The one tip you absolutely need for Pinterest marketing.



Pinterest leadsLast month, 14% of our website visitors AND new contacts came from Pinterest. Pretty good, right?

Well, for one of our clients, 48 percent of his traffic 57% of new contacts came from Pinterest. Insane!

How do we do it, you ask? Well, it has a little to do with the industry. This particular client is a pharmacist and nutritional counselor, so it’s not too hard to find a topic that will really do well on Pinterest.

Every month, we create a new piece of downloadable content for his website. Often, our ideas are inspired by what we see on Pinterest. For instance, if we see that a pin on featuring smoothie recipes is really popular on Pinterest, we might create a collection of ten smoothie recipes.Because of the focus of our client, we’ll make them healthy smoothies. They have to taste great AND be good for you. Tricky, but not impossible (we know because we did this). Also, one of them is now what I eat for lunch. Every. Single. Day.

I digress. Now that we have our offer, our landing page, our emails, blog post, and follow-up workflow (all done easily in HubSpot), we have to get the word out. It is worth noting here, that your landing pages have to be good for this to work. But, of course yours are!

For this client, the best channel is clearly Pinterest – though we do use others, too.

Here it Is – Pinterest Lead Generation Magic

We could just use the blog post image (which, by the way,  is sized and designed for best impact on Pinterest). BUT, we find that having many different pins yields much better results.

It’s easy to see how this could work for our “Smoothie Recipes” ebook. A gorgeous photo of each one (you can usually find something on BigStock, but sometimes we have to make our own) with some text overlay and a great description gives you ten pinnable images. Add in the blog post image for 11. Create a few more, changing up colors, fonts, and text and  you could easily have 20 or more for this one offer.

Now, schedule your pins throughout the month (we use ViralTag), making sure to pin to group boards and any of your own applicable boards.  In your description, make sure to mention that this recipe is available as part of  a free download and include a strong call to action, like “grab them now and have one for lunch!”

That’s it! You didn’t expect actual magic, did you? Just like all good inbound marketing, it takes time, but not a lot of money.

Make it Work for You

This example of the smoothie recipes is almost too easy. I know. But that doesn’t mean your landscaping company has no choice but to create ebooks about smoothies! Let’s say you created an ebook on starting a vegetable garden. The planning process may be broken down into  a few steps. Then there is preparation, a trip to the nursery or hardware store, etc. Each of those steps could use its own pinnable image. You could either create one template and change out the text. Or, you could use colorful images of vegetables and gardens with some text outlining a specific tip or step in the process.

And that, my friends, is my #1 tip for how to get massive numbers of leads from Pinterest.

Social Listening Strategy – Are you really listening?


cutting throught the noiseIn many ways, the social media experience is much like being in crowded train station at the end of a workday. There are countless people having revealing discussions, following trends, and sharing opinions that will shape the perceptions of entire industries. Because of the inherent chaos, however, cutting through that noise is practically impossible. If you’re a business that relies on social media data to plan new products, create cost-effective marketing or keep ahead of user trends, it’s all too easy to find “social listening” a deafening process.

But it doesn’t have to be.

In the right hands, social listening can provide you with new insights into your existing social media analytics. An effective social listening dashboard should be able to tell you, at a glance, exactly what people are saying. This isn’t just a matter of Twitter mentions and keyword results, it’s about providing a greater context so that your company can make intelligent, informed decisions based on real conversations across the social media landscape.

To make the most out of your social listening efforts, it pays to have a firm grasp on some of the core concepts. The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it will provide you with a solid foundation for building the right social listening strategy for your company.

1. Know your goals. It’s a lot easier to see meaningful results from social listening if you know what you are listening for. Are you hoping to follow the sentiment of your market? Are you looking for opportunities to engage with influencers? Is guarding your product’s reputation at the top of your list, or are you looking for an opportunity to tease out a previously hidden customer trend? Knowing what you want to accomplish makes it that much easier to set up your tools in a way that will give you the best results.

