Free Keyword Research Guide - Build Targeted, Effective Keyword Lists

This Keyword Research Best Practices Tutorial is designed to help you get the most out of WordStream's multiple keyword research tools.

Please note that this guide is dedicated to optimization and best practices. To learn more about how to use WordStream's keyword research tools to parse your log files, please see the WordStream Set Up Guide, and to learn more about importing keywords from an external analytics or keyword research tool, you can view the WordStream User Guide module on importing keywords.

The Value of WordStream Keyword Analysis & Research

As we discuss in our keyword research solution page, keyword research generally leaves advertisers with a typical conundrum:

The central principle of the free keyword research guide (that you can find quality and quantity in your keyword research efforts) is depicted here.

In order to generate a significant quantity of keywords, you have to sacrifice keyword quality (or relevance), and vise versa, with a free keyword tool. What WordStream does is leverage real-life query data and sophisticated web analytics tools to generate a consistent influx of keyword suggestions.

optimal keyword research with WordStream: a how-to

There are a number of different ways you can perform and implement keyword research with WordStream:

  • Parse Your website's Log Files - The parsing of log files is the ideal option for keyword research. WordStream offers a free keyword discovery tool (available for download ) which enables you to pull keyword data from your log files. Assuming you can get a hold of log files dating as far or further back than what your analytics tools offer, this is the best and recommended option.
Can't access your website's log files? If for some reason you can't get a hold of your website's log files (some sites' hosting options are set up to delete log files every day/week/month, etc.) be sure to inform your webmaster or hosting company to reconfigure your hosting set up so that your log files aren't deleted: there's very valuable information in those logs!
  • Link Your Google Analytics Account - If you use Google Analytics, WordStream now offers a Google Analytics integration, allowing you to seamlessly upload historical data, and start importing daily keyword data from that point forward.
  • Upload Historical Website Data from Analytics Tools - If you are not using Google Analytics, pull a keyword referral report for as far back as you have data available.

The above two are the preferred options, and using your website's log files is the WordStream recommended option. This is true for a few reasons:

  • Amount of Keyword Data - Your Web logs record every visit to your site. Many JavaScript Web analytics programs offer valuable tracking and reporting information, but provide an incomplete picture when it comes to search query data. Likewise, free keyword tools like Google's Keyword Tool don't provide you with nearly enough reliable data to grow your campaign. Your Web logs will provide you with every term searchers have used to reach your site.
  • Ease of Uploading Keywords - Unfortunately, many analytics tools will not enable you to bulk export all of your keyword data (Google Analytics, for example, only allows you to export up to 500 keywords at a time). While WordStream's keyword import functionality is as simple as cutting and pasting your data, many analytics tools will make the process of importing a mass of your site's keywords fairly difficult.
  • Competitive Quality of Your Keyword List - One of the most powerful SEM benefits offered by WordStream is the competitive advantage offered by the product. One of the ways WordStream offers you this advantage is by creating, maintaining, and constantly growing a unique list of keywords for your company that your competitors don't have access to. While WordStream will create this extensive and exclusive database over time for any company, providing a list of key terms generated by your own pay per click efforts and your website's content gives you a nice jump start so that you can instantly procure that inevitable WordStream edge.
  • Relevance of Keyword Data - Since these two options are mining your own site's history for keyword information you can be assured that the keywords within your list have something to do with the PPC campaigns you've run and/or with your site's copy. WordStream automatically tags your log file traffic sources, allowing you to easily filter and manipulate your keyword data.

Once again, to learn more about the logistics of actually uploading your log files or importing keyword data please see either of those more technical how-to tutorials.

alternative ways to do keyword research with WordStream

WordStream's keyword suggestion and research tools offer a unique competitive advantage over traditional keyword research tools. However, if you're just starting a website or if you are unable to access your website's log files or analytic data for whatever reason, you need to start somewhere.

The beauty of WordStream is that the application can leverage and augment the information offered by traditional keyword research tools.

Keyword research tools will generally all provide largely the same information (in fact, the best and most accurate of these tools is arguably the one offered by Google, which is free) but will only offer a handful of the most popular search terms associated with your offering.

Luckily, WordStream offers keyword importing functionality. And, even more fortunately for you the advertiser, the software's Web actalytics, keyword research, and tools automate the process of not only building out your keyword lists, but also of turning them into profitable Ad Groups.

Learn how to import keywords from a third-party keyword research tool by clicking the link.

keyword research is a never-ending process

Whether you import log files, analytics data, or a keyword list from a third-party keyword tool, don't stop there! Install the WordStream JavaScript code on your site, launch a WordStream optimized PPC campaign, and let the software automate the process of keyword research for you while optimizing every aspect of your campaign with intelligent automation and tools.

Learn more WordStream optimization tips and techniques in any of our SEM Best Practices Modules:


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