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If you’re into search engine optimization at any level, you know that keyword research is the beginning of the journey. It’s your best bet to understanding what people are searching for and what content should be most popular on your site.
And, we’re all used to using the standard tools to perform the research. Enter a keyword, related keywords are returned along with the query volumes over a selected date range. To be fair, one engine’s tools limits this to the past 30 days or so, while one engine lets you see organic data with a selectable date range of up to 6 months. Differences aside, the work you’re doing remains the same: looking for query volume data.
Query v. Session
Maybe it’s time to start a new practice in your keyword research process. Try linking like-queries together over time to gain a sense of what the searcher is trying to accomplish. One query (and the data behind it) while providing pinpoint accuracy, may not tell the entire story. Developing a view of that searcher’s session, however, can be very revealing.
Here’s an example of the query v. session approach:
Monday:dogadopt a dogdog breedscavalier king charles spanieldog bedsdog accessoriesdog toysvet near medog friendly hotelsorganic dog fooddoggy day care
Tuesday:puppy traininghousebreaking a puppybringing a puppy homedog sweatersdog collarsdog leashesdog parkdog allergiespictures of ckcs
Beyond the obvious, if you look closely, you’ll see a pattern in the session data. With the query dog, while it has a lot of volume, you can’t understand the searcher’s intent. With the session data, however, a picture emerges that points to someone looking to get a new dog, adopt a dog, and maybe even a clue as to the actual breed the searcher is seeking.
If you can construct this session view of the keywords your visitors search on, it can help unlock a view into what they are trying to accomplish, making it easier for you to know what of your products, content and services should be shown and where.
If you have products that help with everything needed when a person brings a new puppy home, clearly the searcher in our example wants to know about them. And even if they show up after searching for breeds of dogs, or dog breeds, having built a session view around what entry keywords people find you on can help you know what content to link off to on the page they land on.
Getting the work done
While the traditional keyword research tools available today are great at helping with query-related research, building this session view is considerably more work. No tool exists right now that can tell you what a session looks like. In fact, for every website, those sessions could easily be highly individual. But where to start…?
Start with keyword research as usual. Then start looking at your analytics and building a view of the pathways people take through your site based on keywords they click to visit you. It’s worth taking the time to at least try to build this view out simply because of the insights about your visitors it can showcase. Look through your server logs if needed, just try your hardest to figure out what keywords people are coming to you through, and start working to understand what else interests them.
Now, just because no defacto tools exist to easily supply this view for you, doesn’t mean some smart folks out there can’t figure out a way. This industry is loaded with smart people doing clever things, after all.
If you’d like us to build such a tool, hit the comments below and get chatty. We can’t read minds, and the more people who speak up saying they need/want a particular feature, the better.
Duane ForresterSr. Product ManagerBing
Thanks for another SEO hint, Duane!
Since you brought sessions to the table now, can you elaborate a little more on the difference between sessions and keywords/phrases. They all seem synonymous to me. A query can consist of a single or multiple keywords. Same deal with a session. A session can end with a single query if a searcher is satisfied with the information found.
Regarding the session research tool, don't Keyword Research (Beta) in WMT and Research Keywords in Bing Ads provide this feature already?
Thanks for sharing !
Thanks for your experience! Duane Forrester.
it is very good, i like it!. Thank for share.
This is great, i'm learning SEO.
So great to join this bing blog! learn so much from this site. Thanks.
Does Bing provide the equivalent to...er, you know, "Adwords Keyword Tools"? :)
Thanks for your suggestions, hints and tricks, new perspective is always welcome.
Kind regards from Barcelona
@Malina DZ - you *can* view them as the same thing, but the point of the exercise is to look for clue sin the patterns the "session" view afford you, then use those patterns to predict behavior moving forward. Looking at a single keyword doesn't afford that potential predictive outlook.
The current tools show related phrases, so to a degree can offer the view, but the real power is in looking through your own internal data, overlaying that data on the keyword research to tease out patterns of interaction and conversion. We can provide the keyword research side, but the rest of the data comes form your own analytics and server logs.
@Ricard Menor - many thanks for the kind words Ricard. the team here works hard to deliver world class tools designed to help businesses.
This info is great for me and should be useful to others!
Really glad that I found this site blog!
This would be great - if Bing can provide us with Session knowledge as well.
In the past, Bing Adcenter gave us the knowledge of "Buying Intents" - Now this will be another great piece of knowledge. Looking forward to it.
Thanks for sharing. Good job
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