has a client who sells baby furniture and products online, so he
needed to find the target audience for baby furniture. Putting his creative
mind at work, he started thinking about who would want to buy baby beds
and strollers. Not people with newborns after all,
they already own all of the furniture they need. The true audience for
his client is soon to become parents, grandparents, etc.
His next step was to use Comprehensive Search to try to determine what
his target audience is looking for. John typed in baby, and
he found some very interesting results. People searching for the word
baby were searching for keyword phrases like baby names,
Baby Names, Baby Boy Names, and so forth.
Bingo! He had the angle he needed to get traffic to the site. Rather than
concentrating on the actual product he was trying to sell, he thought
of a way to pull in traffic through a different window. After all, what
will his target audience be looking for on the Internet? Ideas
for names for their new babies!
John adds, Keep in mind that this angle is also based on the fact
that babies are always on the way, around the world, day after day, which
creates an extremely unique market for certain products. Understand the
advantages of identifying peoples behavior, and you'll never look
at keyword research quite the same.
After he has captured the visitors at his site, he can easily slide in
the fact that the site is also selling baby products and furniture. Hes
gotten them to the site, which is step #1; they are his target audience,
which is step #2; and with compelling content, he can increase the sites
conversion rate to go along with the increase in traffic.
How did John proceed? He created a page that focused on the meanings of
baby names. Keep in mind that the page he created has value and unique
content. He didnt just toss together a page, simply for the sake
of getting a top ranking. Instead, he worked hard to find
links all over the Web to sites that offer the meaning of baby names.
His page offers tremendous value to the search engine and users as a one-stop
resource for finding links to the meanings of baby names. Then, in strategically
placed spots on the page, he subtly added pictures of his clients
products with links to related pages.
John explains, Dont ever trick your audience or they will
simply never buy. Give them exactly what they are looking for right up
front. In this example, I created a page that offers baby names and the
meanings of baby names, and I subtly offered a few product listings or
links to my clients storefront. It is essential that you always
provide content related to their search first, and then offer links to
appropriate products within your clients site.
The bottom line?
How did Johns strategy work out for his client? The baby names page
alone pulls in an additional 500 unique visitors of extremely targeted
traffic each month. John adds, I cannot give you the percentage
in terms of the exact increase in sales, but I can tell you that the client
has been very pleased with the results.
Remember that this is just one page that John added to the site.
He explains, Had I really wanted to pull out all the stops, I could
have created several entry pages around this one theme. For example, targeting
keyword phrases such as: most popular baby names, etc. You
could also build the content right into the site and extend it through
all of the races:
Spanish baby names
Italian baby names
Jewish baby name
French baby names
Now, lets look at a new way to use Wordtracker, Johns
step-by-step approach: To write this article, I came up with a real-life
example and I started at step #1, just like you will do with your own
Lets say that your client sells aromatherapy supplies over the Internet.
Your first step is to try to determine the target audience. Who would
be buying aromatherapy supplies? One target audience would be people with
stress in their lives who want to use aromatherapy as a way of relaxing.
So, lets try that angle and see what we come up with. Go to Comprehensive
Search at Wordtracker and type in relaxation. Click Proceed.
Scroll toward the bottom of the page and click on Check boxes off.
Scroll back to the top, and look at the various choices. Remember that
the Predict column is the predicted traffic you could expect
to get for each of those keyword choicesfrom all of the major engines
and directories in one day.
Begin marking keyword ideas, all the while thinking of a strategy to pull
in traffic for yourclients site through the target audience.
Scroll back to the bottom of the page and click on Option 2: Competitive
Search. Choose MSN and Google, since those two engines have the
potential of bringing in a lot of traffic to most Web sites. Of course,
you can choose any two engines or directories thatyoud like. Click
What did we find? Relaxation and associated words were not
good choices, because the KEI in comparison to the projected traffic was
too low. Targeting those keywords just wouldnt have been worth the
effort for such a low amount of traffic. Keep in mind that this is a real-life
example, so this is certainly something that could happen to you whendoing
this strategy yourself.
So, we went back to the drawing board and tried aromatherapy.
Again, not a goodexample.