2. Get the right data. Even with the most targeted settings and searches, distortions will happen. Don’t jump to conclusions. Because we live in a hugely interconnected online community, it’s easy to mistake the wake of a totally unrelated trend for a wave in your area of focus. An uptick in discussions about “gingham” in 2012 could have sent fabric makers into a tizzy, even though it might just have been a side-effect of millions of people mistyping “Gangnam” because of a popular Korean rap song.

3. Don’t just analyze. Actually listen. There is a true beauty to seeing a complex, chaotic cloud of comments, opinions, and remarks broken down into a simple-to-follow graph or pie chart. Just remember that those gorgeous renderings of trends and sentiments represent an algorithm’s best guess at what the crowd is saying. It pays to wade into the source content, and to actually interact with the people who are shaping those trend lines in the first place.

4. Dissect the process. In the last year, a huge range of software tools for social listening have hit the market. Many of these systems provide great-looking dashboards and seemingly definitive results with clear percentage changes for even the most minor performance tweaks. On the surface, that seems wonderful. But how are they making those assumptions? What precisely are they searching for? How are they interpreting changes? Are they giving you real statistical results, or are they simply pretty toys for telling you how many people used a given hashtag? Most quality vendors will be more than happy to walk you through the nitty gritty details of their service.

5. Put the results to use. Even a casual experiment with social listening will quickly uncover a range of questions, complaints and strong sentiments about any topic, product or company. Making use of that data, however, requires taking action. This doesn’t mean tackling every Twitter user and YouTube commenter head-on. It means knowing your ultimate goals and forming a strategy to see real, measurable results. A simple exchange with the author of a skeptical blog post can yield hugely positive results, for instance, while sparring with random trolls on Reddit might just waste your day.

6. Test the results, challenge the assumptions. As you start to gather data from your social listening experiments, it becomes increasingly important to verify everything. You have specific goals in mind, and a clear strategy for attaining those goals. Now, it’s time to test if your strategy actually moves you closer to the results you want to see. Are those wildly popular Pinterest Boards actually moving the needle on your female buying demographic? Are your LinkedIn contributions resulting in more buzz among industry professionals?

7. Don’t SPAM. This should go without saying. If you’re using your social listening data to inform your engagement strategy, it can be tempting to go overboard with the replies, the “helpful” links and the thinly veiled marketing. People are smart enough to know when they’re being pitched, and if they’re not interested they’ll turn off like a light switch.

8. Influencers matter. As you start to see trends in your social listening dashboard, you’ll probably notice that influential people tend to steer the conversation. If a popular blogger or Twitter user starts posting about a company or a product, that same view tends to echo through the social media landscape. There are few more cost-effective ways to test sentiment than starting with the influencers first, and then watching the results ripple through the data.

9. Customize. Off-the-shelf social-listening tools are generally designed to provide the best data sets for selling social-listening software. While this data can be useful in a broad sense, it doesn’t always provide meaningful, actionable data that’s relevant to your goals. A good social listening system will allow you to fine-tune everything, tuning out as much noise as you can. Take advantage of this.

10. Don’t confuse inbound and outbound conversations. Social listening exists in the overlap between customer relations and marketing, blurring the traditional lines between the two. It’s important to remember, however, that there are still two fundamental kinds of conversations happening in any social media contest: You’re either responding to customers (individually or en masse) or broadcasting to them. Any social-listening system you put in place should differentiate between those two channels, allowing you to track the performance of each.

With the right tools in place, you can follow what the most influential people in your market are saying about your product, what the opinion-makers are saying about your competition, and how your potential customers feel about your industry. It’s now possible to find out who is steering the social media conversation about your topic, the direction they’re steering it in, who is listening, and even where those voices are physically located. While this may sound complex, with the right software behind it these metrics are as easy to follow as website traffic and ad conversions.

