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Keyword Discovery for SEO Using Google Insights for Search

Michael Stearne October 13, 2009 Category Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google Insights for Search is a great tool from for recognizing how people search based on region. People speak differently and search differently based on region.

For example: 
People in the northeast don’t care about “earthquakes” 
http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=earthquake%2C&geo=US&c

Earthquake Search With Google Insights

Earthquake Search With Google Insights

or 

People in New York (apparently) don’t care about the Phillies: 
http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=phillies%2C&geo=US&cmpt=q

Phillies Search in Google Insights

Phillies Search in Google Insights

What is potentially very useful for SEO purposes is that you can recognize that there are regional differences in how people term things. 

For example… a U.S. based travel company might target vacation vs. holiday… (see below) where the term vacation is used almost exclusively in the U.S. and (unfortunately) Iraq where “holiday” is used very heavily in the U.K. influenced areas (U.K., Ireland, India, Australia, SA). So if that U.S. based company would like to do business in Europe they would be more convincing if they pay attention to the vernacular of the region.
http://www.google.com/insights/search/#content=1&cat=208&q=vacation%2Choliday&cmpt=q

Holiday Search on Google Insights

Holiday Search on Google Insights

Vacation Search on Google Insights

Vacation Search on Google Insights

Even MORE relevant is that if you can begin to figure out how people are searching based on tighter regions. Take a regional term like “sneaker”. In the Northeast U.S. sneaker refers to athletic shoes. If we think about sneakers our searches are based on that word. But if there is a client that has 10 athletic stores in New Orleans, targeting “sneakers” would be useless because in NOLA they call sneakers “tennis shoes”.  Below are images from Google Insights illustrating how smart marketers can take advantage of very distinct terminology in the U.S. alone.
http://tinyurl.com/ku97uj

Screen shot 2009-10-13 at 1.47.46 PM

Screen shot 2009-10-13 at 1.47.56 PM

Screen shot 2009-10-13 at 1.48.05 PM

With some further analysis

So that is understandable even but more interesting is that when searching for “tennis shoes” in NOLA they might be more concerned with color and general style like “white tennis shoes” and “girls tennis shoes” whereas in New York people are much more concerned with brands like Coach, LV, Jordan ,etc….

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Google Insights for Search is can become a very powerful tool when you are either a national brand looking to speak to different regions or even a local brand really looking to target just the customers in your area.  When formulating your SEO or your Paid Search, Pay Per Click strategy do some research with Google Insights for Search to get a better view.

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