Friday, February 6, 2015

Improving Your SEO with Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Long-Tail Keyword Phrases

   Hi, welcome to Talking Shop with Mary. I'm Mary Toland and I have an Etsy shop called Purse O'Nality by Mary. Today I'm going to talk to you about search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, Google Adwords Keyword Planner and long-tail keyword phrases and what they all can do to help you become a success with your online shop.

Many of you already know about SEO. However on Etsy, there are new shops opening everyday and if they were like me, well, let's just say that even with all the research, reading and video watching I did before opening my shop, SEO was still something new that I hadn't heard about.

So what is SEO? In simple terms, it's the way the people who shop online find your shop and the items within it. How do they do that? Well, every time you want to know something in Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you type in your information in the search bar, wait and then select what you want to see from a list on the page. Google, Yahoo, Bing are big search engines that store loads of information about everything and anything. So that's a very large pool of information, and your shop is just one tiny little bit of the whole. You may be asking yourself, how do I get people to even find my shop and be successful in sales when I know that there are plenty of others who sell the same things online? 

This is a good question. Anyone who has an online shop needs an edge or some sort of an advantage. In order to accomplish this the first thing, in my opinion, would be to learn how to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner. This tool is invaluable and best of all it's free. I did a tutorial on this for my team Relevancy and SEO for All Etsy Shops, where I'm one of the leaders of the team. If you go to the team site, you will be able to read it. It's always in the highlighted section at the top. Also, you don't have to be team member to obtain this information and it makes a great reference tool.

Today however, I will take you through the steps of how to use the Keyword Planner. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and after you have learned it, I bet you will be using Google Adwords Keyword Planner all the time.

First of all, what is Google Adwords Keyword Planner? It's a tool to help online businesses search for popular keywords that are other people use when looking for information on the Internet. Google keeps track of these search words and list the number of people in a month who use them based on a broad match search. A broad base search simply means that if you searched for the phrase: clutch purse, the search results would lead you in three different directions: clutch, purse and clutch purse. Whether it's a clutch purse or a car clutch, both items would be included in that same search pool with the word clutch.

Okay, let's get started. First you have to have a Gmail account, which is pretty simple to set up. Once you have that, then you go to Google Adwords or if you're like me, I just type Google Adwords in the search bar. I tend to be a bit lazy and impatient when it comes to things like this. You should come to a page like below.

 Go to CREATE AN ACCOUNT that is on the top right corner if you don't already have a Google Adwords account. (You may have to zoom in to see these pics clearly.) Afterwards, you will come to a page like this. Cllick on SKIP THE GUIDED SETUP. It's in blue below the Welcome to Google Adwords!. This will take right into the keyword planner.

 You can ignore all this information on the screen unless you plan to pay for ads on Google. Now look at top tabs that is to the right of the Google Adwords logo. Go to the Tool tab, which is the last one, and click on that. When you do, you can drop down to Keyword Planner. It will bring up a page like this and ask what you would like to do. You want to click on the first one that says: Search for new keywords and ad group ideas

The next screen will look like the above. There are some things that you want to change before you start imputing keywords. Under the heading Targeting, change the following.

1. Change English to United States (updated) especially if you're doing international business and want to find keywords in a particular language. You can change any of these by clicking on the on the rectangular box area or the pencil icon.

2. Change Google to Google (updated). This will allow other search engines to be included in the keyword search process.

This last one is optional.

3. Go to Keyword options. Click to turn on Only show ideas closely related to my search terms. If this is what you want, it can be a little more specific to your ideas. Sometimes, however, is better to get a broader base in the beginning so I just leave it off. I can always refine it later.

Now that you have the parameters set for searching for keywords, the next thing you want to do is go to Your product category and research what they have or type in what you sell. For instance, I sell purses. I would click on the box and follow the subcategories until I found something closely related. See below. Once you know what is the final product category outcome, you can just type it in the box.

Apparel ----> Apparel Accessories ---> Bags and Packs ---> Handbags & Purses

Now you're ready to begin typing in keywords. Go to the first box that says: Your product or service. Begin typing in keywords and either put a comma between each keyword or hit the enter key. Personally, I find it easier to hit the enter key.

So let's say I'm searching for keywords for my new listing. Here's one I did the other day.

I begin entering any word that is related to purse or handbag such as:

clutch purse
white purse
bridal purse
bridal clutch
satin handbag
evening bag
satin evening bag
ladies clutch
wristlet clutch
bridal clutch purse
white satin evening bag
white bridal clutch purse
prom handbag

I keep going until I can't think of anymore ideas. Now there is a middle box that says: Your landing page. Just ignore that box completely. Go down to the blue box that says: Get ideas and click on it.

Google will take all those ideas and give you a list of Ad group ideas. There is also a tab for all the keyword ideas you entered as well. Let's look at the keywords you entered in first. So click on the Keyword ideas tab. After Google is done loading the page, you will see a list similar to the one below.

The most important information on this page is the keyword phrase and the average monthly searches. The rest only pertains to people who are interested in purchasing Google ads. So for instance, clutch purse has 33,100 average monthly searches and white purse has 6,600. The other information worth mentioning is on the top of the page where you can see the all the information you entered from the previous page.  You can continue to add keywords at the top under Your product or service and click on Get ideas, or you can just click on Modify search and that will take you back to the previous page.  Now, let's go back to the Ad group ideas by clicking on that tab.

