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Are You Targeting The Right Keywords?

Posted on March 27, 2002

Warning: This article is no longer applicable.
Search engine queries are no longer case sensitive. UPPERCASE and lowercase return the same results.

We recommend using a new keyword research tool called Keyword Discovery. A comparison of Keyword Discovery with WordTracker is listed below. Wordtracker comparison

Click on the link below for a free trial of Keyword Discovery's, Keyword Reseach Tool

Are You Targeting The Right Keywords?
By Michael Wong

In this article, I will show you which keyword research service to use, why you need to use such a service, and how it will help your search engine rankings.

Here are some keyword research services to help you out:

* Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool:

* Word Tracker - Word Tracker helps you find all keyword combinations that bear any relation to your business or service:

I recommend using Word Tracker over the Overture search term suggestion tool. Let me show you why this is with a few simple tests.

Which is the more popular of these two search terms?
  a. marketing strategy
  b. marketing strategies

If your answer is "b. marketing strategies," then you're one smart cookie! Because you're right.

Now, try this test. Which of these two search terms is more popular?
  a. marketing strategies
  b. Marketing Strategies

Notice that the second search term has the first letters capitalized. A bit tougher, right?

If your answer is "a. marketing strategies," then you're good! A round of applause for this wise person. Because you're right.

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O.K., last test. This one is a tough one. Which of these two search terms is more popular?
  a. marketing strategy
  b. Marketing Strategy

Well, if your answer is "b. Marketing Strategy," then I want you to be my mentor! Because you're right!

Here are the search counts according to WordTracker:
  Marketing Strategy - 446 searches
  marketing strategies - 347 searches
  marketing strategy - 268 searches
  Marketing Strategies - 22 searches

Notice the different variations of all lowercase and first letter of each word capitalized?

Here are the search counts according to Overture:
  marketing strategy - 28030 searches

Overture search term suggestion tool disadvantages:
* Compiles singular, plurals, upper and lowercase keywords as one search term.
* Only returns search terms that include the keyword/s you searched for - WordTracker returns many more keyword combinations that bears any relation to your business or service.

But why is this important?

Well, if you wanted to target searchers looking for marketing strategies, you would want to know which search term is more popular. Imagine targeting "marketing strategies," without realizing that "Marketing Strategy" is a more popular search term.

Another reason is that some search engines, such as Inktomi, still take case sensitivity into consideration when ranking Web pages.

Here's a table of Inktomi powered search sites that provide case-sensitive search results.

Search Rank* Audience Reach* Case-Sensitive?
ICQ - - Yes
iWon - - Partial
LookSmart 6 9.6% Partial
MSN 1 36.3% Partial
Overture 8 9.2% Yes

(* Source: Jupiter Media Metrix, March 4, 2002)

Knowing exactly what your customers are searching for is very powerful. I have used this strategy to help me obtain thousands of top 30 rankings for my sites and those of my clients, over the years. I highly recommend that you reconsider your keyword targeting strategies.

Side Note: You may be wondering why there is such a big difference between the number of searches provided by WordTracker and Overture. The reason is that the figures for WordTracker is taken from its database, which only captures a small percentage of all the searches on-line.

Whereas Overture's figures are compiled from the total number of queries conducted through Overture and all of its affiliate partners such as Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN. So now you know what the numbers actually represent in the Overture search term suggestion tool.

Written by Michael Wong (C) Copyright 2002.
Michael is a search engine optimization specialist and author of "Search Engine Optimization Strategies: Top 30 Search Engine Optimization & Submission Strategies For Dummies." Michael's ebook reveals the techniques he used to obtain 2,000 top 30 rankings on a single site.


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