Best Longtail Tool

Mike LevinIf you’re trying to understand how the best longtail tool for selecting keywords for new website content works, check out this flow chart. We used to promote this flowchart rather heavily on the HitTail site. Unfortunately, it’s been played down. But I encourage you to check it out to see how you can begin effective longtail marketing today.

Google Adwords Bidding Strategy

So, now that all you HitTailers are jumping on the AdWords bandwagon, what about a bidding strategy? Well, it turns out that the keyword lists generated by HitTail are naturally deemed relevant by Google, and therefore are able to get the ads to run even while lowering your CPC bid to ridiculously low levels. Sure, it might half or even quarter the visits you get compared to an unconstrained budget. But you pay a fraction per click. I’ve been able to lower my CPC level to .06 with great success on high volume sites. On lower volume sites, I might suggest the .11 level to get some traffic rolling. And of course, you can use the HitTail feature to flow these terms directly into your AdWords account without ever leaving HitTail.

Eventually, you’ll want to go to AdWords and do some manual optimization of your campaigns. At this time, I suggest considering pulling your entire keyword list via the Export function, and import your keyword list en-masse into AdWords. AdWords will immediately deactivate keywords that don’t meet it’s criteria, or which exceed your CPC bid. That’s fine, because it becomes something of an experimential churn campaign, where every day or every few weeks (depending on the volume of your site), you dump the keyword list in again. Don’t worry too much about duplicates, as AdWords will automatically de-dupe. Over time, such campaigns become self-optimizing. But to really super-charge things, you start moving your best performing keywords into their own campaigns with more targeted copy in the ads, carefully selected landing pages, and bidding strategy.

Keyword Tool

The biggest change in the industry lately has been the dramatic rolling out of new features in the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, where they added monthly traffic volume estimates, the Google Trends tool, where they report website traffic numbers in uniques-per-day in an Alexa-like graph (log in for absolute numbers), and most recently with their Google Search Insights tool, which is like an interative Zeitgeist. To a lesser extent, some new features are rolling out in Webmaster Central. And contrary to popular wisdom, Microsoft has some of the best keyword research tools in the industry wrapped into Ad Center–but it’s a pretty big learning committment to get to the point where you can use them. SpyFu remains the best tool, albeit expensive, for spying on your client’s AdWords campaigns. And of course, HitTail, with it’s new features including the rockin’ feature where you can add new content to your blog directly from your To Do list (which I’m doing now) is hands-down the best way to identify the content-challenged sweet spots in your website, and the actual mechanism to publish the content. Of course, I’m biased.

How to use HitTail suggestions

One of our most frequently asked questions at HitTail is “What do I do with these HitTail suggestions?”. We created an FAQ on this topic but I’d like to create a list of all the different ways actual HitTail customers use their keyword suggestions.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.

  • Create a new blog post using the suggestion as the title / headline
  • Create new pages or articles on your website targeting the suggested keywords (utilize article writing services such as the Content Spooling Network)
  • Add the suggested keywords to a Pay Per Click campaign (this is now made easy with HitTail Premium)
  • Use the keywords on your advertising or landing page
  • Use the keywords in your email newsletters to your readers or customers
  • Incorporate the HitTail keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions of existing webpages
  • Buy a new website domain using HitTail suggestions
  • Use HitTail keywords to determine product suggestions and stock new products in your eCommerce store
  • Use keyword suggestions to tag your YouTube videos or bookmarks

We’d love to hear how you use your HitTail keyword suggestions!

Broad match not always best for PPC

If you run PPC search marketing campaigns, are you aware of “broad match” functionality? It sounds good in theory for those advertisers who are busy and cannot think of every possible keyword under the sun to add to their PPC campaigns. It allows you essentially to add a wildcard. Come up on all ads that include X or Y, no matter what other keywords are appended afterwards.

Obviously they have not been using HitTail to let their audience do the brainstorming for them! Sure, we are biased and hold strong beliefs in getting very granular about the terms you want to focus on in the long tail. That’s why we allow you to export your HitTail suggestions for use in PPC campaigns.

Fortune 1000 marketers in particular should think twice about using broad match for PPC advertising because once you get big enough, then you will probably have to deal with public relations problems at one point or another. However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay to make it worse.

When a crisis emerges, new keyword combinations that you may not have expected could suddenly become more popular. That’s why it’s safer to specify exact search phrases.

Web News Hits – April 8, 2008 – Your Daily Source For Web 2.0 News

PPC Hero tells you how to “Manage Your PPC Campaign Like A Shark”:

“I was reading an article about sharks and it got me thinking about PPC management. Sure, most people’s brains may not make that leap, but that’s the way I roll. Sharks have been around for approximately 450 million years. Their survival is not by accident; it is a result of evolutionary instinct combined with aggressive predatory skills.”

