Circuit Circuit – Keyword Research Upverter Style

You may be wondering what circuit circuit has to do with both Upverter and SEO. Well, let me tell you.  When I was doing research into the keywords that Upverter should target when launching both our product and our on-line community. I looked at terms like circuit design and PCB layout, and found that a limited number of people actually search for those terms.
That is not such a bad thing for us, it turns out there are some very pointed terms that we found that we can rank well on – just not the ones you would expect. But none of that is very interesting, it was really just a task of running through hundreds of combinations of words that are related to the hardware field, specifically open source hardware (OSHW) = boring. But when doing this I came across an anomaly in the data.

A large number of people are searching for circuit circuit. Really? I was curious to learn what on earth the people that search for circuit circuit could possibly be looking for, so I added one to the millions of monthly global searches to find that even Google doesn’t know. On the first result page in Google is the following:

  • 1 electronics store
  • 1 story about a migrant family
  • Google news related to the stock market
  • 3 US Circuit Court pages
  • 2 electrical circuit pages
  • 1 car racing page
  • 1 page about film

So what do I do with this new found pot of search gold? Nothing. With search results like that we might be able to get to the top of the Google ranks, but the question quickly becomes why bother? There lies the most important question when selecting a set of keywords for your site. For us it’s not just about getting people to look at our site, but about conversions, getting people to join the community, ask questions, answer questions and most importantly, use the great design tool that we are making.

None of these goals can be achieved by optimizing for circuit circuit (other than my personal satisfaction in winning). There might be 10X the search volume, but it really doesn’t matter if the conversion rate is crap. There are a lot of things that go into setting up a site for success, and one of them is getting the right keywords to focus your energy on.

In my experience, the right keywords are not always the ones with the most monthly searches. I think this is something that a lot of people overlook when they are researching and selecting a set of keywords for their site.  I am not going to make that same mistake.  I am going to go for quality and breadth over sheer quantity.  How are we going to do that you ask? Well, we are going to start by asking real people, our potential users, our customers what they would actually search for.

I know, I know, this is a novel idea, but I think we should give it a try – no matter how scary customers might seem.  Then we are going to pour a couple hundred dollars into some Ad-words with the different combinations of keywords that we come up with, thanks to all the great people we talked with.  And finally, we are going to measure the results, figure out what our conversion rates are, and do some good old fashioned math to get the optimal result … OK well a better set of results. This method is far from fool proof, but it is a plan! That is the plan as we move forward, and it is not a complex one, but I think that it is going to be effective! And Zak will be happy to hear that this will be my last attempt to climb the Google ranks for my new favorite search term circuit circuit.

Introducing Upverter

Introducing Upverter

We are Upverter. And we are going to do exactly as our name suggests


. We are going to make you faster. We are going to increase your quality of work. We are going to up your resolution. And no, we are not some sketchy set-top box from China


. We are the next big thing in electronic design tools.

You’re probably thinking the same thing we did back when we started on this project. EDA? Really? As if the world needs another piece of CAD software! Are these guys nuts? Yes. In a lot of ways we probably are


. But right here, right now, we don’t think so. And we want to tell you why, and a little about our motivation. We want to plant an idea in your mind. And over the next little while we are going to water and feed that idea. And assuming we can keep you interested, and keep that little idea growing inside your head, we think you’ll agree that there is a lot of work left to be done.

When we were writing this we iterated a little bit about how much to go on about



and the open-source software movement. In the end, we decided that enough people reading this would know what we meant, when we say that software like


and services like


have changed the world


. Free and opensource software is here to stay – and the world is a better place because of it



Along the same lines we wrote about


and asked when was the last time you looked something up in the

Encyclopedia Britannica

. But again it seems like the kind of thing where you would get the point before we got warmed up. When really the message is just that you don’t anymore. There is a place, a mecca of information, that is maintained by our peers for their peers and for the betterment of humanity



So instead we are going to get right to it. We have a dream. We want to tell you about a time that is to come – about a premonition of ours. In this dream it’s not a line of code shared that is making the world a better place, but a net. In this dream people don’t collaborate to make an encyclopedia, but a library of parts. In this dream we see a world where you can build on the successes and failures of your peers, rather than go it alone. And probably the coolest part, is that in this dream we see a community of kick-ass smart hackers empowered and armed instead of ignored because of a sales strategy. Its a dream about a better world. A friendlier world. A world where tools exist and people hack away, for the betterment of humanity.

We think it’s a pretty cool dream, and a pretty neat idea. And we are going to try and nurture it over the next little while. Someday we will tell you what we are up to, and when you get to play with it. But for now, we want to hear your thoughts and your dreams. We want to know what you think Open Source Hardware is. What you have done since the words got mashed together a few years back. And we want you to be part of the revolution (the resistance if you will).

We are Upverter, and we’re gonna make the world a better place.

  1. Based on the

    electronic term upverter

    (combination of up and converter).
  2. Our biggest competition in terms of the name when we chose it was a whole pile of very sketchy links to the Chinese manufacturing companies that built those magical HD set-top boxes that were so popular a few years back.

    See here

    if you don’t know what we mean.
  3. See

    Zak’s personal blog

    for more than enough evidence!

  4. Richard Stallman

    is the American software freedom activist who launched the

    GNU Project

    , he initiated the

    free software movement

    , and he founded the

    Free Software Foundation

    . He is basically the high-priest of all things free software (also

    see his website

  5. For those that don’t, here is your cheat sheet: free software. And not free like cheap, or free like



    free like speech



    is the most common and most industrial web server in the world, and its free and open source.




    ] was the first big community for hackers to share their open source projects, and is seen as a catalyst in the open source movement.
  6. This is a

    good article

    on why to use free and open source over conventional proprietary software.
  7. See the book

    The Cathedral and the Bazaar



    ] by Eric S. Raymond for why it happened. And the article

    Open Source is World Changing

    for why its better now.