By using the best available social listening tools, you’ll be able to drill down to the pivotal moments and key interactions that both create and kill industry buzz. Instead of simply reacting to trends after they’ve already gained momentum, social listening tools allow you to see sentiment as it takes shape. This allows you to do more than simply monitor and measure these trends; it allows you to steer them in ways that were not possible before.

As you master the art and science of social listening, the roiling madness of the train station now becomes simply the set dressing of the narrative. You’re able to pick out those one or two meaningful interactions that result in positive buzz and improved sales, and be able to respond quickly when someone is writing naughty graffiti about your company on the bathroom walls. All of that noise quickly become filtered to pure signal, making it that much easier to focus on doing what your company does best.

Instagram 101


Key Steps to Instagram success for your business.

Wondering how to get started and learn to rock the Instagram platform? Then this Instagram 101 post and video are for you! Instagram is a wonderful ways to tell your story through photos. It’s a little glimpse into your world that can lead to better connections, new friends, and most importantly amazing business connections.

Let’s get a look into how others excel on Instagram. This was done as a presentation from her phone with screencasting so you can see exactly what it looks like live.

Let’s dig deep into Instagram for Business.

7 Keys Steps to Instagram Success

“Get super focused in your niche for #Instagram success.” {Click to tweet}

1. Create an Instagram profile

Have a clear, fantastic avatar that you use on Instagram as well as Twitter, Google+, Facebook. It helps people to recognize you across social media if you use the same photo.

  • Try to use the name user name as Twitter so that people can easily tag you.
  • Note: My user name on Instagram is now Peg Fitzpatrick, no longer PeggyFitzpatrick. Hooray!
  • Use keywords in your bio for searchability.
  • Change the URL in your bio to reflect what you’re doing.
  • Use BITLY to track your Instagram traffic and customize it. Use it to strategically boost your traffic where it makes the most sense to you.
  • Use emojis for some color and fun calls to action.


How to Add Emojis to Instagram on Android 

How to Add Emojis (emoticons) to Your Instagram Posts (iPhone)

How to Create an #InstaAmazing Instagram Profile 

2. Construct an hashtag strategy

Attract your ideal clients by creating a solid hashtag strategy on Instagram! {click to tweet}

  • You can use up to 30 hashtags per post.
  • Post a few in the original post. Add more in the comments.
  • Use Evernote to save groups of hashtags by topic to use across your devices. Or use Notes on an iPhone. Cut and paste them in groups of six!
  • Be consistent with your hashtags. Choose your own to help people find you. Sue uses #instagramexpert and #instagallive.
  • It’s worth the time to build your hashtag strategy. It saves time and helps with consistency.
  • Create separate accounts if you have more than one niche. Sue has six accounts to cover her different business focuses. She’s increasing her business because customers of her store and clients for her social media consulting find her with hashtags.
  • Stop the random acts of hashtagging! Be focused and targeted in your niche.
  • Refresh your Instagram posts by changing your hashtag groups in the comments.
  • Create hashtags that build a hub for your content.

3. Build a posting strategy

4. Encourage engagement

Create real relationships with your ideal clients by creating value in your niche. {click to tweet} This is where the magic happens!

  • Delete spammy comments by swiping and remove them.
  • Give shouts out to thought leaders and friends.
  • Tag people in photos so they receive a notification.
  • Create a path for people to follow with your hashtags.
  • Make it easy for people to find you.
  • You can’t have success on Instagram with a private account. Make it public to connect with new people.
  • Check out industry relevant hashtags to find new people.
  • Double tap a post to like it and show your appreciation.

5. Be found with geo-tagging on Instagram

What is a geotag?

“Geotagging is a technical term for storing the latitude and longitude of your current location with your photo. This data is collected by the GPS device in your phone or tablet and is accessible to Instagram if you grant permission.”

This helps people find you. When you have a physical location, using geo-tagging is really important. They can follow your geo-tag via G0ogle maps right to your location. Perfect when you’re a small business!