The blue highlighted words are the Ad group ideas. The number next to them show how many are in that group. For instance, Evening Clutch (18) has 18 keyword ideas and that group of ideas totals up to 55,370 monthly searches. When you click on Evening Clutch, you will see a page that is similar to the Keyword ideas page that we saw earlier. To get back to the Ad group ideas, just click on the arrow back tab. It just that simple. By learning how to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner you are now ready to learn how to find and use good keywords/ keyword phrases for your titles and tags.

As previously discussed, keywords or more likely a keyword phrase is a word or a group of words people use when searching for something on the Internet such as the ones mentioned earlier. A long tailed keyword is a group of words that are 3-4 or more words long. There are some examples in the screen shot above: navy blue evening bag, wedding clutch purse, beaded evening bags, etc.

When we're searching for a good title listing, there are some things to take into account. It's more than the keyword and how many average monthly searches are involved. It's also about placing that keyword phrase in the right order within the title listing because you want the best chance of your shop being found. It's also about precisely describing your item in as little words as possible in order to peak an interest so that a potential buyer will investigate further. So let's look at the keyword ideas page again.

Now let's look at the keyword phrase: Clutch purse. It looks like a pretty good keyword phrase because it has 33,100 monthly searches on average. However, it's pretty general keyword phrase. Even though it's a good word to keep in mind, let's look at some others. Bridal clutch, for example, has 2,900 average monthly searches. That's quite a bit smaller than clutch purse, but it's a more specific keyword phrase. White bridal clutch, even more specific, has even less monthly searches with only 170, on average, and White bridal clutch purse, really specific, has only 10 monthly searches. That doesn't look like a very good keyword phrase to use at all when you are just looking at the average monthly searches. In the screen shot of my listing, you will note that I started my listing title with that keyword phrase. The title for the listing is as follows:

White Bridal Clutch Purse, White Satin Evening Bag, Prom Handbag

The next part of my title listing is the keyword phrase: White satin evening bag. It only has 20 average monthly searches followed by Prom Handbag, which has 110. You might be asking yourself why would I use these keyword phrases when they have such low monthly searches on average? Why not start the listing title with Prom handbag since it has more average monthly searches? The answer is because you want as many keywords within the phrase as possible. Even though my listing has 3 long tail keyword phrases, it has more keyword phrases within it. On the surface, it looks like there is a total of 140 average monthly searches for my listing, but this is not true.

White bridal clutch purse       10
White satin evening bag        20
Prom handbag                    110

Let's dig a little deeper because there are keyword phrases within the main long tail keyword phrase.

Clutch purse                         33,100
Bridal clutch purse                    480
White bridal clutch                    170
White bridal clutch purse            10
                                             33,760 avg. monthly searches

Evening bag                            8,100
Satin evening bag                       170
White satin evening bag               20
                                                8,290 avg. monthly searches

Handbag (not shown)             110,000
Prom handbag                             110
                                                110,110 avg. monthly searches

The chances of your shop being found has increased significantly. Now there's more than just 3 long-tailed keyword phrases; you have 9 keyword phrases total, with 6 keyword phrases being within the long-tail keyword phrases. Also you're among several categories with various average monthly searches. If I was to put my title listing only as Clutch purse with its 33,100 monthly searches, I would be severely limiting myself and have very little chance of being found. Long-tail keyword phrases have (hidden) keyword phrases within the main keyword phrase. This gives your shop a better chance of being found. This is your edge or advantage.

So how do you place these long-tail keyword phrases within the title listing? The placement of the long-tail keyword phrase is pretty simple to understand. Google has a 85 character space limit in their title tag (the blue highlighted and underlined area on a search page) that can be seen, which has to also include your shop name. The search engines interpret the first keywords in the title as the most important followed by less important keywords. Therefore the keyword phrase, white bridal clutch purse is the most important because it has a total of 4 keyword phrases within this keyword phrase. Then followed by Satin evening bag, which has 3, and prom handbag with 2 major keywords. Any time those four major keywords in white bridal clutch purse are searched, you shop and item has a better chance of being found. 

There are some things to remember, however, for good SEO. Remember earlier I talked about Google broad base search. The word clutch has a couple different meanings. It could be a clutch purse or a car clutch. It's only when we get specific does the meaning get clarified and that's why long-tail keyword phrases are so important. Therefore if you want to get found, then you must be specific in your terminology of keyword phrases. A white bridal clutch purse is pretty specific. It describes it as a purse, white, clutch, and for a bride in general. However, you must keep it the specific keyword phrase order to rank high in relevancy. Any other order will only lower the ranking on the search engines and Etsy as well. Here are some things to consider when doing listing titles.

1. When describing your item, or using them in your tag words, keep the words in the exact keyword phrase order, in order to rank high in relevancy.

2. If the keyword phase it too large for Etsy's 20 character limit for tags words, try to keep as many words together and still make sense. For example: use white bridal clutch, and bridal clutch purse since White bridal clutch purse is too long.

3. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find great keywords phrases for your tags, in addition to the keywords for your listing title. This in turn will help you with your SEO.

So let's recap. 1) SEO is a way for people to find your shop by using search keywords. 2) Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a free tool to help business find popular keywords and use them to lure people online to shop, visit their place of business, get information, etc. 3) Long-tail keyword phrases are the best way for people to find your shop. They usually have hidden keywords within to give you an extra edge within the search pool. 4) For good SEO make sure you use these keyword phrases in their exact order when describing the item and using them as tag words in order to rank higher in relevancy.

Once you have start implementing these concepts, you will probably start seeing a change. It may, however, take a few weeks to see the results of any of your SEO changes on the search engines, and almost immediately on Etsy. So be patient with the search engines and know that now you're on your way to success. The sky has no limits!

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