As we recently discussed, one good keyword strategy involves using software tools to collect words from Web sites for building content keyword lists. To demonstrate how this method works, I've created three files to illustrate these steps as a companion to today's column.
But first, as a refresher, here are three key points about content keyword lists:
- The number one reason why content advertising campaigns fail is that ads frequently appear on untargeted, irrelevant publisher pages.
- You can target Web sites for ad placement more precisely by including a small number (20-40) of keywords in your keyword-targeted content ad groups.
- Content ad group keywords should describe the types of pages and sites on which you want your ads to appear.
A keyword-targeted content ad group's keywords should describe the pages/sites where an ad should appear, and the best keyword list is composed of words/phrases that appear most frequently on the target sites' pages.
Assume for this demonstration that we're building content ad groups for MuscleBound.com, a hypothetical company that sells bodybuilding equipment. Since the company has a savvy marketing department, they understand their customer demographics very well, and through careful surveys have concluded that there's a high interest in bodybuilding among people who enjoy role-playing games (RPGs). MuscleBound wants their ads displayed on sites frequented by people actively engaged in bodybuilding, and sites frequented by people interested in RPGs. So they need to create two separate keyword-targeted content ad groups.
I used a simple set of tools: the Google AdWords Placement Tool, a simple Google search, and Textanz, a word-frequency counter program that costs $22.95 and is worth every penny.
Here are the steps I took to create the keyword lists:
- I used the AdWords Placement Tool to find about 10 sites within my target categories. The list of possible categories includes one specifically related to bodybuilding, as shown here:
click to enlarge
- I loaded the home pages of the first 10 sites displayed, and did a quick copy-and-paste to copy all of the words on the page to a Notepad document.
- Next, I did a Google search on the term "Bodybuilding Equipment," and copied all of the resulting text into Notepad. I have my Google preferences set to show 100 results per page, so this was a lot of text.
- I then pulled this text file (all 1.5mb of it) into Textranz, and asked it to produce a list of the most commonly occurring one-word and two-word combinations. These are listed in the first two tabs of this Excel workbook.
- Next, I created a short list of the most frequently occurring words (see tab three of the Excel workbook).
- I used this list to create my final list, shown on tab four. I included the negative forms of few words that had appeared frequently -- ulcerative and colitis -- because I want to make sure our ads don't appear on pages that relate mainly to those terms and aren't relevant to bodybuilding equipment.
Here's the final list:
- bench press
- body building
- bodybuilding equipment
- exercise equipment
- fitness equipment
- gym equipment
- home gym
- home gyms
- weight lifting
- weight loss
- weight training
The whole exercise took just a few minutes. Obviously, a similar list could be assembled just using intuition, but only marketing losers base decisions solely on their intuition.
I followed the same process to create this text file and a keyword list for the ad group targeting RPG sites. The word lists from each step are in the spreadsheet; here's the final list:
- role playing
- roleplaying games
- roleplaying game
- rpg games
- dungeons & dragons
- star wars
- video games
In this case, I added negative keywords to avoid ads appearing on sites related to people just dressing up as RPG characters.
Next week: creating keyword lists for a B2B campaign. Thanks to all of you who've applied my lessons and shared your success stories and questions with me via e-mail or in the Content Advertising thread in the Search Engine Watch Forums. Keep those stories coming!