Kim Garst and Sue created a video on how to use geo-tagging with Instagram.

6. Use call to actions

A call to action is the text you’ll add in your comments that tell people what you’d like them to do next. This takes a casual visitor to a lead and then a client by providing the next step to reach you or find out what you do.

A few calls to action you could use on Instagram:

  • Click the link in my bio for more information.
  • Check out the link in my bio for a sneak peek of my new course.
  • Like what you see here? Connect with me to learn more.
  • Contact me to learn how you can…

Every post should have a call to action but you don’t need to be pushy, you can just put the offer out there. If you don’t ask, you won’t connect. Let people know how they can work with you and make it easy for them to find you.

7. Connect with direct messages

Sue adds value to followers by sharing Instagram tips via direct messages.

Thank you so much to Sue for doing this fantastic hangout and sharing some of your Instagram smarts! If you want to learn more, please follow Sue, read her blog, and check out her educational opportunities. She’s hosting a conference in Boston called Sail to Your Success, come on September 20th at take your business to the next level.

I’m sure you’ll be headed right over to Instagram to test out these new things on your posts. Make sure you say hello while you’re there! Questions or comments? Love to hear them in the comments below.

What is Action-Gating? And How Can I Use it to Drive Results on Facebook?


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Did you hear, Facebook is dropping like-gating, or more to the point they will no longer allow companies to practice like-gating. If you have not heard, about Facebook’s decision to prohibit the practice of like-gating on its site, read on.

like gatewhat you need to know:

On August 7, Facebook announced an update to its Platform Policy to prohibit the practice of like-gating — or requiring someone to like your Facebook Page in order to receive an incentive.

Facebook’s decision to ban like-gating is based on a simple but an important idea — “to ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them.”

Facebook has given businesses 90 days (until November 5, 2014) to comply with this policy change.

Why is this important?

If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you won’t be surprised to hear that Facebook has undergone a lot of changes in recent years.

As Facebook grows, the social media company has come to understand how important ensuring quality connections between users — and the businesses and organizations they follow — is to their own long-term success.

One of the ways that they have done that is with the News Feed algorithm, which controls the content users see in their feed. Facebook uses a series of factors to determine which content users will find interesting, and as a result, only show your content to a portion of your Facebook audience.

The removal of like-gating takes that a step further.

Facebook believes that if people like your page only to receive an incentive, then they may not be engaged or interested in what you’re sharing after the promotion is over. Instead, Facebook wants businesses to encourage customers and potential customers to like their page without requiring them to do so.

They believe that this will allow you to build a fan base that is more engaged, and as a result, more likely to interact with your business and act on the content you share on Facebook.

How does the change impact  your business on Facebook?

Well you will want to take steps to update both your Social Campaigns product and your Facebook Fan Promotion campaigns prepare for the November 5 deadline.

This change in particular will affect those people who like me use Constant Contact to collect an email address from new fans after liking my Page. The belief being that the best way to build a meaningful relationship with fans on Facebook is to move them beyond liking your page and onto your email list.

This allows you to take ownership of your contacts. It also keeps you from having to worry about further Facebook changes that make it difficult to reach your audience.

So while we they will be removing the ability to like gate a piece of content, coupon, or sweepstakes; You can still continue to make it easy to grow your email list on Facebook with our email action gate.

What is an action gate?

With an action gate, you can still require users take some specific action before redeeming a coupon or entering a Facebook contest, without forcing them to like your Page.

There are a number of benefits of using an action gate on Facebook.

One of the biggest benefits is that you’re able to engage your current fans beyond the traditional like, comment, or share. This means that you’ll not only have the opportunity to grow your email list, but you’ll also be able to strengthen relationships with the people who like your page and even turn them into new or repeat customers with an exclusive offer.

In addition, action gates allow you to think differently about the campaigns you decide to run. While like-gated offers limit your ability to extend your reach beyond Facebook, action gates allow you to easily promote your offer across different channels and drive people to an offer, hosted on your Facebook Page.

