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Monday, March 05, 2007

Free Keyword Tool Update and the UPS Whiteboard

When I updated my firm's free keyword research tool to include Wordtracker, someone from Trellian Software left a comment that they now offer a free version of Keyword Discovery. I've been using it and it looks pretty good, so I've incorporated it into the tool. The free keyword tool is simple. All it does is grab meta keywords data from a web page and then sets up links for further research of those keywords on a handful of free keyword research tools. Despite the tool's simplicity, it can be pretty powerful to see what keywords your competitors use and to then either buy those types of keywords via PPC advertising or to incorporate them in your own firm's site using SEO techniques. Note this meta keywords advice: Don't use meta keywords tags. Do, however, use the meta description tag. Interesting that this Google Webmaster Central Blog post says, "Make sure each page has a unique title tag and meta description tag that aptly describe the page." Let's look at a meta keywords research example:

ups.com/whiteboard keyword research

Those are the results after entering ups.com/whiteboard into the keyword research tool. I chose this URL as an example, because I'm intrigued by this whole notion of direct navigation via search engine and am aware of others who have noticed this behavior where people don't seem to undersand the difference between the browser address bar and a search engine box. Since the UPS TV commercial displays ups.com/whiteboard at the end of the advertisement, I'd expect a fair amount of people to type that URL directly into a search box instead of the address bar. If I were competing with UPS, I'd make some PPC ad buys to show my firm's ads when people search for keywords related to the UPS TV ad. Even the Google CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) Blog seems to condone this sort of practice:
Your competition is very likely advertising on your brand terms. If you’re not, and your competitor has an ad show up with a compelling offer, you could likely lose a customer.
Aren't domain names "brand terms?" Is "UPS Whiteboard" now a brand? People certainly are searching for it. Getting back to the above example, I clicked on the Overture link for "ups whiteboard" and saw:

ups whiteboard overture search

That's old data - from January. It'll be interesting to see the February numbers which will likely be available in a few days. Right now, the only ad I see on a Google search for ups whiteboard is a UPS.com ad (similar results on Yahoo!). They also occupy the #1 natural search result. Kudos to UPS for tying in their TV ad spend to their search marketing efforts. Now, who's going to occupy the remaining natural search results? Why aren't their other PPC ads for that search term?

BTW, came across the notion of Adversarial Information Retrieval today. Not exactly sure what it means but I do wonder if scraping meta keywords from competing sites and buying PPC ads for competing domain names and brand names is encompassed by this term. At any rate, try the updated version of the free keyword research tool. I do hope it's useful. I try to make good use of my firm's bandwidth. ;-)

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