In parts 1 and 2 we explored how the long tail makes or break your search engine web traffic and how to get more. In the final installment of the series we’ll conclude our explorations by capturing visitor from new places without relying on historic searches. For this purpose, we must consider the question “how is a web search made?”. Usually the carry a need, an area or a desire. Whenever new needs, desires or areas emerge, web searches are born. There are five ways to spot or anticipate these emerging web searches: realtime search, event analysis and prediction, news monitoring, geographical scouting and interdisciplinary searches. Let’s explore each one of those and start our search in the wilderness for new keywords.
Head to search.twitter.com and then click on operators. The list of Twitter operators can give you a clear picture of the programmability of their advanced search interface. Spend a couple of minutes learning these options and head back to advanced search on the Twitter Search home screen. In the advanced search page, make sure you select the language or languages of your site, include only the current year in dates, tick the “Question ?” checkbox and only select the places where you do business.
The most important tip here is to make an Excel spreadsheet with the most common patterns found in realtime searches. What new products and services are people searching for? Which common questions are they asking? But, most importantly, why are they asking these questions? How is the industry shaping up and which clues does this gives to adjust your keyword strategies.
Feel free to automate this process using the Twitter API or craft some macros that allow you to discover new searches on a weekly basis.
Event Analysis and Prediction
Make a list of the upcoming events in your industry. Make sure this list covers the whole year. Take note of the head component of these searches (e.g.. subjects, conference names, etc), then change dates and intent to come up with a list of potential new searches for the year. Depending on the size of your industry, this list can be several hundred rows long.
Get someone on your team to cover news about upcoming products and services in your industry. Set up a well researched list of Google Alerts that cover your industry from many angles and geographies. Then, craft pages ahead of these launches so they are indexed before people search for them in Google. After the release date issue an update to the product or service page. In the following image you can appreciate the patterns of some of these announcements.
Go back to the Twitter Search tool and explore how the queries are changing within each geography. This will give you a very clear picture of the distribution of your customer base’s needs and desires. Again, prepare pages that cater to these needs and promotions were aplicable.
In the previous installment you analyzed your competitors in your country and language, but what about your international competitors that have websites in other languages. A nice keyword mining strategy is to analyze the sites of international competitors were new trends are originating. And don’t mind about language barriers, just use the automatic translate feature of Google Chrome.
Finally, you can discover new trends and interests by exploring the search patterns of related industries. Pick three related industries and get a list of trends an realtime searches on those. Use these keywords to place Adsense ads and get even more qualified visitors for your site. Since these keywords relate to new trends and needs they likely have very few bidders and you can make a nice ROI on them.
Indeed, the long tail is infinite, and keyword research is a beautiful but time consuming task. Take these ideas to heart and start testing some of them in your business. They are sure to make you a keyword research leader in your field!