Marcus Tandler | Mediadonis | Just another Online-Marketing Superhero

Choosing your keywords

I got my first article in this month´ issue of CAP Magazine! It´s called „Choosing your keywords“ and focuses on how to find keywords for your site as well as PPC campaigns. Since CAP Magazine is mainly about Gambling issues, I focus a little bit on gambling related keywords, but of course the tips are applicable for every topic.

CAP Artikel - Choosing your keywords
Since the issue is not online yet, you can also download the fullscreen version here

Here´s the full article in clean HTML 🙂


Choosing the right keywords for your site is definitely one of the most essential parts in the startup process of a new project. Let´s first take a look at the basics.

Types of Keywords

There are three different kinds of searches: navigational, informational and transactional. In the casino affiliate world, navigational searches are probably by far the most lucrative keywords you can target. If someone types in “Pokerstars” into a search engine, and you can get this guy on your pokerstars landingpage with a nice bonus-offer, there´s a good chance you´re going to convert him. Sure, navigational searches are especially hard, since in this case, will be no.1 for this particulars search, but you may still achieve a nice CTR if you can advertise a good bonus offer in your page title.

There are no real transactional kinds of searches in the casino keyword-sphere, the only ones getting close to being “transactional” are keyword combinations like “Pokerstars bonus code”, which only someone would search for, who already made up his mind where he´s wanting to play, and is now ready to seal the deal, if he finds a bonus offer he likes. Apparently those kind of searches are really well converting too, since the user is ready to gamble.

But the most common keywords will be the informational type, with “poker”, “casino” and “bingo” being the prime examples. Keyword combinations like “poker rules”, “texas holdem strategies” etc. are all informational searches, which can easily generate a lot of traffic, but just won´t convert anywhere near as well as the navigational and transactional terms.

Informational keywords in general tend to be more difficult to optimize then navigational and transactional terms, and they are also less attractive in terms of the conversion, but they´re providing a lot more traffic, and therefore should definitely be in your keyword-mix.

You can cluster all keywords like this:

















How to find keywords

There are quite some tools out there, which can help you finding the right keywords.

1) Overture´s Keyword Selector Tool
2) Wordtracker
3) Keyword Discovery
4) The Google Adwords Keyword Tool

But don´t just rely on those tools, if you want to find great keywords. Google for example offers two pretty cool tools to mine for keywords as well:

1) Google Trends
2) Google Sets

And you should never forget about misspellings and keyword mutations. Microsoft adCenter offers a useful tool to find popular misspellings (

But all these keyword tools can do, is actually just give you a rough estimate, but not the real number of searches on Google. Even the Google Adwords Keyword Tool will just give you an average search volume, but not the actual number. I would normally advise you to run an AdWords campaign with your selected keywords in exact and phrase match for about a month, to not only get the actual number of searches, but also test the conversion of the keywords. Because if you put a lot of effort and money into optimizing your site for a particular keyword, you´d better be sure the keyword is working for you and converting!
But due to the legal restrictions to advertise gambling sites with Google AdWords, you can´t do this anymore.

In most cases, it´s not even about having the exact number of searches, the estimate is more than enough to find the keywords you want to optimize your site for.

Don´t always just go for the high volume keywords everybody´s targeting. Set up a strategy with short-, medium- and long-term goals before you start optimizing for specific keywords.

Most of the times long tail keywords will work a lot better, then the big one´s everybody´s after. If you optimize for the big keywords like “poker” and “casino” it will take you a lot of money and effort, and most importantly, a lot of time, too. You won´t push a new site into the top10 for a big keyword within a couple of weeks! This can take quite some time, especially in Google. So it makes sense to tackle long tail keywords first, since most of the time those keywords will be less competitive, and therefore it´s easier to achieve a top10 ranking.

And try to think a little bit out of the box. Everybody can scan keyword tools, to find popular search terms, but there are still gems out there not many people think of.

  • Know your industry. With poker for example, the names of professional poker players tend to be not that competitive. And names of popular TV-shows are pretty easy just as well, but can still deliver a lot of visitors to your site. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and try to be a little creative in your research process.
  • Googleguy once said: „Check out your logs to see what users are typing.“ I recommend the same. Study your log files, and track what people type into the searchbox on your site. If you don´t have one, I strongly recommend you should put one up, because you get great new keywords delivered right to your doorstep every day.
  • Know your enemy. The oldest trick there probably is, is adapting the best practises of your rivalling sites. Take a close look at your competitions website and find out possible keywords they aim.

And now that you got your keywords, as said before, try to come up with short-, medium- and long-term goals before you start optimizing. Try to find so quick-win keywords, which you can tackle easily, and get you some traffic to your site. Tackle your medium- and long-term goal keywords with the big links you´re aquiring, since those will help you to leverage your whole site.

Update: My buddy Sebastian posted an interesting link on his blog in this regard, how to use the new wiki tracker for your SEO efforts – you should definetly check it out!