Thursday, June 4, 2009

Keywordspy Helps With Expanded Broad Match Keywords

by Kara O.

On an average day, performing a search on a keyword research tool like KeywordSpy for a PPC competitor can sometimes yield surprising results.

Imagine searching for an advertiser that mainly sells wedding rings and bands and finding a keyword "wedding musician" on the list. Though it may look odd, appearance of the advertiser’s ad under such a keyword is a common phenomenon in the world of PPC.

This type of keyword, of course, is known as a broad match keyword. Broad match keywords are related terms and phrases to keywords triggering an ad campaign or group. If the keywords for your ads are, for example, “rental cars in New York”, your ads may also appear for search results for "New York auto rentals".

The advantage of broad match keywords are basically being able to reach more markets through related keywords for a given ad campaign. Since there could be related keywords that were not initially included in your ad group, this saves the advertiser the time of finding related keywords for his website.

The disadvantage of broad match keywords is also quite obvious, with advertisements showing for broad match keywords on search engine results, there is also the possibility that those keywords are significantly unrelated to the actual ad. Google Adwords, as an example, implement an Expanded Broad Match system that relates a keyword with other keywords that looks even remotely similar (flower deliver express = chinese takeout express).

As a result, advertisers may be paying for clicks with minimal conversions due to the fact that consumers clicking were not really looking for these types of products to begin with.

The solution for this, as provided by Google Adwords, is placing these unrelated keywords under your campaign’s negative broad match settings to prevent your ads from showing on searches where it shouldn't. But as attested by the search engine itself, the negative broad match settings is not as perfect as they would hope it to be, with still unrelated keywords getting by once in a while.

By the time you find out your ads are getting clicks and showing at all the wrong places, it could be too late for your ad budget altogether.

The reverse keyword research tool in KeywordSpy, would you believe it, does not just allow keyword research for a specific industry to empower ad campaigns. A closer analysis of keyword results indexed by the database would also show the broad match terms attributed to advertisers, may they be related or not.

For keyword research pros, it’s just a matter of filtering out the unrelated material from the useful ones. After all, keyword research is also about finding keywords that would best suit your own campaign.

But it comes as an added tool for the seasoned advertiser to stay updated on keywords and ads within his campaign. Detecting expanded broad match keywords at the earliest means and stopping them in their tracks by including them in their campaign’s negative broad match keyword list can also do a great deal of good.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Search Engine Marketing and the Recession. Are ‘Jobs’ all the Rage?

by Roi A.

Since all that everybody seems to be talking about nowadays is the recession, does it follow that many Web sites, job-oriented ones especially, are putting out more than their usual budget for pay-per-click ads and SEO to lure in people looking for a job?

In lieu of this, we at KeywordSpy thought of getting into a timely mode scan the job-oriented Web sites are advertising jobs and actually bidding for the keyword “jobs” and other those like it. And by using the Time Machine function, we will attempt to see if there is indeed a trend—if more companies have actually paid more for the keywords.

Now, in the hunt for jobs, we are aware that there are many other keywords that are searched for. These include “jobs,” “job opportunities,” “job openings”, “hot jobs,” and so on. For this example though, we’re going to focus on the most common searched term of the lot, the short but straight to the point, “Jobs”. In doing so, we’d like to inform everyone that this would merely be a trial on our part, and in no way be a final word of the real trend when it comes to keyword bidding for jobs during the recession.

Conducting our keyword research on the first week on March (US only), we see that bid for the keyword “jobs” stands at $1.62. It’s a fairly high bid, but we’d like to have more than that information. In the paid competitors category we see that Monster.com ranks the highest, and having a keyword total of 51,025. At number two is 123FindJobs.com , whose total of paid keywords surprisingly trails that of Monster.com (17,550). Jobs.AOL.com, is at number 3, with a slightly higher paid keyword total (21,148).



Now let’s check out from these competitors how their strategies changed with the months of the recession. While the recession began as early as 2007, we’re going to check back from when it peaked in August 2008--after the Lehman Brothers and Fannie and Freddie fallouts—going up to the current month.

Here’s KeywordSpy.com’s Time Machine results for Monster.com:



As you can see, the paid keywords went as high as 101,387 in the second quarter. But then it plummets to 4,268 in July. It then rises for three months thereafter then goes down again drastically in November, falls down again for the next two months then regains ground in February.

Now how is it comparable to the number two paid competitor. Here’s a look at the Time Machine graph for 123FindJobs.com:



From KeywordSpy’s data, we find out that it has not been engaging in PPC for a long time before January (the last time was in April and it was only for 29 keywords). But since then they have bid for nearly 7000 times that amount, doubling in February and growing by 1,000 in March. From the looks of it, the demand for jobs has apparently made this domain step up its PPC campaign by a large notch.

