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My "New" Favorite Keyword Research Tool

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by barsha, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. barsha

    barsha Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Likes Received:
    05/10/2008 6:45 PM Quote Reply Alert
    Okay, so it isn't so new as its been out since January, but if you have Excel, you need to get the free, yeah, free add-in tool from Microsoft, which pulls data directly from MSN adCenter. While it is still in Beta, they have made some great improvements over the last few months and if you aren't using this add-in, now is the time.

    Requirement: Since the add-in works with Microsoft Excel, obviously you need the program.

    Download the add-in. (64MB)

    The Use: I opened Excel, launced the Keyword Wizard, typed in my competitor's URL and Microsoft went out an spidered their entire SITE, not the PAGE, but the SITE and lifted the keywords and returned a list of over 3,800 keywords with historical data, click throughs, average position clicked, average cost, impressions, and gave me search volume for each month dating back to April 2007.

    How long did this take? Three minutes and 14 seconds.

    This is awesome. Read on ....

    Benefit: You can pull the data straight from Microsoft into Excel to not only gather new keywords, but understand where they are in the market. The following is a look at a portion of the spreadsheet you are given. You can see the number of searches in June, the number of clicks, total impressions for the range (I chose one year), the average position of the ad which was clicked, the click-through rate and finally, the cost-per-click.

    Pretty awesome stuff, isn't it? This has now become one of my favorite keyword tools.

    Once you complete the install, there will be a new menu option in Excel called "Ad Intelligence".

    Clicking on the "Ad Intelligence" menu option opens a new menu bar, shown below:

    Overview of Features:
    Keyword Wizard: This is the option I use most and is a good starting point. It walks you through the entire process.

    Keyword Extraction: This option extracts most popular keywords from a specified website. What is great about this is that it spiders the entire site, not just the home page. So you can scrape the keywords off a competitor's site pretty quickly AND get the necessary data on those keywords so you know if they are worth pursuing. With this tool, you can effectively take what your competitors have researched and begin to use it on your site. You are no longer limited to just viewing the keyword meta tag. Also, this is good to run on YOUR site so can see which keywords are coming up for your site.

    Keyword Suggestion: There are three different options to choose from in Keyword suggestion feature:

    Campaign Association: Returns keywords that have been bid upon by advertisers in MSN adCenter.
    Contained: Returns keywords that were a part of a past search in Live Search and contain the provided term.
    Similarity: Returns similar keywords, in context to other keywords on the web as a whole.
    This can create a huge and unmanageable list is you aren't careful.

    Search Buzz: Provides two options:

    Top Spiky Keywords - This is similar to Google Trends but not as good. It returns surging and spiking keywords for a specific time frame. Seems that a lot of these keywords are focused around fads that come and go and not necessarily trends. (Fads = short term revenue. Trends = long term revenue.)

    This tool can be helpful to identify and understand seasonality because knowing when your keywords will spike will help you better plan your ad spend during the year. It will also help you to identify keywords that are no longer popular and that may need to be removed from your site and/or PPC Campaigns. This may also identify soon-to-be hot keywords.

    Note: If you get duplicates, it means the keyword has spiked multiple times within the time frame you are analyzing.
    Top Frequent Keywords - Shows you the top keywords overall in regards to your specified vertical.

    Having this information can be useful to know how keywords are trending and staying popular over time. Time frames searchable are the past day, week or 30 day period.

    It seems to me that you would need more data and from a longer period of time than just 30 days to define a keyword as an overall popular keyword rather than a spiky keyword. Hopefully, this is an area that is upgraded in the next release.
    MSN says that they pull this information by crawling the web. They do not say how it is pulled or what technology is used.

    Monthly Traffic: Provides historical, monthly and forecasted search counts (via MSN data) for specified keywords. There are two sub-features within this option, they are:

    Monthly. This allows you to look at the monthly past and forecasted search counts for keywords. The time frames that are searchable are 1, 3, 6, and 12 months for past and forecasted and 24 months for historic only.

    Note: You are most likely going to get different numbers in Monthly traffic and Monetization (discussed later), because Monthly Traffic (and Daily Traffic) numbers are based on exact search query data. Monetization numbers are based on ad impressions - further segmented by the match type chosen.
    Daily. Data does not show impressions more recent than 3-5 days out. MSN claims it is to "ensure quality, the adCenter Add-in provides a sample set of data that typically commences 3 to 5 days prior to current date." In other words, their database isn't good enough to show current data.
    Here are the uses for this feature: To understand seasonality of trends in keyword phrases used or ones you are planning to use. You can also understand your overall market volume for a keyword search query. With that information and other tools you can see where the market is trending as compared to where you are trending. If you are trending over the market for keywords, then you may have some optimization opportunities. If you are trending under the market then you will need to test, track and refine your landing pages, ads, keywords etc.

