Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marketing Tip: Google Keyword Tool: Search Counts: A Common Mistake Peolpe Make

This post is not likely to get a lot of traffic, but it should, because the information contained within this is important.

The Google Keyword Tool is a really cool tool that Google provides to help its Google Adwords customers.  However, it also can really help people marketing to rank on organic searches--not just PPC (Sponsored Ads on the top or on the side).

The most common use for this tool is to determine the number of searches each keyword phrase is getting each month (search count).

Most people use this tool and think they have all of the information, but they are probably wrong.

COMMON MISCONCEPTION:  Google does not give you the whole picture.

Well, at least, there is a default setting that leads people to incomplete conclusions.

What default setting do I mean?

The search counts that most people see when they use the Google Keyword Tool is the Broad Search Count.

Why is it a big deal that Google's tool is giving me a Broad Search Count?

Google's tool has three (3) different search count types.
  1. Exact Search Count
  2. Phrase Search Count
  3. Broad Search Count

So what is the difference between these search counts, and why does it make a difference?

I will explain each with an example first, then I will try to define it.

1. Exact Search Count

Example Search Phrase:  cars for sale

The Exact Search Phrase Count ONLY includes the number of times that people are typing "cars for sale" and NOTHING ELSE.

Google ONLY includes:
cars for sale

This is a TRUE count, or it is as true a count as the accuracy of the data that Google provides us.  We just have to do our best to trust them, because it IS the best the we have.

Potential Value: Getting the exact number of searches for our specifically targeted phrase.

2. Phrase Search Count

Example Search Phrase:  cars for sale

Google Counts the number of times that people search "cars for sale," but it also includes other phrases.

Google also would include:
cars for sale in Detroit
cars for sale 2011
Michigan cars for sale
red cars for sale
red cars for sale in Michigan

Notice that the phrase "cars for sale" is included within each phrase, but there can be words in front of our phrase, behind our phrase, or both.

Potential Value: Determining which additional keywords we might be able to rank in addition to our main targeted keyword.

3. Broad Search Count

Example Search Phrase:  cars for sale

Google Counts the number of times that people search "cars for sale," but it also includes other phrases that are similar, but the wording does not have to be exact.

Google also would include:
car sale
car for sale
cars that are for sale
selling cars
cars to buy
automobiles for sale
car selling tips
...and much more

Notice that the phrase "cars for sale" is part of this, but Google will count anything it "thinks" is related to "cars for sale."  It tries to decipher the meaning of the search phrase.

Potential Value: Determining which overall topics have potential to research in more detail.

Actually, this is probably the first step you should take, which is likely why the Google Keyword Tool makes "Broad" search count the default selection.

Parting Advice

Just make sure that you KNOW which count you really are getting: Broad Search Count, Phrase Search Count, or Exact Search Count.

Otherwise, you might make an SEO plan that makes sense only based upon numbers that are not what you think they are.

Most people using the Google Keyword Tool THINK that the phrase "cars for sale" is being typed over 6 Million times.

What is the "real" search count?  450 THOUSAND (0.45 Million vs. 6.12 Million).

THAT is a HUGE difference!  Do you think that difference might affect some planning?

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

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