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Researching the keywords for Tansy's site
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:29 pm    Post subject: Researching the keywords for Tansy's site Reply with quote

Sorry this project hasn't moved much lately, I've been very busy since Christmas.

But let's now move on to the next stage, which is not writing the text for the site but researching the keywords we should be incorporating into the text. It's best to know that before you start writing, because it is easier to include certain phrases as you plan/write a page than to insert them afterwards.

Tansy, can you post all the words people might use to find your house?

Mainly these will be geographical terms:
- the nearest village;
- any other nearby villages that are well-known;
- nearest town
- nearest city
- any generic names for the area (e.g. West Country, Cote d'Azur)
- any local attractions that people might want to stay near, whether man-made or natural (for instance the beach)
- department
- region
- portion of the country (e.g. northern france)

In your case, the beach is well know so include that too.

And then any words for the type of house (e.g. gite, beach-house, castle, apartment, villa, etc.)

Just include absolutely anything that comes to mind, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. This is the brainstorming stage, and nothing should be discarded yet.

Then I will be able to check out how popular those terms are among internet users, and get ideas for related terms we haven't thought of. We'll also ask anyone who knows your part of the world (or doesn't) to suggest other key words and phrases.
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tansy



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 2106
Location: La Manche, Normandy, France

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right...here we go..I hope a list format is the best for you to work with

beach
seaside
coast
sea
seaview
plage
dunes
sand
oysters
mussels
fishing
fish
fresh fish
sea food
shell fish
beachcombing
walks
walking
sunsets
sunrise
Park
conservation area
war
world war 2
American
invasion beach
Saint Marie du Mont
Ste Mere Eglise
82nd Airborne
101st Airborne
1944
6th June
D Day
landing craft
American Cemetery
Arromanches
drop zone
Band of Brothers
Longest Day
Liberation
gold
sword
juno
utah
Utah Beach
1st village liberated in 1944
house
5 bedrooms
sleeps 10
3 bathrooms
views
Caen
Bayeux
Carantan
bird watching
bird sanctuary
seals
museum
restaurants
garden
car parking
La Manche
Normandy
peninsular
Northern France
department 50
Cherbourg
Cherbourg Peninsular
Flamanville (because of this EDF new plant La Manche is tipped as the biggest economic growth area in the world - ahead of Beijing, Hong Kong,London etc etc...so I suppose it should be in the search in case someone is looking for long term rental?)
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Tansy.

The next step is to feed those words and phrases into Keyword suggestion tools like Overture, Google and Wordtracker.

These take your words and suggest other related terms you might not have thought of. They also give a value for the amount of searches made using each term. However, I take these with a large dose of salt. There are some very odd results in Overture's suggestion tool. Wordtracker is much more sophisticated, the only trouble is that it is heavily US-influenced, and most of Tansy's potential market will be European.

So I propose to use these tools to add keywords/phrases to the list and then do something a bit different: a pay-per-click campaign to determine what search phrases people are REALLY using.

Using Google's AdWords pay-per-click programme you specify for which search phrases you would like your ad to be seen. This can be anything from 'france rentals' down to '1st village liberated in 1944'. You can include everything and anything, with variations, permutations, plurals, mis-spellings. As we are trying to determine which of these phrases get used by net-surfers, we want to be all-inclusive.

You are now thinking - what is this research going to cost? Hopefully it will cost somewhere between nothing and very little. I don't actually want anyone to click on my AdWords ad. The excellent AdWords interface tells you how many times the ad has been seen ('impressions') for each search term - and that is more or less how many times that search term has been typed into Google (although there is more to it than that).

To stop people from clicking on my AdWords ad I am going to write it so it is deliberately unappealing. If anyone does click on it, it will direct them to one of Tansy’s listing site ads.

I haven’t tried this tactic before so if anyone sees big flaws in it or can suggest improvements, please let me know.
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During the set up of the 'keywords' on googles 'pay per click' you have the option of previewing your forecasted costs.

In effect Google calculates your ppc against the competition to arrive at a 'position', then it estimates how often you will be 'clicked' based on position and keyword popularity.

All this is done before the account goes live, so you can 'play around' with the keywords to ensure the best position / popularity, without it costing a thing

It's easier to understand when you're actually doing it Smile
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
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Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact ..... here's the google forecast for the Keywords mentioned above.

http://www.tansy.webworks-uk.net/google.htm

There is a major difference between keywords you'd use for PPC and SEO however.

For example, I would never have 'Beach' in a Pay Per Click campaign, it's far too vague. Then again, i'd love to be No.1 in a google search for the word 'Beach', so there's no harm in having it feature quite prominently in the 'right' pages.
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For example, I would never have 'Beach' in a Pay Per Click campaign, it's far too vague


Quite right. At this stage we have got all the component words on the table. I won't be assessing 'beach' but terms like 'normandy beach house', 'juno beach rentals'.

I haven't studied it but my impression is that the AdWords forecast is not that reliable. In particular, terms that are rated as 0 or >0.1 clicks do in fact bring in clicks once your campaign is up and running.