Then, we tried massage. After all, aromatherapy oils are used
when giving massages, and people who are interested in massages would
be a perfect target audience foraromatherapy supplies.
After studying the Wordtracker results for the MSN and Google search engines
for words that include massage, we picked the third result,
Techniques of Massage, because its an excellent and
appropriate angle for our client. The #1 result in MSN has a KEI of 3696,
but it wouldnt work with our clients site. You have to be
sure to choose keyword phrases that are appropriate for your particular
At MSN, Techniques of Massage has a KEI of 255. Within a 24-hour
period, if your site was placed well in the MSN engine, you could expect
to get 90 visitors from MSN alone. What is your competition? 1954.
Techniques of Massage in Google has a KEI of 900, 165 potential
visitors through Google alone in a 24-hour period, and competition of
Remember that a good KEI is anything over 100, and an excellent
KEI is anything over 400.
Lets be honest here. You could manage a top 10 for this keyword
phrase with your eyesclosed (and your computer turned off).
So, for our aromatherapy client, we could create a page on the various
techniques of massage, including (of course) her oils and aromatherapy
products. We would spend time on the page and give it true value to both
the engines and the target audience. And, we woul subtly add graphics
and link text that points to the clients products in various areas
John gave another example
He says, If you're selling digital cameras, don't optimize
for digital cameras. Did you know that everyone is searching
for Digital Cameras Review? Build a page offering reviews
of digital cameras, which has a KEI thatjust blew me away.
Another effective strategy: Top Reports
Besides Comprehensive Search, John also likes to look at the top reports
for high performance keywords or topics that are related to his client.
John explains, Ill review the Long Term Reports, which are
the top 1000 keywords over the past 24 hours. Then, I cut and paste any
topics related to my client into Comprehensive Search to get streams of
currently hot topics. I define a hot topic as a popular topic
in high demand, which may also have listsof related keywords phrases also
in high demand.
What happens if you can't find a hot topic that relates to your site in
the top 1000? John answers, Many people do not know that Wordtracker
offers extensive top word reports beyond the database. All you have to
do is ask, and they'll sell you:
The Top 20,000 words $99
The Top 100,000 words $500
The Top 500,000 words $2000
- When John goes to Comprehensive Search,
he doesnt put in a huge list of keyword phrases. He types in
one single word, then lets Comprehensive Search do the rest. This
allows him to come up with ideas and angles that he would have never
- Like John, spend a lot of time thinking
of your target audience. Who are you trying to sell the products or
services to? There may be several target audiences, as in the case
of our aromatherapy example. If so, go after keyword choices to target
each of those audiences.
- Dont be afraid to let your creativity
take hold. If your first few choices dont work, continue trying.
Using Comprehensive Search, it doesnt take long to go back through
the system with a different keyword idea. Keep going back until you
find a possibility that might work for your site or the site of a
- Be sure to give the surfer what theyre
looking for when they choose your site from the search results. If
you promised them techniques of massage, then be sure
to give them good, solid content in that area, including related links.
Weave your products and services throughout the page as you can. But,
dont ever try to trick a surfer.
- If you get stuck and just cant
find a keyword phrase with a high KEI and a low level of competition
that will work for you, take a slightly different approach. Instead
of trying to bring in a large amount of traffic through one single
window, try creating several windows and bring in a little traffic
through each one. Though more time consuming, this strategy can be
equally effective in the long run.
- If you arent already a member
of Wordtracker, sign up for the free trial and test the system
out for yourself. Pricing is very reasonable, depending on your needs.
For example, you can use the service for a week for $19.94, and many
other plans are available. The bottom line is this: if you are serious
about your Web site, youve got to be serious about keyword choice.
If youre serious about keyword choice, Wordtracker is a must
have service for you.
Nobles is the Director of Training for the Academy
of Web Specialists, where she has taught several thousand students
in her online search engine marketing courses during the past several
years. She is also the content provider for GRSeo
(Search Engine Optimizer) software. Her latest books, Web
Site Analysis and Reporting and Streetwise
Maximize Web Site Traffic, can be ordered through Amazon. For onsite
training by Robin Nobles and John Alexander, visit SearchEngineWorkshops.
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