Thursday: Permuting and Concatenating

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For this exercise, we recommend that you use a Microsoft Excel document (or a document created by a different spreadsheet software package) to further build your keyword list. We suggest you start with six columns, labeled with two prefixes, two root words (usually product names, and generally both nouns), and two suffixes. By prefix, we mean terms that users may append to the beginning of your keyword to search for your product. By suffix, we mean terms that users may append to the end of your keywords to search for your product or service.

To get you started on the example, here’s the initial keyword list for the Jesse persona (the beginner runner from Monday’s lesson):

initial keyword

Here is the initial keyword for the Steve persona (the casual runner):

initial keyword for the Steve persona

And here is the initial keyword list for the Jackie persona (the hard-core runner):

initial keyword list for the Jackie persona

Don’t worry too much about filling every column, or whether you mix nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. There is no specific “right” way to conduct this exercise. At this point, it’s more important that you use your intuition to capture as many words as possible.

Generally, nouns are the most important part of a keyword (you are usually selling the noun), and the prefixes and suffixes (especially ones pertaining to shopping and buying) are crucial to include in your keyword list, because they will match search queries of people who are probably close to making a buying decision.

We’ll use Jesse’s Excel sheet to walk you through the process of permutation. Take a look at the root words first: running, jogging, and training. Combine these terms with the Prefix 2 column. You can already see how your keyword list is growing. Here is a sample of the keywords you just created:

  • Cheap running shoe
  • Inexpensive jogging shoe
  • Beginner’s training shoe
  • Inexpensive running shoes
  • Beginner’s jogging shoes

Hopefully, you can see how the process of permutation can transform a six-line table into more than 500 keywords. Later in this chapter, you’ll learn how to split long keyword lists into small, efficient ad groups.

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