Multiplying Your Keyword List
There are great tools online to create a keyword list for your PPC advertising efforts. The problem (you may not be aware of) is that your competitors are using the same list and you may be missing some great keywords that are specific to your products or location. By all means use the lists offered by the experts, but supplement them with your own, unique keyword list. You can start with your list of products and multiply the size of your keyword list relatively quickly using a spreadsheet matrix.
1. In your favorite spreadsheet program, (Microsoft Excel is great!) list all your products or services in the first column, starting on Row 2. Think of all the specific product (or service) types you sell as well as general categories. For example, if you sell ice cream, your list might look something like:
2. In the first row, starting from Column B, list all the appropriate modifiers for your products or services. In this example, you would list the different flavors:
3. Now it is time to multiply the list. This may vary for different spreadsheet programs, but in Excel, in the first empty cell, B2, enter the following formula:
Be sure to leave a space between the quotes because this will keep your keywords properly separated by a space. In the example here, you will now see the keyword “chocolate ice cream” in the cell.
4. Click on cell B2 to highlight it, then double-click on the square in the bottom, right corner; this will pull the formula down through the entire column. You will now have a list like:
5. Highlight cell B2 down to the keyword at the very bottom of the list. Click on the bottom, right corner of the bottom keyword (here “chocolate dessert”) and pull across to the rightmost column (in this example, Column F, “cherry”). When your formula is in all the cells, you will have multiple columns and rows populated with keywords, from “chocolate ice cream” through to “cherry dessert”.
6. Now that you have a huge list of keywords, all that’s left is the need to organize it. Copy and paste each column (starting with Row 2, down) into a fresh sheet in a single column. When you paste them, be sure to select “paste special” and “values” so you are pasting in the actual keywords and not the formulas. Now is a good time to read down your list of keywords and double-check that your list looks correct. For example, you might sell cherry sundaes but not cherry milkshakes, so you would delete the “cherry milkshake” keyword that does not make sense for your business to use.
7. You may want to add other modifying keywords to your keyword list, such as the location of your store. Keeping your keyword list intact, copy and paste your entire keyword list into another spreadsheet. If you have multiple location keywords, for example Toronto, GTA, and Etobicoke, you can repeat the same method as above with the locations across the first row. If you have just one additional keyword you would like to add, simply use column B for your formula. Type the formula in the first cell then double-click on the lower, right corner of that cell to copy it down the whole column. In my example the formula would be:
Be sure to include the space after the word Toronto so your keywords do not run together.
8. Copy the new keywords from column B and paste them below your existing non-geographical keywords in the other spreadsheet; be sure to use “paste special” and “values” so you are not pasting in formulas. Again, double-check your keyword list to make sure they all make sense.
Now that you have your big keyword list, you can still combine it with the ready-made lists available online through the search engines or other sources. Be sure to sort the combined list alphabetically and remove any duplicate keywords. If you think of any keywords that you missed, you can always repeat the methods above later and add them to your master list.
About the author: Suzanne Currie has been a webmaster since 1995 and has worked in online marketing since 2001. She currently lives near Toronto, Canada.
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