Have you done a before and after assessment of this?
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Have you done a before and after assessment of this?

I've never really thought of doing one. I've been running ppc for a number of financial sites over the past couple of years and generally, if google says a keyword won't feature well .. it doesn't get clicked.

That said, I see what you're trying to achieve, you're using google to give 'realtime' reports on impressions. Good idea, though pretty 'brave' in my opinion.

To get accurate figures on actual impressions, you'll have to ensure your keywords are always on the front page, and no matter how badly the text is written, it will get clicked.

There's also the choice of countries that your ppc add is going to be displayed on, as you know .co.uk, .fr, .de, etc still display english searches but the content and order is completely different.

Also, google is only 1 search engine. I get just as many if not more hits via msn and whilst the keywords may be the same, how the site is 'scored' and therefore positioned is, again, different.

Sorry to say, but you've come up against one of the biggest 'questions' of modern man .... 'how to beat the search engine'. There's no right or wrong answer i'm afraid.

Finally, not sure how your approaching this ... but the 'accepted' method. Is to concentrate on two or three 'key search phrases' per page. This ensures all indexed pages are used to attract people to the site.
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
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Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding 'moving things forward' ..... should we decide on a domain name?

This could be registered and point to the 'work in progress' site. This enables it to be found by the search engines in advance of the launch of the 'real' website.

Here's one i prepared earlier ....... it's already got a Google PR of 3, with no content and only a homepage.

http://www.skirenters.com
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To get accurate figures on actual impressions, you'll have to ensure your keywords are always on the front page, and no matter how badly the text is written, it will get clicked.


Yes, for really accurate figures, the ad would need to be on the first page for each phrase, which is where the figures will be less than 100% accurate.

I asked about this on the High Rankings forum and was told that with zero clicks you would get 1000 impressions before the ad is canned by Google.

Quote:
Finally, not sure how your approaching this ... but the 'accepted' method. Is to concentrate on two or three 'key search phrases' per page. This ensures all indexed pages are used to attract people to the site.


Absolutely, 2-3 key phrases per page.

Quote:
Regarding 'moving things forward' ..... should we decide on a domain name?


Let's do it! I'll start a new thread for this, and you can give your ideas on how to go about choosing a name.
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paolo



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Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had time to do this yet, but here is more on using AdWords for keyword research:
http://www.highrankings.com/issue107.htm#guest
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
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Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goes to show, it all depends where you look, here's a report from 'Good Keywords' software (overture example) .... no signs of 'mis-spellings' there ........

shabby chic,16515
shabby chic furniture,2784
shabby,1372
shabby chic decor,1244
shabby chic bedding,938
shabby chic mirror,936
simply shabby chic,684
shabby elegance,654
rachel ashwell shabby chic,637
shabby chic decorating,596

I'd normally just transfer these over to Google and take them as 'gospel' ...... never really let me down.

After reading the article ..... i'd have serious doubts about using 'wordtracker' though!
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have now completed the keyword research for Tansy's site.

This is what I did:

1. I took Tansy’s list of words and fed them into various suggestion tools - Overture, Google, and Wordtracker (see this thread for links). These tell you the (approximate) number of times people use these words and phrases in a search engine. They also suggest related terms people are using.

2. Pool all the phrases, including the new suggestions. At this stage you can either rely on the data you got from these tools to tell you which phrases are the most popular. Or you can take it a stage further and find out for sure what people are really typing into Google.

3. To see what people are actually typing into Google, you take all of the phrases you can think of that someone might type into a search engine to find a rental home like yours. Then add all the new suggestions you got from the keyword suggestion tools.

4. Most of these phrases consist of an accommodation type (villa, house, apartment) with a location (normandy, utah beach). To generate all possible permutations you type into a Word document one location name with all the singular variations of one accommodation word, e.g. villa:

normandy villa
normandy villa to rent
normandy vacation villa
holiday villa in normandy
villa vacation normandy

and so on….

5. When you have got all of those, copy and paste them into a new Word document. Do a Find and Replace, replacing the word ‘villa’ with the word ‘villas’. Copy the list of plurals and paste them into your original ‘Master’ document.

6. Now you have all search phrases incorporating Normandy and villa/villas. Copy this and paste into a new Word document. Do a Find and Replace, replacing the word ‘villa’ with your next accommodation word, e.g. ‘house’. This gives you the same list of singulars and plurals but for all 'house/houses' search phrases.

7. Repeat the last step for each accommodation word.

8. Now you have every conceivable search phrase that includes the word ‘normandy’. Copy this list and paste it into a new Word document, replace Normandy with your next location keyword, e.g. ‘utah beach’. Paste the resulting list into your Master document. Repeat this for every location keyword.

9. The result is a Word document with hundreds of search phrases on it. But you haven’t finished yet! Many people mis-spell words in a search engine, so think about popular misspellings, e.g. ‘accomodation’, ‘acommodation’, ‘accommadation’, etc. and add those to your list. It doesn’t matter how long the list is, you want to find any surprising results from phrases you wouldn’t have considered important, so it should be as comprehensive as possible. Just chuck everything in there!