This is a great opportunity to encourage your connections on different social channels to like your Page, without requiring them to do so. Even if they don’t choose to like your Page at first, you can still use email to continue the conversation and potentially include links back to your page in future messages.

Here are a few examples of action-gated campaigns you can run:

  • Capture leads on Facebook with an exclusive download: While a like gate only allowed you to add new fans, an action gate allows you to capture new leads on Facebook and nurture them with email. One of the best ways to capture a new lead on Facebook is to offer an exclusive download with helpful information. After adding a new contact to your email list, you can easily send a follow up email with more information, or even create an autoresponder email series to help introduce them to your business.
  • Turn current fans into paying customers with a special offer: Because you’re not just focused on adding new fans, an action gate is a perfect way to reward current fans with an exclusive offer. We all know how difficult it can be to turn all those likes, comments, and shares into actual business results. Think of a special discount your fans would love and promote it to your fan base. After providing their email address, they will receive a coupon in their inbox.
  • Run a sweepstakes and keep the conversation going: With an action gate, you can run a sweepstakes on your Facebook Page that people can enter by providing their email address. When the winner is chosen, you can contact them via email and even reach out to non-winners after the contest is over. You can create a separate list within Constant Contact, and send targeted emails to introduce new subscribers to your business. You can also reward non-winners with a separate offer, and encourage them to visit your store, restaurant, or office.

Ready to get started?

There are a number of ways you can use action-gating to drive real results on your Facebook Page.

The use of like-gating will end on November 5, but you can start planning your action-gated campaign today.

An easy to fix for that Facebook feature has been causing cell phone bills to skyrocket.

If you have an iPhone, follow these instructions:

  1. Tap your ‘Settings’ button
  2. Scroll down and click on ‘Facebook’
  3. Click ‘Settings’
  4. Click ‘Auto-Play’
  5. Then choose ‘Wi-Fi only’ of ‘Off’

If you have an Android, follow these instructions:

  1. Open your Facebook app
  2. Go to ‘Account Settings’
  3. Click ‘App settings’
  4. Then choose ‘Auto-play only on Wi-Fi’ or ‘Off’

The Best Keyword Research Tools


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Whether you like it or not, keyword research is at the core of pay-per-click marketing and SEO practices. If you aren’t bidding or using the right keywords, short- or long-tail, then you could be selling yourself short on your potential success.

And wouldn’t you rather reel in a big whale shark instead of a few sardines? (You can obviously tell I don’t know my fish very well.)

See, doing good keyword research is like being a seasoned fisherman, casting his net at the right place, at the right time. So whether you’re looking to patch up the holes in your current keyword selection net, or expand the size of it, consider this article a potential algal bloom of profits.

By now you should know that the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is no longer available – Google has folded the tool into Keyword Planner, a combination of the old keyword tool and the Traffic Estimator. Now, you need an AdWords account to get keyword suggestions from Google. But Google is far from the only keyword game in town.

In this article, we’ll look at my eight favorite keyword research tools, plus some fancy tricks you can use to get a wooden peg leg up on your competition. Some are free, and some are not (but well worth the money).

Keyword Research Tools

So without further ado, let’s take you from being like this guy…

Keyword Tools

To this guy.

1. FreshKey ($20 Software)

FreshKey is my #1 go-to keyword research tool that allows me to see beyond the regular Google Instant suggestions and predictions that appear when I start typing things in on Google.

Not only does it give you new keyword ideas, variations, and synonyms, it also sorts the keywords depending on popularity.


Instead of just getting four new keywords from the Google suggestions drop-down, you can now potentially get an unlimited amount of keywords if you keep adding small letter variations like a, b, c, d, etc. to the end of your keyword root.

Keyword Tools

Best Keyword Tool

FreshKey will even give you ideas of which negative keywords to add before you actually have to pay for them the old-fashioned way by going through your search query report.

