How To Expand Your Keyword Portfolio For Global Leads & Sales

Last time, we looked at the process of A Minimalist Approach To Global Keyword Expansion & Monitoring, which is the bare minimum a company should do in an overseas market. This essentially solves for the first phrase of the typical purchase cycle – Awareness. It is critical in a market where you don’t have a lot of brand exposure to be in the initial consideration set when someone does their first query for a product or service.

This is the phase where personalized search factors have the least impact on the search results since the searcher has most likely not searched for this type of product or service previously and there is no directly related search history to skew the results. That’s why we focused on the minimal phrases.

Since this could be the first contact with this searcher, it was critical to be positioned for those key awareness words.  Because we only focused on the awareness phase, we have to put a lot of faith in either our brand or our compelling message to make people remember our product and come back, since with that approach, you have not focused on other words deeper in the buy cycle.

As I indicated last time, awareness is the absolute minimum portfolio of keywords.  To move the needle for leads and sales, you need to target more than awareness. I recently did a purchase cycle keyword analysis model for a large company that was spending millions of dollars globally on search, and its local market paid campaigns were primarily broad match keywords that were capturing less than 10% of the total search volume related to words further down the buy cycle.

It was no surprise that they were having a hard time justifying to management an increase in budget, since they had few leads and revenue to show for their efforts. By splitting the budget into awareness and lead generation keyword segments, then aligning them to searcher intent, they were able to significantly increase both leads and revenue while ultimately reducing their budgets.

Lead & Demand Generation Keywords

Last time, we built a worksheet to map the keywords related to your core product names and their product categories. This is perfect for the top of the funnel, but now we need to expand our list of keywords to capture searchers further down the purchase funnel. The obvious ones to ensure to include are any that are related to getting “more information” or buying the products themselves.

Once you have the base phrase like “datasheet” or “buy,” you can append those base adjectives and all of your relevant products to  further expand the portfolio quickly. My research shows that no matter the market, the same set of descriptions work across markets.

If you spend the time to understand the searcher’s query related to a category of products from the first to the last, you can quickly target those with the greatest opportunity.

This process of appending consideration and purchase-related variations will help you better understand the purchase cycle in each market. Depending on the market, the number of searches can be more, or just a few, in each market, which not only helps you understand the searcher but can be invaluable to other marketing tasks as well.

With Google’s local geography matching the version of Google and the results to the location of the searcher, you need to make sure you are represented in the local market with keywords that are related to the transaction phases of the buy cycle.

Leverage & Exclude Support Keywords

Few companies take advantage of reviewing the volume and type of errors and support queries for their own products, let alone those of their local market competitors as well.

This can be used in both search and social media to exploit the weaknesses in your products. Any company that has a large volume of support content, especially those that have unique error codes, part numbers and model ID’s, should make sure it is leveraging organic search for these phrases and not wasting precious paid search budget.

Too often, I find product names in broad match local market campaigns where a significant number of the impressions and clicks are for support queries.

If you do find a significant number of support searches for a product as you monitor your broad match keyword variations, you should share this with your support teams to help identify critical bugs as well as potential customer dissatisfaction.

Is There Life In Your Old Products?

One of the first benefits you learn in international business is that going global extends your product life-cycle. With the exception of products like the iPhone, most companies rotate their product line around the world trying to get as much life out of it as possible. Especially abroad, it is important to have content for older products since the adoption to the new version may be cost prohibitive.

Just because you don’t sell it in your home market does not mean that people are not using it or that it’s not a top seller in local markets. I have seen a few cases recently where a company launched new versions of its product, assuming everyone will upgrade, so they removed help content related to the previous version. This resulted in a significant increase in support calls in local markets where the content was still relevant.

At the most recent SMX West, I gave an example of a technology company that found there were over a million searches each month related to its old products. The company initially used paid search, but then created an “end of life content checklist” to ensure it had relevant content for its older products, offering upgrade and replacement parts e-commerce options which led to over $400k in sales in six months. This was money just waiting for them to pick up.

Keyword Expansion Or Keyword Maximization?

In these two articles, we have created simple formulas to easily expand your keyword portfolio in local markets, helping maximize your opportunities for awareness and sales and also allowing you to monitor implementation and performance across multiple markets.

I suggest before you expand too far out of these models, make sure you are maximizing their yield with relevance, clicks and conversions. Ensuring these models are the best they can be is far more important than simply adding lots of words to campaigns that may maximize impressions but not overall return on investment.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Multinational Search


About The Author: is currently the President of Back Azimuth Consulting and co-author of Search Engine Marketing Inc. His personal blog is

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  • Lalit Burma

    Fond of your this approach. This is simply amazing –

  • wanda777

    n mature markets the keyword root domains have long gone, However in many foreign languages where competition is still low, the ROI on securing quality keyword domains 4 co-branding in-house is a snip. The same 4 the local regional English language.


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