A Few Good Tools for Keyword Mining

Posted by Emily Helander, Program Manager

As search continually evolves, so must your keyword list.  Below are a few tools that you can reference to help expand your keyword list to increase search performance.  These tools may work best in developing more long term keywords/low traffic keywords.  These types of keywords are important to develop as they’re likely to be keywords searchers use as they enter further into the conversion/purchase funnel.

Internal Search Data


If you’re tracking what users are searching for once they reach your site, this data can provide great insight into gaps in your paid search keyword list.  These terms may uncover opportunities for new campaigns.  They can also help make the case for developing custom landing pages for popular search terms.  Internal search data should be evaluated quarterly to provide an idea of seasonal changes in searcher behavior. 



Hitwise provides a wealth of information about your site and the traffic driven to your site.  The ability to use Hitwise to compare your site’s data to a competitor site is especially valuable.  Hitwise also gives you the functionality to compare your site to a personalized group of competitors, or to an entire industry.  By learning what search queries are driving traffic to your competitors, but not to you, you can build out new keywords.

Google Wonder Wheel


Added in May 2009, this Google tool allows users to see search queries that are related to the query on which they searched.  By using this tool for high traffic keywords, you may be able to find new variations or opportunities for additional builds and negatives.  The Wonder Wheel also helps paid search advertisers find queries that the engines associate with their brand keywords.  The Wheel can be accessed by clicking on the “more options” link at the top of the SERP and then clicking on the Wonder Wheel link.  From there, your search query will appear in a circle with other related searches expanding off on various “spokes.”  All of these queries are clickable and map to their own related terms:

Wonder wheel keyword research

Google Search Query Reports & Yahoo! Subphrase Reports


In Google, advertisers can pull Search Query reports for various campaigns or groups to see traffic generated by actual user search queries.  If your account does not contain these relevant search queries, other keywords in your account are broad or phrase matching to these search queries.  By building these search queries as new keywords, you’ll have more control over your spend on each of the queries/keywords.  These reports are also important tools to identify negative keywords that can be added to reduce unqualified traffic.  Any additional efficiency gained through negating traffic is extremely helpful to the overall performance of a search program.  Keep in mind that you must request the Yahoo! Subphrase report from your engine representative.

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