Shrewsbury v Telford – Methodology

This research is based on Google Ads keyword data. It has been compiled by taking the top 250 search terms to include the word ‘Telford’ and the top 250 search terms to include the word ‘Shrewsbury’, with the match type set to exact to get reliable data on the number of searches for that exact phrase, and then categorising and analysing the keywords.

Of course, there are various problems with this approach – it doesn’t include searches for places, products or services in either of the towns which may take place without the town being mentioned, for example, and it doesn’t include searches for the different parts of Telford and Shrewsbury – searches that include ‘Wellington’, for example, or ‘Harlescott’, would not be included unless they also included ‘Telford’ or ‘Shrewsbury’. But we believe the data is sufficiently accurate to be of value.

The categorisation of different terms is, of course, debatable. Is a hotel a place to stay – well, obviously it is, but is it also a leisure activity? If somewhere is a bar, hotel and restaurant, which category does it sit in? In cases such as a hotel which is also a restaurant, we’ve looked at the business’ website and looked at how they describe themselves – if they’re a ‘restaurant with rooms’, then we’ve treated them as if they were a restaurant, and if they’ve called themselves a ‘hotel with restaurant’ then they’re a hotel. Oversimplification? Maybe, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

We’ve tried to exclude phrases that don’t relate to the town – some businesses, for example, are called ‘Thomas Telford this’ or ‘Thomas Telford that’, and we’ve removed those unless the business is actually in Telford. We haven’t split every category of keywords into a set of subcategories as some categories were so small or tightly defined that it just wasn’t worth it.

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