10. Now you can create a Google AdWords campaign to find out how many people are actually searching for each of these phrases.

The purpose of an AdWords campaign is to drive traffic to your site on a pay-per-click basis. You specify which search phrases you want your ad to be seen for on Google, and you decide how much you are willing to pay for each click, for each phrase.

In the campaign summary you get from Google you can see how many times you ad is seen (‘impressions’) for each phrase. As long as your ads are being seen on the first page of Google results, this will tell you how many times each phrase is typed into Google.

In this instance because we have no site to direct traffic to, and because I didn’t want to spend any money, I wrote the worst AdWords ad I could, in the hope that nobody would click on it at all. This way I would still get the information on how many times each phrase was typed into Google, without paying for any clicks.

Then I copied and pasted my entire list of 1700 search phrases into my AdWords campaign. That means I want my ad to show each time any of these phrases is used. The great majority of these would get zero impressions, but that’s OK.

I ran the campaign for a week and here are the most used search phrases on Google, with the number of times each was used in that period:



Now we know which are the most used search phrases for a house like Tansy's. What we now want to know is how competitive each phrase is. We can't beat the rental listing sites on Google for the most competitive phrases, we need to optimise each page for 2-3 phrases that are less commonly optimised for. These phrases will bring fewer visitors than the most popular phrases might (if we we could get on page 1 of Google), but they will still bring in some traffic.

How to do this? One way is to use the paid version of Wordtracker. This gives you an index of a phrase's competitivess by looking at how many times it is used, as against how many results are returned for it. It's called KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index), and its effectiveness is questionable.

Another way of doing this is to see how many webpages are optimised for a phrase. If someone is optimising a page for a particular phrase they will use that phrase in the Title too. We can do a Google query which says: show me the pages that have a particular phrase in their Title. This is what you type into Google for the example of 'normandy beach rental':

allintitle:"normandy beach rental"

This will return all pages that have that phrase in their title, even if it is 'Normandy beach, a holiday rental for you'.

The number for that query is 3. That means it looks like only 3 other webpages are optimised for this phrase. That makes it a very uncompetitive phrase, and it may be possible to be on page 1 of Google for this phrase. I say 'may' because there are plenty of pages that will include this phrase without being deliberately optimised for it, and if they are on popular, well-linked sites, they will be hard to beat. So this allintitle search is just an indication.

Below is each of our phrases with number of searches in a week in column 1, then the number of web pages with that phrase in their title in column 2. In the third column is column 1 divided by column 2 - the number of times the phrase was used in searches in the week, divided by the number of competitor sites. This gives us an index of which phrases are the most useful to us.



What, if anything, do these figures mean? Well, in theory the higher the number in the right hand column, the more attractive that phrase is. Where there is an 'x', that is because the number of Titles optimised is zero, which would result in infinity as the answer to the sum.

As we would expect, the phrase 'normandy vacation rentals' is totally unattractive, it is optimised by 127 pages and has a rating of 0.04. On the other hand, 'normandy rentals' and 'normandy beach rentals' look good.

You also have to use a bit of judgement with these results. Some phrases are not necessarily looking for holiday rental accommodation: 'bayeux houses' has a high rating, but are people typing this into Google perhaps looking for a house to buy? Or pictures of Bayeux architecture?

And some of the phrases are better than others because people using them will be better qualified for Tansy's house. For instance, 'bayeux houses' - Tansy's house is near Bayeux, but not in it, so that's only good for people who might consider being close to where they want to be. On the other hand, 'normandy beach rental' is extremely well qualified - Tansy's house is right on the beach and will be a serious contender for anyone typing this into a search engine.

Is anybody still reading this? Are you still breathing? If so, let me know what you think of this method. It is rather involved and longwinded for a rental owner's site, but it does, I think, give an accurate picture of what Tansy's potential renters are up to.

Of course as I have made this up myself, it could be deeply flawed - let me know about that too.

And what phrases do you think we should be optimising Tansy's pages for? She will have about 3-4 optimisable pages, and 1-3 phrases per page.
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
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Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!

I havn't exactly taken it all in as yet ..... but lets just say i'm 'suitably impressed' Wink

Excellent research Paolo, it's certainly given me something to think about regarding how I select my own 'keywords'.
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
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Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in awe.




I worship the keyword master.




Seriously, that's fantastic! Someday when I have the ages and ages you must have spent on this, I will do this for my own site! I love its analytical nature. Presumably the phrases where col/col2 diverge are either really good or really bad; I just love this numerical way of looking at things!

(I'm an astrophysicist, could anyone tell? Cool )
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tansy



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
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Location: La Manche, Normandy, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummmm...so we think normandybeachrental is quite good then?
Wink

Thank you Paolo - I knew you were thorough, but boy oh boy!

The Bayeux thoughts are interesting...I think folk go for the tapestry & the British Cemetery..we are near so we "could" pick up someone who is researching the area...
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