As far as I'm concerned, you can't call yourself an Internet marketer unless you've spent at least 15 minutes contemplating the output of a "search voyeur" tool like Dogpile.com's SearchSpy.
While there are dozens of more statistically accurate tools out there, such as Wordtracker, that count and rank the millions of searches conducted on the Internet every day, there is no better (or more eye-opening) way to get a sense of how Joe or Jane Public actually conducts searches than a search voyeur tool.
SearchSpy, like most search voyeur tools, provides a real-time, 'behind-the-scenes' view of current searches by showing the actual search terms people are typing in. Although it's not for the faint of heart, the "unfiltered" version of this tool provides the most accurate view of how people search.
As I'm writing this, each and every one of the real-time searches scrolling by on SearchSpy reveals a wealth of insights for the discerning marketer:
food – This one-word, generic search suggests a rather naive search(er)? Remember, not everybody on the Internet is a rocket scientist.
"shock proof laptop" – Here's a three-word key phrase enclosed in quotation marks, very specific, from a sophisticated researcher looking for product information? Smart retailers of this type of product will have optimized for this specific phrase.
bikini waxing tips – It's a three-word key phrase, very specific, from someone looking for free advice. If you're the owner of a spa, does your Website feature tips?
phantom of the opera lyrics – A five-word key phrase, very specific, using a well-known brand, maybe from a fan looking to add to their collection? Are you taking advantage of the well-known brands you sell?
www.temeculawine.com – You'd be amazed how often people type URLs into search engines, either because they typed into the wrong box on their screen, or they are not clear about how to do a proper search! Is your domain name on your search engine marketing keyword short list?
cabin rentals in estes park, colorado – A vacation planner who knows exactly what he/she wants, perhaps? Let's hope the marketers of vacation properties in Estes Park have optimized for this phrase.
human reporduction – Here's a two-word phrase with a misspelling, another all-too common occurrence. Are you taking spelling mistakes into account when you plan your search engine marketing?
You owe it to yourself to spend a few minutes with a search voyeur tool like SearchSpy. Learning about the mind of the common searcher has never been so entertaining, and think of the fun you can have building a drinking game around this!
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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