You can also use it to get Amazon search box suggestion terms.

You can also export the keyword results as a spreadsheet or copy them directly to your clipboard.

BOOM! You can stop reading the rest of this article now. (JK)

2) Soovle (Free)

If you have multiple channels you wish to do keyword research for and want to sound like an idiot explaining the pronunciation of this tool to your watercooler buddies, then Soovle is a perfect fit.

Soovle allows you to explore the most typed in keywords on multiple search engines based on the keyword root you give it. It even includes Amazon and eBay.

Not only is it a great keyword research tool to use, but it’s also a great brainstormer as you can slowly start typing in your ideas and allow it to auto-generate its own ideas.

I would’ve never thought to call a bounce house an inflatable castle, but now I do :)


3)  Ubersuggest (Free)

Meet the keyword research tool on steroids, Ubersuggest.

Ubersuggest takes any keyword you give it and immediately gives you an almost unlimited list of alphabetized and numerical keyword variations of your original keyword.

You can even take it further by adding “bounce house ab, ac, ad” to uncover more keywords that you could potentially bid on or use for SEO purposes.


4) Search Term/Query Reports (Free-Ish)

Now even though you won’t be expanding your keyword net by using search query report mining, you’ll at least be improving your AdWords or Bing Ads account by patching up holes.

One common thing I notice in PPC accounts is the lack of attention and detail in which the account owner or previous agency allows one or a couple of keywords to be the “catch all” for everything. A common example would be to have the keyword +bounce +house or “bounce house” and leave it at that.

The only problem is that you can’t possibly laser-target every ad to the search query, and your landing page will definitely not be as targeted as it could be either. Not even dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) would help, because who wants to click on an ad with the headline of just “Bounce House”? Let’s just say it gets tricky, and you’re a little lazy if that’s all you do.

The search term/query report is a PPC report that shows you what search terms have actually triggered your ads based on the current keywords you’re bidding on. So it won’t expand your reach since your ads are already showing for those terms, but it will help you improve your quality scores and granularity within your account.

Here’s how to access the search term report in Google AdWords:

AdWords Search Queries

Here’s how to access the search query report in Bing Ads:

Bing Keywords

5)  Google Keyword Planner (Free)

Duuuhhh…! Of course this is on the list.

The Google Keyword Planner is sometimes regarded as the alpha and omega of keyword research tools. You must have an AdWords account to access it, and that doesn’t mean you have to pay anything to use it, it’s still free.

The Google Keyword Planner will show you some pretty neat stats like average monthly searches, competition level (high, medium, or low), the average cost per click, and more.

It doesn’t give you exact keyword suggestions like FreshKey or Ubersuggest, but it actually takes it a step further and suggests more synonyms and variations than many other tools available.

Is it accurate? Sort of. I always tell people to take the suggested keyword stats with a grain of salt.

Here’s how to find it. Log in in to your AdWords account and go to the Tools and Analysis tab:

AdWords Keywords

Here are some of the keyword results:

Keyword Planner

6)  WordStream’s Keyword Tool (Free)

Ahhh yes… Of course I could never forget WordStream’s very own keyword tool for both SEO and PPC keyword research.

The WordStream keyword tool allows you to target certain niches (groups of related keywords), gives you further suggestions, and also allows you to group them based off of a common theme for easy ad group launches.

WordStream Keyword Tool

This keyword research tool gives you 30 searches for free, after that you’ll have to sign up for their PPC Advisor to use it additionally.

Hidden bonus? You get a free 7-day trial on top of the 30 free searches you already did!

7) Competitor Source Code (Free)

This might not be the best and most fruitful keyword research tool but it allows you to see what meta keywords your competitors could be using to try to rank organically.

Since I use Google Chrome as my browser, it’s super simple to right-click on a site and select “View Page Source.”

View Meta Keywords

After that, all you have to do is locate the keywords and read what they’ve got. That’s it!

