Exact(ly) the Way to Start Keyword Research

Image by Scott Ableman on Flickr

If you’re just starting with optimizing your website, the first step is selecting proper keywords. However, there is one setting in Google Keyword Tool that can help you determine the most targeted keywords for your insurance company:  Broad, Phrase and Exact Match targeting options in the Google Keyword Tool. 
When you first start searching for keywords you might find the monthly Global Search numbers are larger for the ‘Broad’ search vs. ‘Phrase’, and certainly more than ‘Exact Match’. Your gut reaction might be to go for the larger numbers and use the Broad option – but that’s where your keywords could go wrong. This article will help you to understand the difference between these targeting options and what they mean for your keywords and optimizing your Insurance websites.

Broad Match: The Broad Match option is a great start, but shouldn’t stop there. Here’s an example of how a search result might be for:
workmans compensation california
Since it’s a Broad match it would also trigger for the following phrases:
california compensation workmans
california workmans compensation
compensation california workmans
workmans california compensation
As you can see, when you use the ‘Broad’ option, the keywords you get back could be pulling the ‘Global Search’ numbers from all these options – skewing your numbers for unrelated and untargeted keyword options.

Phrase Match: This is my favorite option, because it uses the keyword phrase as a phrase and doesn’t rearrange the keywords, but adds to it other possible long-tail options.
Examples of Phrase match options in the Google Keyword Tool for:
“workmans compensation california”
Would also trigger for the following phrases:
buy workmans compensation california
workmans compensation california construction
workmans compensation california

Exact Match: I tend not to use this option when searching for keywords for optimizating insurance websites. The reason is that it’s too targeted and exact (as the name indicates!). However, I do like to cross reference my refined list with this option to see how often people use the exact keyword phrase for searches.
An example of an ‘Exact Match’ keyword phrase is:
[orange county ca workmans compensation] – but wouldn’t include Global Search numbers for [orange county workmans compensation]
With an understanding of the different matching options in the Google Keyword Tool, you can better understand how we determine the keyword options for our insurance websites.


image by Scott Ableman on Flickr