Now we are going to go two notches lower in the chart for SnagaJob.com’s Time Machine results:




We now see here a reverse trend. From the second quarter last year, it had a high number of paid keywords in the 30,000’s. But then by September, it drops down to 14,822. It rises back up to 30,000, but falls down to half that amount in November and stays within that range up to the current day. We can then infer from this Time Machine data is that probably the Web site chose not to concentrate on its PPC campaign and chose to advertise its services through other means.

But what about the organic research results? How does “jobs” fare in the sites not resorting to paying as much (if not paying) for the keyword, but offering a similar service? Going back to KeywordSpy’s overview tab for “jobs”, here is what we get:



As you can see, Jobs.com leads KeywordSpy’s organic chart, and it may be because of the inclusion of the word “Jobs” in the Web site’s name. It is followed by Careerbuilder.com, who outnumbers jobs.com with a keyword total of 407, 780, but surprisingly still ranks behind jobs.com in the ranking for the word jobs. Monster in the meantime make a second appearance in this chart.

Now let’s again concentrate on the word “jobs” alone. We click on the Time Machine tab for “jobs”, and this is what we get:




Looking at this chart, the keyword “jobs” fared strongly in the last part of 2007, and has fluctuated between the 40s and 100s during the 1st half of 2008. This seems to be consistent with the demand for jobs. But in the latest years of the recession, the performance of the keyword “jobs” has gone down, averaging in the tens.

Now this could mean that, among other things, jobs may still be in demand, though not as much paid for by some companies, as doing so may prove more costly. Again, this is just merely an assumption; more data may be needed to expound on this research.

Now we go over to the summary tab of Time Machine for a visual representation:



We can see here that for the keyword “jobs”, the domain localjobsavailable.net is bidding most for the keyword “jobs”, with 191,592. At a far second is jobslocally.net, with 50,328 keywords. At third is the major player Jobs.AOL.com, with 35,520 keywords.

You will also notice the absence of paid competitor Monster.com in this chart. This is quite understandable, as the site has been synonymous with employment opportunities in America, and could afford not to go the extra mile in their PPC campaign.

From this, we can infer that the US recession would affect a lot of things, and the plethora of job searchers may be rising, but pay-per-click isn’t showing a synonymous trend in bidding for keywords that are related to jobs, with the trend for the word “jobs” actually going in the opposite direction of the recession.

Other companies realize that they could just as easily compensate by maximizing their SEO, and creating a lot of varieties for jobs such as “work from home,” “local jobs”, “employment” and the like. Plus, one keyword alone wouldn’t determine the whole trend; it takes a lot of other keywords to have a grasp of the whole situation. But with this KeywordSpy research, it is not bad to say that we’re off to a good start.

Recession Tactics for PPC & SEO

by KC Ochoa


Despite the economic crisis having a universal effect from the consumer to the business sector, online marketing remains a reliable media with which to maintain and promote a business. SEO and PPC advertising is still considered a far efficient and less expensive method than traditional marketing. It is critical, however, to make every penny and marketing effort count.

Reevaluate: The convenience of PPC and SEO is the ability to track down the effects of your marketing efforts in a span of weeks or even days, compared to traditional media where you could lose hundreds of dollars before being aware of it.



If your website is not ranking or your ad is not showing, you are still paying for expensive clicks that seldom convert into sales, those will be clear signs that something is wrong with your campaign.

Restructure: Depending on the performance of your current ads or your website ranking, it is possible that a change in technique is necessary.




Check if your bids are still at a competitive level. For non-performing keywords and ad copies, consider examining your text and advertisement content for more effective marketing messages.

The search engines and competitive intelligence tools provide countless information on how to compete. This is evident the moment you start searching for keywords on their platforms. Consider better and related material and information you can use to improve your campaign.

Retarget: The focus of every business of late, online or otherwise, is to reach out, if not maintain clientele. Exploring other keywords can also be beneficial as it also opens doors to new markets as well as lessen your overall ad spend.



Take a keyword that has a suggested bid of $1.10 with average clicks of 573 per day but has over 17 competing advertisers, if you can compete with the cost and that many other websites, that’s great. But how much money are you going to lose in such a process?



Now consider a keyword that has a lesser amount of suggested bid, a considerable amount of clicks per day and is within a competitive field with your website. It just might me a better and safer investment for your company.

Online marketing is still an unshakeable industry despite the present financial setbacks. Maintaining control, staying informed, and making educated decisions at a crucial time are your best bets against a spiraling economy.