How to find the correct keywords for your product?


I understand the marketing basics on keywords and the use of tools like Google Insight, Keyword traffic estimator, and others.

My concern comes from a product that people usually don't search for. If people don't search for this product directly, how do you figure out the keywords. Is there any science to this, or just trial and error?

Update: Answer to a comment requesting an example.

I can't give the product directly, but I will give examples of similar situations.

One example that comes to mind is "Web Analytics". People that don't have this, will probably not look for those keywords, they will probably not even know they need analytics.

I hope this helps.

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asked Mar 23 '11 at 10:22
268 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • I like the premise of this question -- about the word not being what people search directly. So the traditional answer clarified in my somewhat glib response below is potentially unsatisfying. Basically up front there has to be developed a feedback loop (aka trail and error) about the customer experience of the purchasing process. What problem or issue are they trying to solve. Watching the actual search terms that get to your site will be helpful. Doing a key word analysis of competitor sites may be helpful as well. – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago
  • Can you give the example of this product, so we can give you more appropriate answers. – Ross 13 years ago

4 Answers


I know that there is some science or art to this. But this is what I do.

  1. First I go here to see what comes up for a couple key phrases.
  2. Then I go and broaden my horizon a little with the ontology finder.
  3. If I need to understand how it will play in different national markets stop by here.
  4. I will then drill down each word a little here.
  5. If I have a particularly annoying client/product I will spend time on here.

Then I go to Google to test them out.

I keep this all on a spreadsheet with little hash-marks. And the ones that seem to emerge the most-- well I circle those (with a pencil, on paper). I put them together on a list and show them to the client. Then we start the process of writing/editing copy, article descriptions, meta-tags for each component of our site. We feed them to the person who will be doing the ad buys over on Google and where-ever. And then, because we don't believe in them too strongly we respond to what the market tells us as we move forward. Tweaking, changing and learning.

I am sure that the people who charge a lot of money for it do something completely different. But I always seem to get pretty close to the same results. :)

answered Mar 23 '11 at 12:58
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points


If you're talking about PPC keywords then it's a much more precise science than the black arts of SEO. I say this as a person who has a lot of experience with both, but I generally prefer PPC when I can use it.

I would compile a list of terms that I think describe the product, then go search for those keywords to see what you get. If you can't find something similar to what you're selling, then try different keywords.

When you start getting matches that are close to what you're selling, then make note of those and start creating your PPC campaigns based around the keywords. Then refine them until you get a group of keywords that convert well.

It would have to be a VERY rare product to get no searches on it at all. It's partially trial and error, but you do learn quickly from your mistakes and you should be able to find the trail that leads people to your product.

answered Mar 23 '11 at 11:07
Kort Pleco
891 points


I'm an SEO (no good at any black arts, unfortunately) and it's normal for SEOs to use PPC campaigns to gather keyword data. Actually, as an SEO consultant, I typically find that my clients have tried PPC in the past, and I always try to get my hands on their keyword data to use it as a starting point in my SEO keyword research.

Another thing to consider is what keywords your competitors are targeting. If you think your service is so new and original that you don't have competitors, you might be right in the business sense, but in the search engine sense, someone is always going to be competing against you for ranking in organic results.

Also, I'd recommend creating content for your site that's useful, interesting and relevant to the demographic that you want to become your customers. If you can drive traffic on topics of similar interest, you can market in that space. Start a blog.

answered Mar 24 '11 at 02:12
61 points


Just answer your web analytics question.

Yes, lot of people do not know web analytics and it is impossible for them to search such keywords.Web Analytics is still a good keywords by the way, since it is getting great progress recently.

Now back to the answer and do an out of the box thinking. Web analytics involves traffic, visitors, keywords, on line marketing. why do not you try to optimize those keywords? Not necessarily those big keywords though. Long tail keywords like monitoring traffic will do the trick.

Did answer your question? I think I did. Good luck

answered Apr 7 '11 at 12:33
33 points

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