Keyword research is the bedrock of any pay-per-click advertising campaign. As any advertiser could tell you, however, it’s not enough to have a basic list of keywords – you need more data to help you prioritize and make decisions.
This is why keyword analytics is so important.
Oftentimes, keyword data can be skewed or misleading when viewed selectively. It can be tempting for advertisers and search marketers with limited time or resources to focus on isolated metrics such as cost-per-click, but this information offers little value unless advertisers have other contextual data to support their business decisions. You wouldn’t allocate a quarterly advertising budget solely on the basis of choosing keywords with low CPCs, just as you wouldn’t decide which website keywords to target purely by relying on a keyword’s average search volume.
You can't only bid on the cheapest keywords and create content optimized for keywords with the highest search volume. You need to find the right balance, so you know you're driving traffic through keywords that are within your business's reach and have the power to actually drive traffic, leads, and sales.
Keyword Analytics – It’s All About Context
WordStream has helped thousands of small business drive leads and sales through paid search. And keywords are one of the foundations of any search marketing campaign.
You need keywords to build your SEO and PPC campaigns, and you can get tons of keywords plus smart keyword data with our Free Keyword Tool.
Using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool for Keyword Analytics
Using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool for keyword analytics is simple.
To get started, just enter a keyword or the URL of a specific webpage to get a list of relevant keywords plus detailed keyword analytics data. You can also enter your industry and country to see even more accurate results.
Next, you’ll be presented with a range of keyword analytics data. On the left-hand side, you’ll see 10 keyword suggestions based on your original query. Each keyword has four corresponding metrics associated with it: Google Search Volume, Competition, CPC, and Opportunity Score.
Let’s take a look at each metric individually to see why a holistic approach to keyword analysis is so important.
Google Search Volume
The first metric we can examine as part of our keyword analysis is Google Search Volume. This figure represents the average monthly search volume of a given keyword on Google. Our top keyword suggestion – “cars for sale” – has an approximate monthly Google search volume of 1.2 million. This tells us that interest in and searches for this particular keyword is very strong.
Unless you’re lucky enough to own a business in an incredibly niche market with few or no direct competitors, you’re going to have to compete with other advertisers for the chance for your ads to be shown to users searching for businesses like yours. This is why knowing how competitive individual keywords are is crucial in determining how much to bid on certain keywords, or even whether it’s realistic to target those keywords in the first place.
WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool displays competition for individual keywords as Low, Medium, or High. Keywords of Low competitiveness may be cheaper and easier to rank for, but may deliver sub-par ROI or fewer conversions. Highly competitive keywords, on the other hand, may drive conversions much more effectively, but are also likely to be more expensive.
Cost-per-click (CPC) is one of the most important metrics in paid search. As a result, it often takes center-stage in the keyword analytics process. As we mentioned earlier, though, it’s crucial that CPC is viewed within the context of other keyword analytics data.
Let’s take our top keyword suggestion, “cars for sale”, as an example. We know that this keyword has a very high average monthly search volume and is considered of Medium competitiveness. When we look at this keyword’s average CPC – which is $1.35 – we begin to see a clearer picture of this keyword as a whole.
We can then cross-reference this figure with benchmark CPC data to determine that this particular keyword aligns closely with the average CPC of keywords in the Automotive industry as a whole, providing us with even more context about our keyword data.
One of the most common frustrations we hear from search marketers and advertisers is how overwhelming keyword analysis can be. With dozens of potential data points to consider, it can be very difficult to identify keywords that represent the greatest opportunities.
That’s why WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool offers a unique proprietary metric known as Opportunity Score.
Represented on a scale of 1-10 – with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best – the Opportunity Score metric factors in the previous three metrics as well as a wide range of other data points to score each keyword. The higher the score, the greater the potential opportunity offered by a particular keyword. This allows busy search marketers to quickly and easily identify the actual keywords that offer the greatest potential return.
This is the holy grail of keyword analysis: Knowing which keywords to target first so you can start driving more valuable traffic and leads to your website.
Keyword Analytics – Bringing It All Together
It’s vital to examine all the keyword analytics data at your disposal in a holistic way to ensure you have not only accurate data, but actionable data.
By using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool as the starting point in your keyword analytics workflow, you can quickly and easily identify new keywords, but also lists of irrelevant keywords that should be excluded from your campaigns as negative keywords. This often-overlooked step reduces wasted spend by charging you for clicks that won’t convert.
Another advantage of using WordStream as part of your keyword analysis is the ability to refine your campaign segmentation by grouping tightly relevant keywords into logical ad groups, a PPC best practice.
In addition to optimizing your AdWords account structure, keyword grouping allows you to conduct keyword analytics research on keyword groups, rather than focusing on optimizing individual keywords. For advertisers running large campaigns, this can be invaluable in terms of time savings alone.
Diving Deeper into the Data with the AdWords Performance Grader
Keyword analytics is just one part of the puzzle. You don’t always have the luxury of identifying completely new opportunities, or the relative ease of working with a brand-new account. Optimizing an existing AdWords account can be even harder than starting out fresh, which is why WordStream created the AdWords Performance Grader.
WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader is the most comprehensive free AdWords auditing tool available. After securely connecting to your AdWords account via OAuth, you’ll receive a detailed report in 60 seconds or less detailing which areas of your AdWords account are performing well, and areas in which immediate changes can be made to lower costs and increase performance.
The AdWords Performance Grader evaluates accounts based on 10 key metrics, including ad text optimization, mobile advertising best practices, Quality Scores, impression share, and click-through rates, among others. You’ll see at-a-glance information on how your account measures up not only to established PPC best practices, but similar accounts of advertisers in your industry.
No other free tool provides as much actionable data and insight as WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader. Try it for free today and improve the performance of your PPC campaigns in less time with less effort.