Keywords and Keyword Matching Options
Keyword research is at the foundation of any successful Internet marketing program. Whether you are looking for a niche to develop as a business or trying to better optimize your web site or blog, keyword selection is a must have skill in internet marketing.
Keyword Match Options
Mastering the process of evaluating the relative value and monetary possibilities of a keyword is not as easy as it is made out to be. For the affiliate marketing beginner it is matter of understanding the various keyword matching options and what they offer for your future business growth and development.
The first place to start is with the search-targeted keyword specifications. They are: broad matches, phrase matches, exact matches and negative matches. So what do they all mean?
Here is a general overview.
The Broad match is a default mode for Google Adwords and other search advertising systems. It represents keyword entries as they are typed in the search box without any defining attribution whatsoever. For example, golf club typed in as such, would represent a keyword that could be rendered in the order you typed it, but could also be returned with the words golf and club in other combinations as well. The golf and club words could also appear with singular/plural forms, synonyms and other relevant variations. So your results could show golf clubs, cheap golf clubs, used golf clubs, clubs for golf and whatever variation is being entered by the people looking for or writing about golf clubs.
The broad match is as open and varied as the entries coming from the users on the Web.
When you enter a keyword in quotation marks, you are now in the realm of the phrase match. Your phrase match appears with the keywords in the order in which they are entered, ìgolf clubî but with the possibility of other terms in the query. The order is respected but the composition of the word context allows for other terms as well. Golf club for beginners is a phrase match combo, for example. As long as the exact phrase is maintained in the order it is entered you have a phrase match.
When you surround your phrase in brackets [ ] your search will return only those keywords with the specific phrase, in the exact order, and without any other terms in the query. There will be no synonyms, variations of singular or plural or any contextual change at all. You would only see the exact return of the keyword as it is entered. The numbers you get are for the exact match as they are entered by the web user.
A negative keyword match eliminates a keyword from search terms for your internet marketing campaign. It is a keyword preceded by a minus sign (-). For example ñcheap is a negative keyword and could be specified by a golf club vendor who wants to weed out those who do not fit the profile for his/her high end golf clubs. Inserting the negative keyword would avoid wasting money on clicks coming from the low end of the golf club market. Negative keyword matches have the function of weeding out irrelevant searches.
Keyword Matching Strategies
So how do you use these variations in your keyword research? That is material for a book but there are some general guidelines to follow.
For clarity let us define different market categories as a function of the number of competing pages for a given keyword:
1,000,000 + – Market
100,000- 1,000,000 – Mega niche
30,000 ñ 100,000 ñ Niche
< 30,000 – Micro Niche
Broad match keywords represent about one-third of all clicks and conversions in searches. Given the variations that can be captured, broad match can help you capture relevant traffic you never knew existed. With the comprehensive nature of the search you are also in the space of heavy hitters, super affiliates, big advertisers and high cost advertising. This is the realm of the market category not the mega niche, niche or micro niche. So if you are trying to score with broad search keywords with high search counts, you had better be prepared to compete and compete aggressively. This is not the arena for beginners.
Mega Niche and Niche
Phrase match is the next level down in the search hierarchy. Here your search term is written with the qualifier quotation marks surrounding the word. For the same keyword there can be a differential of 20 to 80 percent in the number of searches for a given term between broad match and phrase match. That means a keyword could return a 100,000 search count in a broad match and 20,000 to 80,000 in a phrase match search. Fewer searches reduce the monetizing potential. On the other hand, fewer searches puts you in the realm of the mega niche or niche where you might be able to dominate and get better revenue from a more targeted pool of customers. Here competition is less acute.
Exact match is even narrower in focus. It means a razor sharp target market, extremely focused on a specific keyword with sharply lower search counts. This, along with phase match, is the realm of the start up marketing effort where narrowly focused micro niche marketing can offer newcomers the best potential to start and build a business. The micro niche is where the newcomer is better able to compete and establish a business. It is the tactic you use to target a specific web page to a specific keyword; relevant content for a targeted user.
Some programs will emphasize starting with exact match keyword building before moving up the food chain to phrase match and broad match competition.
Negative keyword matching applies across the board to all levels of competition. This is where you can eliminate the searches that are not relevant to your marketing campaign. This will definitely save you time and money and keep the non shoppers out of your searches. Marketers at all levels make a point of adding a list of negative keyword matches to their marketing campaigns to weed out the non buying visitor.
Understanding the different classes of keywords and keyword matches and what they bring to an internet marketing campaign is essential to internet and affiliate marketing. They each bring with them benefits and limitations that you should carefully weigh as you move forward.
For the newcomer, finding a niche or micro niche that can keep you under the radar screen and bring you steady, modest income is certainly one of the recommended ways to go, especially if money is tight and the budget is small.
As you make your way to profitability, you then have the resources and experience to take on the higher value keywords and work your way up to the broad match environment to compete with the big guys.
So do your keyword research and give it a try.
May Your Travels Be Prosperous.