Ready to talk? Chat with Us, Submit an RFP, or Call 866-726-5968

Main Menu

Fathom Blog

News & analysis on digital marketing & analytics

Archive for the ‘Keyword Research’ Category

Page 1 of 512345

Getting the Most out of Your Keyword Data: Pubcon 2013 Takeaways

By | November 11, 2013

Getting the Most out of Your Keyword Data - (not provided) SEO memeOnce upon a time, you may have wondered, “Hey, is it possible to know what kind of keywords people are using in Google to get to my site?” And if you were savvy, you’d know you could use Google Analytics to get that information.

I think most of us are aware of the (not provided) chronicles, but if you are not, make sure you read this post on Google’s Secure Search update.

I was fortunate enough to attend Pubcon for the second year in a row, and the key takeaway was that if you are providing your users with crazy, funny, cool, or awesome content, you shouldn’t be too worried about the lack of keyword data because you can measure your success in many other ways. And for the most part, I do agree with that. But there are some other tactics to perform your research and measure your data for opportunity.

Missed Opportunities by Buying Cycle

While you can’t view Google keyword data in the traditional way, the buying/conversion cycle has not changed. This means you should be looking at data in different ways:

  • Brand queries
  • Brand searches + nonbranded mix
  • Nonbranded queries
    • Informational Stage
      • “What is, Where to find, How To”
    • Research Stage
      • “Reviews, Best, Top”
    • Ready-to-Convert Stage
      • “Price, Buy, Try, Download”

And I can’t stress this enough: don’t forget your long-tail queries. This is going to be even more crucial with the Hummingbird update, but it’s a way to both answer the questions your audience is asking and come up more easily in search results.

The Search and Social Overlap

Try adding your Tier 1 keywords to your social monitoring tool, and make sure you understand the sentiment and context behind the results you find in your monitoring tool. Compare search volume for each and compare the term among various social media sites. These are buzz words that you can easily integrate into your content to bridge the gap between your content and social media efforts.

Category Theme Identification

At Fathom, we tend to identify keyword groupings as “themes.” They’re typically grouped by the different kinds of searches I just identified. But to get an idea of new opportunities, look at which sites are ranking the most for that grouping. Take a look at what they are doing right and what kind of content they’re using. At the very least, you’ll get a content idea out of it.

Mine the Needs and Wants of Your Audience

One of my favorite ways to identify what users want out of a site is to look at internal site search data. This is crucial for not only figuring out what kind of content is missing/buried on your site, but how users are referring to content on your site. Look for questions here, and look for questions that are being asked on social media. Queries can be a great way to identify an audience persona you didn’t know you had.

Align Paid Efforts with Organic

I think this one gets forgotten pretty often. Take a look at your paid keywords that are high-CPC, but not ranking organically.  Get some insights from the Paid and Organic report in Adwords. The more space you have on that SERP, the more likely you are to be reached.

The awesome slides from Bill Hunt were crucial in the writing of this post. Be sure to follow him!


Get more out of marketing automation by following retail content and sending strategies for email campaigns. Download our 13-pg. PDF:

Automated Retail Email Guide

No Comments


Google Keyword Tool vs. Traffic Estimator: How Do They Differ?

By | April 12, 2013

When creating a PPC campaign from scratch and estimating performance for projections, Google Keyword Tool and Google Traffic Estimator are two great tools for research. However, these tools provide very different data and there is not too much consistency. This can be very frustrating!

Google Keyword Tool is a great tool to find monthly search volumes, average cost-per-click (CPC), analyze the competitive nature of a specific query, find additional keywords, a quick snapshot of seasonality, and more!


google-keyword-toolGoogle traffic estimator is also a valuable tool to help find data for specific keywords, such as average CPC, daily impressions, daily costs, and average position.

For traffic estimator, you must enter a max CPC your willing to pay in order to receive estimates.


If you look at both of the screenshots above and compare the data, they are far from similar, let alone comparable. Below is a list of certain features that one or both contain and how they differ.


The Google Keyword Tool is definitely best used for keyword ideas, keyword expansion, and campaign build outs. Google Traffic Estimator could be argued to be best used for providing specific performance metrics for local campaigns that need to be geo-targeted. However; the fact that the data doesn’t match between tools is quite concerning as it makes it very difficult to accurately project clicks, impressions, spend which many advertisers want to know before launching a campaign.

