October 25, 2007, 12:00 AM

Mining site search terms to find the best—and cheapest—web search keywords

As e-retailers launch their holiday season marketing campaigns, many will again run into the high cost of the most popular Internet search keywords. But mining their site search activity can produce less costly and surprisingly effective search terms.

As e-retailers launch their holiday season marketing campaigns, many will again run into the high cost of the most popular Internet search keywords. But mining their site search activity can produce less costly and surprisingly effective search terms that have been shown to lead to e-commerce purchases, says Joe Lichtman, vice president of product management for Fast Search and Transfer, provider of the FAST ImPulse site search application.

“Retailers are finding they can go into their site search reports to look for multi-term keywords like ‘large flat-panel TV’ or ‘flat-panel TV with DVD’ instead of the most popular and costly ‘flat-panel TV,’” Lichtman says. “It’s much cheaper to go into long-tail keywords and find patterns which lead to sales.” Long-tail keywords, which often are grouped in extended phrases, are search terms outside of the most popular and typically shorter terms like “TV” or “flat-panel TV.”

One of FAST’s clients, for example, realized that the term “config” could be used effectively alongside consumer electronics terms. Short for configurate or configurator, “config” used in a multi-word term like “config laptop” can connect with shoppers looking to personalize a laptop computer, but at a fraction of the cost of buying “laptop” as a keyword, Lichtman says.

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