The most important Google Tool for businesses (that you probably have never used)

Yesterday, when I spoke at the New Media Expo I showed off the Google AdWords Keyword tool. Then I asked how many people had used this tool before. At least 1/3rd of the audience didn’t raise their hands. Now this is an audience of professional online content developers. People who SHOULD know how to use tools to find better ways to market their content.

If 1/3rd of this audience isn’t using this tool, the chances that most businesses are using it are between zero and none.

What does this tool do? It helps you see the searches that people are actually doing on Google. Let’s say you had a quilting store. Do you really know what searches people are actually doing to find information about quilting? If you haven’t used this tool, no, you don’t.

This tool also is important to figure out how many people are searching for a particular topic. This helps you test your assumptions of how many people are really searching for something. This will help you choose your title tags, and, even, your content.

It’s not the only tool that online marketers should be using, either. In this video Avinash Kaushik, who is one of the world’s top analytics experts, and now works at Google, gives you other tips for how to use tools like this one, along with measurement tools to refactor your Web site’s content.

Are you doing this stuff? Why/why not?

For those of you who do use this tool, do you have any advice for people who are discovering what this tool does for the first time?

The most hated man in America? (the cable guy)

Before I started the interview with Kyle McSlarrow, CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, I joked with him that he’s the most hated man in America, because everyone hates their cable company. He took that in stride and we dug in and talked about the state of broadband, how USA compares to Korea and other countries, and all sorts of issues like what cable is becoming and what his view of the technology industry is.

This is one of the Washington DC interviews we did.

We hear a lot of villification of this group in the media, so it’s nice to sit down and hear his point of view on a wide range of things. I love how he blamed me for using too much bandwidth at one point at about 17 minutes into the video.

Compare his responses on broadband and network neutrality to those from when I interviewed Representative Ed Markey or my interview with Representative Zoe Lofgren. You can see a rift, even if it’s a nuanced one.

Discussion of this video has already started on FriendFeed. How about you, what do you think of the interviews we got in Washington DC so far? (a few more are coming soon)

Personally I came away with a lot better impression of the cable industry after this interview. What about you?

The FriendFeed for the rest of us

Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix

Yeah, you are probably sick of the FriendFeed hype. Sorry about that. But I do look around to see if there’s any other choices out there. Today I found one.

125,000 comments per day. Heck, FriendFeed doesn’t even have that many people on it yet.

Here’s an interview with Topix’ CEO, Chris Tolles, having a conversation with me about the online community business. How is he doing it? He covers his advertising, his marketing, and other aspects of his business.

He also discusses the differences between “normal people” and people who read TechCrunch and hang out on FriendFeed.

Of course we’re discussing this video over on FriendFeed now. 🙂

Oh, and note that this was done with an updated Qik client which gives a little better quality.