If you have ever talked to us (if you haven’t, then you are missing out and we would love to hear from you!), then you would know that Browser Media is reasonably obsessed with keyword research.

Why such an obsession for what can be a fairly tedious process?

The process can be tedious, but what the data shows / tells you is far from tedious and it is an absolutely vital foundation for any future search engine marketing work. Most searches start with words, so the words that people use to look for things are incredibly important and you would be foolish not to invest time in building up an accurate understanding of how your target audience is looking for your products or services.

Keyword research is a market research tool that has no equal – it is not a small scale focus group but an opportunity to ‘ask’ the internet population at large how they use search key words.

With an accurate understanding of the language used by your (potential) customers, you can be confident that you will optimise your website for the most appropriate language. Not only will this help secure those elusive rankings, but it will mean that your site uses the same language as your audience, which will help your users engage with your site and hopefully increase conversion rates.

We are therefore pleased to see that the beta trials of Google’s new keyword tool are officially coming to an end and it will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

Google’s keyword tool has become our weapon of choice for most projects as it makes it easy to explore individual territories and has the obvious advantage of being based on the world’s biggest search engine. It isn’t perfect, as all data sources are typically ‘poluted’ by automated tools such as bid management / rank checking software and a lot of the figures you see are wildly inflated, but it is now our ‘go to’ tool and we welcome enhancements with open arms.

Quite a few of the changes are primarily cosmetic, but there are some noticeable improvements that are worth looking at. For the PPC marketers amongst us, the ability to easily add negatives based on keyword research is an interesting one:

Google Keyword Tool

screenshot courtesy of Google

Very slick and it should help encourage more people to actually use negatives to full effect.

Google promises that the work has not stopped and we can look forward to more enhancements in the future, but good to see that they are directing energy and resource at such a vital aspect of search engine marketing.