    Keyword Categorization: This section needs the most work and you may want to skip it for now. Keywords can be in multiple categories and will be sorted by confidence (0 = not confident; 1 = confident). The MSN example is for "Apple" it can be categorized under "fruit" and "technology brand". When I attempted to use this feature to create an effective silo, it was inconsistent at best.

    Geographic: Tracking geographic searches can give you insight into how to optimize and focus your local search efforts. It can also help you validate your offline content to ensure you are speaking to the audience you intend to.

    Demographic: Provides you with the percentage (as a decimal) of the gender and age group of the searcher for the keyword in a given time. My concern is how accurate this information is as most people lie about their personal information online.

    Monetization: Gathers KPI (Key Performance Indicators) information for specified keywords for given time. The KPIs that are included are:

    Average Position
    Cost per Click (CPC)
    Match Type (Exact, Broad, Phrase)
    There are two choices when running this report:

    Monetization - Which gives you monetization information for keywords provided within a given date range.
    Vertical KPIs - Which gives you KPIs about selected verticals in a given time.
    It is possible to have varying impression counts for high bid density keywords due to the match type chosen. (See image from MSN below):

    The information for this section is derived solely from MSN.

    Advanced Algorithm: Is was a bit confusing, at least at first, because it is not where you click to use MSN's advanced algorithm for keywords but it is where you can alter the algorithm to best suit your business' needs. For example, the Geographic locations and custom default date ranges can be set in this function. Personally, I don't mess with this.

    Options: This feature also allows you to change general settings, KSP server settings (username and password are entered here) and algorithm settings, etc. Here you can modify the number of maximum results returned, select Geographic location, update custom default date ranges, and modify display options.

    Now, as soon as I can correct my technical difficulties with Camtasia, I'll release a video on this so you can see it in action.

    Best Regards,

    Jerry West
    • Thanks Thanks x 13
  2. edsmithers

    edsmithers Junior Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Not sure how you got over 3000 words when it only allows 100 max. Explain please.
  3. procrastinator

    procrastinator Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2008
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    Can some one verify if this works or not?
  4. the_punisher

    the_punisher Power Member

    Feb 6, 2008
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    thats one hell of a testimonial for something thats free.

  5. goonieguhu

    goonieguhu Junior Member

    Apr 8, 2008
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    Thanks for the tip! People don't realize how powerful excel is, especially for keyword research. I use the data sort and filter tools all day to keep the most relevant key words visible on my excel screen while I write copy for particular projects.
  6. edsmithers

    edsmithers Junior Member

    Feb 7, 2008
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    Again, 100 results is all I could get max. How did you manage 3000?

  7. barabirir

    barabirir Registered Member

    Apr 6, 2008
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    Yeah,. how to manage 3000?
  8. ratdaddee

    ratdaddee Newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
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    over there
    nice, but I'll stick with Keyword Elite
  9. freudianslip27

    freudianslip27 Junior Member

    Oct 6, 2007
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    Can anyone compare these results to the more popular keyword tools? Like wordtracker?
  10. undergroundguru

    undergroundguru BANNED BANNED

    Feb 29, 2008
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    Is this another seemingly promising abandoned thread?

    Where'd you go barsha? You cant make a post like that and then bounce on us.. :eek:
  11. barsha

    barsha Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hi undergroundguru!

    I did not mean this and I am sorry for the confusion.
    It is just that I do not have an answer so I never bothered to comment on it.

    It is not me, it is Jerry West who wrote this article.
    You can see this on the bottom of the article.

    It is fromthe Stompernet where he published this, and I thought that it would be cool and usefull for our community so I copied it here.

    I do not know at the moment why are you guys are not able to get more keywords, but I am going to try it this week and see what happens.

    At the download center there are quite a few videos, maybe they have an answer. :)

    Also this AddOn is still in Beta, so it might explain different results.
    On the thread in Stompernet he was suggesting to try it at the different times of the day, like early in the morning when traffic is lower.

    I am pretty good with stuff like this, since I am a programmer, so in the next few days I will try it out and report it back
    The thing is that I do not have Microsoft AdCenter account and looks like it requires one, so I am not able to test it right now.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. CapMorgan

    CapMorgan Junior Member

    Dec 15, 2007
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    By the way barsha keep up the great posts you have been giving lately from Stompernet.
  13. red2004

    red2004 Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2007
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    cool nice one.. but I will use elite software...
  14. scubaslick

    scubaslick Regular Member

    Aug 23, 2007
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    It only allows 100 words per query, but it allows up to 20k words a day total.

    You can build a quick macro to autogen results from your list. worksheet 2 is your "database" and the macro just "pulls" 100 words at a time from your "database", runs the data query. You can set the results to automatically create a new worksheet each time. A little cut and paste and you're home free.

    If course if you're getting that many keywords that you need to do this, you're better off outsourcing someone to pare down your keyword lists before running the queries. this leaves you more time to cruise the forums and stuff.

  15. scratbandit

    scratbandit Newbie

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Holy cow you are the man! Thanks for the great info..
  16. teeth200200

    teeth200200 Newbie

    May 5, 2011
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    please how did you do that?