Questions I have specific to each tool:

1. Search volume: What’s the difference between “local search volume” and “daily impressions”? Other than search volume being a monthly average over the past 12 months rather than a daily average, how do they differ?

2. Network targeting: Does Google Keyword Tool estimates include search partners data?

3. Click-thru rate in traffic estimator: How does Google determine the click-thru rate for keyword? This doesn’t seem like it would be accurate, especially for branded keywords if it’s your brand you’re bidding on!

4. Location targeting: When choosing a specific city or DMA to look at projections with Google traffic estimator, the impressions, clicks, and costs seem very low. How does Google estimate this data and how accurate is it?

5. In general: How do other PPCer’s come up with impressions, clicks, click-thru rate, and spend projections for geo-targeted campaigns?

Google, why make this so confusing?

So Google AdWords, why must there be two tools that do essentially the same thing? Google used to have both Google Insights and Google Trends that told very similar data; they then migrated into one tool which made everyone’s lives much easier. I believe this should be done with Google Keyword Tool and Google Keyword Traffic Estimator to ensure consistency!

What’s Google’s ideal keyword tool consist of?

  • Give the ability to provide keyword suggestions or just provide data for the keywords you input
  • Monthly average data per keyword
  • Include or exclude search partners
  • Provide estimates down to the city level
  • Provide BOTH search volume and estimated impressions
  • Provide click data and click-through estimates


Obviously, I realize these tools aren’t to provide exact estimates. However, the fact that the tools provide data with different statistics makes it nearly impossible to provide relatively accurate projections for advertisers. Consider migrating the tools into one or keeping the same format for each and doing a better job of explaining when to use each, and for what!



Paid Search: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Company Should Be Bidding on Branded Keywords

By | May 6, 2012

In the world of paid-search marketing, a common topic of debate is around bidding on your brand. Generally, 10-20% of our clients request us as paid-search marketers to pause branded campaigns/keywords because they feel we are either:

1. Wasting money on branded keywords for which they are already ranking organically
2. Cannibalizing organic traffic

Now that the paid search market has matured, Google and others have been able to conduct statistically significant tests as to how bidding on branded keywords affects organic traffic. It really is a no-brainer—even with a limited budget, you should be bidding on branded search for the following reasons:


No Comments


Happy Birthday, Georgey! “This Day in SEO History” Celebrates America’s First ‘SEO’

By | February 22, 2012

George Washington

George Washington, dental enthusiast

Today is February 22nd, which is the real birthday of the founder of America: General President George Washington.

So, in honor of the grandfather of modern day search optimization, Fathom pays homage to the first SEO of the United States—Supreme English Officer, of course.

In our second edition, Colonial SEO Enthusiast Matt Keough takes us on a journey to revolutionary times in America—when George Washington chopped down cherry trees with his wooden teeth and helped market the United States on the Web so that other countries could find us online and buy maple syrup, flags and horseshoes from us.

Don’t believe me? Check out the latest volume of Fathom’s “This Day in SEO History.” And don’t worry: as long as you hit the wire with the connecting hook at precisely 88 mph the instant the lightning strikes the tower… everything will be fine.

1 Comment


Fathom Introduces New Web Series: “This Day in SEO History!” Rev it up to 1.21 gigawatts!

By | February 8, 2012

Did you know that on January 27th, 1880, Thomas Edison invented SEO Keywords for optimal visibility? If you said no, then maybe it’s time for you to brush up on your SEO History! Fathom Video introduces a new monthly video series, entitled – you guessed it – “This Day in SEO History!”

This Day in SEO History Vol. 1

Thomas Edison Invented SEO Keywords for Visibility

In our first volume, Daiv Whaley, a SEO Historian, tells the story of Thomas Edison and his plight to make the Internet world a brighter and more visible place through the invention of the light bulb… and SEO Keywords!

If you find yourself a little rusty on your search optimization antiquity, then stay tuned for our next volume of “This Day in SEO History!” Or, you can learn more about SEO and all things online marketing at

No Comments

Page 1 of 512345

Request an Assessment

Let us take a look at your current online presence.


Get Blog Updates


Interested in Writing for Our Blog?

Tell us your idea.

For Us