Engine Land
explores errors in mapping online systems.

PPC Discussions asks Adwords to “Please Change These 2 Things”

Mashable provides an early and in-depth look at Google’s application cloud service.

The “shockwaves” caused by this recent New York Times article on blogging is still being felt, as Blogstorm helpfully provides “10 Ways To Prevent Death By Blogging”

Copyblogger gives advice on how to price your freelance writing work:

“If you go looking for advice on how to price freelance writing work, you’ll find that one thing gets repeated nearly everywhere: don’t lowball yourself. There’s a natural tendency in business to feel like you need every client you can find, and that can often mean settling for a below-market rate in exchange for simply having the work. The standard advice is, “don’t fall into that trap.”

HitTail Gave Me Hot Topics: A Blogger’s Real Story

Hi. I’m a real blogger with a real blog. Here is a personal story about how HitTail worked for me.

I’m always looking for hot topics to blog about. I’m also always on the hunt for the “edge” that will allow me to break stories first. HitTail has given me the tools to do both.

Here is an example of what I mean; this really happened! I blog mostly about comic books and popular culture. Using HitTail, I found out that one of the popular phrases to find my blog was “who will play the Joker in Batman 3?” Now, I never wrote a post about that subject; but somehow the search engine in question found some combination of those words in my blog.

What this result on HitTail told me was that there are readers out there who are interested in this topic. Now I have a great story idea with a confirmed potential audience!

HitTail even has a “to do” feature that lets me move the phrase or words in question to a separate page for easy reference. So when the well is dry and I’m jonesing for ideas, I can take a look at my HitTail to-do list.

Next time, I will reveal an even GREATER secret about using HitTail for your blogging needs – how to not only find hot topics, but actual story “leads” to investigate further. I really got the edge using this – you can too.

Top Keywords Free

Mike LevinI’m frequently asked how to get the top keywords for your site for free, and the common wisdom is to use services like the keyword suggestion tools built into Google and Yahoo. Other people recommend services like Keyword Discovery and Wordtracker. But the truth is that the best keywords for your site are already burried in your log files in a way that’s too hard for most Webmasters to dig out. That’s where HitTail comes in. We analyze your log files, looking at factors that are consistently overlooked by other analytics packages, and zero right in on the top keywords for your site, and issue them to you as writing suggestions. Just act on them (as I’m doing now), or plug them into your PPC campaigns for instant results.

Keyword Research

Mike LevinHitTail is doing very well as a site on search terms related to the long tail and search hits. For the term “long tail” we’re on the second page of results, and for the term “search hits” we’re on the first page. For any combination, such as “long tail hits” or “long tail search” we are on the first page of results.

So, one of the primary effects of HitTail is taking place: the combined variations of different targeted keywords are already coming up high, without even trying. But this blog post is really about zeroing in on your most difficult, and most competitive keywords. In the case of HitTail, one of them is shaping up to be “keyword research”.

I’ve made 2 blog posts in the past that have targeted this term. But they haven’t produced for us yet. It’s a perfect example of how HitTail doesn’t work every time—it just works on average. This keyword combination actually has enough traffic to show on Google Trends, which is an amazing thing, considering what a marketing niche specialty keyword research is. But it also tells me that I’m on the right track with attacking a term that already has a lot of pre-existing traffic.

Unless you have a massive marketing budget, or your own TV network, it’s difficult to change the pattern of searching on the Internet. There were two watershed events that really showed us how search trends can change suddenly: The World Trade Center / 911, and the Janet Jackson Super Bowl event. But 99% of the time, search trends are all over the map, and search marketers are in the business of putting yourself into the path of searchers and search traffic that is already occurring, no matter what you do.

So, how to put HitTail into the path of people researching “keyword research”?

Well, the page can’t just be another text-only, low-effort, long-tail HitTail page. It has to be built up into something a little more special. This is increasingly turning out to be a picture, or maybe some YouTube video.

So, what I’m doing is making an early morning post, just to get this post out there and percolating. But during the day, I’ll be beefing it up with:

  1. Some YouTube video.
  2. A bell-curve illustration that we use to diagram the benchmark vs. longtail keyword issue.

And this post will start generating traffic in the meanwhile, and it’s existence urgently commits me to following through with the snazzing up the the page that needs to occur to make it effective on my targeted term.

And of course, for anyone who did find this page on the concept of keyword research, you’ve come to the right place. HitTail is one of the best keyword research tools available, because it helps you leverage the traffic that’s already occurring on your site, to get more traffic. Success breeds success. Third party keyword research tools that cull aggregate data from search engines and other people’s sites are somewhat overrated, considering there are much more effective approaches available that hardly anyone even knows about yet.