Google Insights for Keyword & Brand Research

Everyone is always looking for the best possible tools for doing Keyword Research for their PPC and SEO campaigns.  The reality is that none of them are 100% accurate and that you cannot trust or rely on any of them.  They can however give you a good guess to what is searched heavier than others and what you may want to give a try optimizing or testing PPC on.

I recently started playing with another Google Tool in beta testing called Google Insights.  When you first look at it you are like wow, this is awesome.  When you actually begin to evaluate what it can give you information wise, that is when it gets really interesting.

Google insights is a tool that is not overpowering or overwhelming when you look at it.  Much like the new keyword tool inside adwords, Google Insight is very straight forward and to the point.  It can not only help you figure out how to target your PPC, but what to optimize for with SEO and see how effective your long term advertising campaigns have been at building your brand.  (I’m not going to go into how I am using this on an advanced level, but with the info I provide here, you’ll be able to not only start using Google Insights, but also be able to pick up on how I am using it on a more advanced level for forcasting).

Google Insights
Google Insights

So basically, on the left side you have your search terms checked…I don’t really use the location or time because you can set the location and date ranges using the filters to the right so those are really just overkill.

Lets go into how to use Google Insights to do your keyword research and help predict which keywords you may want to try optimizing for using trending and rising stars.

I am setting my search to go on Money Clips (Hint hint, this is perfect for my Client ExecutiveGiftShoppe.com on Share a Sale if you want to try this out and promote a solid program!) (Shameless plug but I had to lol. =0)).

Ok, so I typed in Money Clips into Google Insights, I left web search and world wide selected in the drop downs, used the custom date range January 2008 through January 2010 and left the last filter on all categories.  (I am doing this as a basic example so I am not using any of the advanced targeting or filters, yet).  Then click on search.

Now, the next screen that opens up will start to show you the trends in search volume over the time range that we were searching for.  Now, Money Clips is very general and has been around forever, so unfortunately you won’t see a start of a new product like a brand name or a new electronic, or a huge seasonal push like with bikinis in the USA, but it will show you a break down by country where the term is being searched for more often so you know where to spend your time optimizing.

In this case, you’ll see the USA is the top searched Country, then India and so on.  Since Executive Gift Shoppe doesn’t ship to India, but does ship to the USA and Canada, we know to focus our time optimizing and targeting the US and then CA and to not focus as much on the UK and Australia because with further analysis, the volume isn’t as high and it is still very competitive.  Since it is very competitive and a lower search volume, it may not be worth trying to optimize beyond the first two markets since you don’t know how profitable the keywords will be.  I’m not saying there isn’t value in other Markets, but I am saying that for SEO on competitive keywords and phrases it may not be worth the time and effort optimizing on those terms until you have seen in being profitable and then if the profit margins are worth the time against other terms and phrases, then go for it.  Just test wisely and devote your time even wiser to which terms will have the higher profits and higher search volumes.  Ok, enough rambling on stuff you already know.

Now, to break the geographic search volume down even more, you can start clicking on the Country Names.

When you click on the USA, you’ll see Nevada has the highest search volume for money clips followed by Louisiana then Kansas.  Now if the search volume is high enough, you can also break it down into city by city as well.  If you’re a PPC, CSE or SEO person, you’ll know why that is a gold mine waiting to happen.  =0).

So lets go back to where it is broken down by Country and then scroll down into the next section.  Here is where you’ll find the top search terms for this keyword or phrase.

You’ll see first that Money Clip trumps the search volume.  After that you start to see terms like Silver Money Clip or Wallets Money Clips and Wallet Clips come up right after.  (Perfect ways to start expanding your keyword lists and PPC campaigns,,,hint hint).  This gives you an idea to which terms are being searched, over which time frames and if you click on the term, it then breaks it down by country for that term (You’ll see India was replaced for the term in the number two spot with Singapore) and now you can further make a better educated guess at which Countries to optimize which terms for based on estimated search volumes, trends and you can also better forecast what you need to do for the future…however, for forecasting, there is a better option.  If you go back to the main search results page and look to the right of the break down by keywords and phrases, you’ll see rising searches.

The rising searches is an amazing tool to use.  Not only does it let you have a good guess as to what people may not be competing over yet, but it also allows you to see how well your advertising is going.

If you are doing a brand search over a time period, you’ll not only be able to see when you didn’t exist, when your advertising dollars start a search volume for your products, how it climbed, which competitors have entered the market, when your ad dollars worked, what happened when you pulled back, pushed forward, increased channels, which area you ran which ads in to bring people online, etc…  This tool gives you a much clearer insight into the world of Google search related to your ad dollars and also can help you see the length of your campaigns related to your ad spend.  Sure you test with the phone numbers you run, with the unique urls, etc… but you can also now get a better look or idea into the search volume it generated, which of your customers in which regions go online from ads compared to stick with the phone or retail stores, etc…

Now, suppose you take a term like Sweeper which can mean a ton of different thing, you can 1. start to see who is competing with you 2. which negative terms to start using (drivers, spyware, vacuum, etc…) 3. new brands and products that are picking up 4.  which areas you own and where you need to penetrate 5.  where your competitors are running ads and where you can start to take over their market share and hold.  You do have to remember that these tools are not 100% accurate, your competitors could be running ads that aren’t working, they could have done a tour or have a headquarter in that region so you still need to use caution when making decisions based off of the Google Insights tool.

I love this tool and there is soo much more you can use it for.  This is just scratching the surface of Google Insights and when you also combine it with your other Marketing Tools and Analytics Tools you’ll be completely ahead of the game and really start to be able to drive in the sales and revenue.  If you have any questions or thoughts on tools like Google Insights, or want me to run an analysis for you and your sites, leave a message here or write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me and I’ll be more than happy to connect with you.

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