Two caveats for this method:

  • Your competitors might not be using the best keywords
  • Your competitors might not have meta keywords enabled (since Google doesn’t include meta keyword data in its search algorithm anymore)

8. YouTube Keyword Tool (Free)

This one’s for the film nerds! If you’re a brilliant marketer (which you are, you’re reading WordStream after all), then you know that YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, potentially driving hundreds if not thousands of visitors from your videos, to your site.

Smart people know the value of YouTube and are already using it for their content marketing strategies, so it would make sense to optimize your video headlines and descriptions to get the highest possible rankings.

To do so, go to and use it just like you would the other tools I’ve mentioned.

YouTube Keywords

Be Careful Using AdWords for Keyword Research


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Article thanks to The Moz Blog

February 14th, 2012 – Posted by to Keyword Research

For the past decade, most of us in the field of search have relied on Google’s AdWords data (either in the public tool, the API or the tools inside AdWords accounts). It’s the best source we’ve got, but many marketers may not realize that sadly, the numbers and queries may not always match up to what’s actually happening on Google’s search engine. I’ll illustrate with an example.

An SEOmoz blog post ranks in the top 2-3 results for many keywords around the phrase “blog traffic.” Here’s a screenshot of some of those rankings:

Google Search for "Improve Blog Traffic"

I went into our Google Analytics account and pulled the related keywords along with how much traffic they’ve sent in the past 30 days:

Moz Google Analytics Data

Then I went to Google’s AdWords Tool and searched for “blog traffic” to compare the suggestions:

AdWords Search for "Blog Traffic"

Here I got confused, because many of the terms that we receive traffic for are NOT shown above in the list… Is Google hiding them? Do they not know about them?

To be sure, I typed them into Google’s AdWords Tool manually, performing [exact match] searches only:

AdWords Tool Data

Holy cow… There they are. So, AdWords does have volume for these, and will display it, but only if you enter them exactly (or rather, “more exactly” – you can find them if you do sets of imprecise, but closer queries, too). I made the chart below to illustrate which terms were available from the broad reserach:

Comparison of Keywords Suggested vs. Those with Volume

As you can see, there’s ~50% of the terms not shown in the suggestion list, which is fairly substantive and could lead to some serious missed targeting opportunities.

THE IMPORTANT LESSON: Running discovery-focused searches in AdWords may not show you all the valuable/high-volume keyword phrases connected to a word/phrase.

There are a few ways to address this challenge:

  1. If you have the budget, my top recommendation is to buy a few, very broad keywords in AdWords, send them to a relevant landing page on your site, but realize you probably will lose money on the campaign. The goal isn’t conversions, but rather to learn by watching the keyword terms/phrases for which you get impressions. This is also great conversion-testing if you have the budget to invest, but even a week or two of data can be highly valuable for future keyword targeting.
  2. When searching in AdWords, start broad, and then enter narrower queries and note the new phrases that come up. Make sure to use exact match, and be diligent in testing variations. Google only lies through omission.
  3. The relative numbers of searches aren’t perfect (as you can see above), but they are relatively decent. In fact, I’d say they’ve improved in what they show vs. the actuals you’ll see compared to prior years. However,
  4. Use your own analytics as a guide to find new terms/phrases you might be imperfectly targeting. And if you see keyword variations that have a unique or different intent, it might even pay to create a more targeted page for that query, and you often need less work to rank, since Google uses the “indented results” system to drop a second URL from the same domain directly underneath the first one on a given page.

Now I’d love to hear from you – what are your experiences around keyword research in AdWords? Are you seeing the same thing we are? You can share your thoughts in the comments and/or use the poll below (from a new service called Quipol that has some fun twists):

BTW – Given that 30%+ of our referrals from Google searches are keyword (not provided), I’d venture to guess that all of the numbers from our analytics are underreporting by about that same percent. Keep that in mind when comparing the data from AdWords vs. our analytics above.


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