Quickly finding trends in keyword lists

One of the really great things about being a digital marketer is that I have easy access to lots of data. This can be one of the challenging things as well. There is a big difference between clean, useful data and a mess of unsorted, inactionable data. Getting a large amount of data converted to a usable format can be a time consuming process, so I’m always looking for ways to shorten the route to identifying useful information from all of that wily data.

One nifty little tool I’ve been using lately is a word cloud. If you haven’t seen them before, word clouds are a gathering of words in a space that is similar to the shape of a cloud. Different font sizes are used for each word in the cloud to indicate how many times it appears in the text entered, relative to the other words. I like to take search query reports from Google AdWords, HTML page text, or organic traffic keyword lists from Google Analytics, dump them into a word cloud tool (a free example being wordle.net or worditout.com) and see what gets spit back out. It’s a great way to quickly see some trends in the most frequently used words in your text data sample.

Here are three ways I use word clouds:

  1. Pull a search query report in AdWords and get ideas of keywords you could add to your SEM campaigns
  2. Enter in a website’s organic search traffic keyword list from Google Analytics and see if there are some new ideas for content topics you could use
  3. Enter in your website’s URL and see if the word cloud matches with the types of keywords you want to optimize for. This might reveal that you are not focusing as much as you thought on your keywords you are optimizing

Give it a try and have fun!