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4 Types Of Keywords For Your Search Campaign

Jeff Shi
By Jeff Shi on November 30th, 2009
in Search Engine Marketing | 2 Comments

When planning out keywords for a Search Campaign, different Search Engine Marketing (SEM) planners have different methods in selecting keywords. Granted, there are no absolute 100% sure-fire methods in getting the best keywords but the following are some of the types of keywords you should pay attention to when you start thinking of keywords for your SEM campaign.

Branded vs General Keywords

Branded keywords make reference to a marketer’s brand or trademarked term (e.g. “holiday inn”, “apple ipod”) while general keywords are those that do not reference any brand or trademarked term (e.g. “hotels, computers, laptop, mp3 player”)

Short vs Long Tail Keywords

Short keywords are 1-2 word terms which generate a lot of traffic but are usually much more widely targeted (e.g. “mobile phone” while long tail keywords comprise more terms, generate fewer searches but could possibly reach out to an audience with a higher purchasing intent (e.g. “buy 2nd hand phone”, “buy new smartphone”).

The Search User’s Purchase Cycle

Everyone knows about the purchase cycle where a web user starts at the awareness level, followed by an interest in your product  and ends (hopefully) with the desire and the action to purchase your product. All search users are at a some stage in the purchase stage whenever they are searching for something online. At the Awareness and Consideration stage, users will be searching for more General and Short Tail keywords e.g. “mobile phone” “handphone review”.

If the purpose of your campaign is to increase awareness and branding of your product, include more general and short tail keywords. However, if your campaign’s purpose is for leads and conversions, select keywords which are long tail and brand specific.

The 80/20 Rule

We have all heard about the 80/20 Rule where 20% of your customers are bringing you 80% of your sales. In fact, your keywords selection will follow this same principle as well. 80% of your sites visitors will be coming in from 20% of your keywords. Your general and short tail keywords will be bringing you the most traffic while your brand and long tail keywords will be bringing you lesser traffic but with higher conversion rates.

So, what’s the best approach to selecting your keywords in order to achieve both volume of searches, as well as the necessary amount of conversion? Try a mix and match of the various keyword types and Experiment, Experiment and Experiment!


2 Responses to “4 Types Of Keywords For Your Search Campaign”

  1. In today’s market place when performing an SEO campaign you really need to apply many different solid tasteful approaches utilizing a variety of keywords.

  2. Jeff Shi says:

    hi Nick,

    I agree! Keyword selection is not just running a keyword generation tool and then picking out all the keywords from there.

    Careful thought must be put in to ensure that each keyword is serving a specific purpose for your advertising campaign.

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