Keyword research using the Google Keyword Tool

For both pay per click advertising through Google AdWords and search engine optimisation for organic results, choosing appropriate keywords is one of the most crucial decisions that you will be faced with. Fortunately, the Google Keyword Tool can help you to choose these effectively.

The Google Keyword Tool is a simple tool into which you type words or phrases that describe your business or products and hit search. The tool then lists a range of potential keywords that you might want to use to target customers. Alternatively, you can give it your website address and it will scan your site and suggest appropriate keywords based on this.

The Google Keywords Tool has a simple, easy to use interface

The Google Keywords Tool has a simple, easy to use interface

Results

When you use the Google Keyword Tool you receive a list of suggested key words and phrases. For each key word, you also receive three pieces of data. The first shows how high the competition is for that keyword. The higher the competition, the more you will have to bid in Google AdWords in order to run a successful advertising campaign targeted with this keyword. The other two pieces of information are the number of global and monthly searches for the keyword. This gives you a sense of how many people search for this keyword and so gives you a sense of the size of the potential market you are targeting by using it.

The Google Keyword Tool will give you a number of pieces of information on each keyword.

The Google Keyword Tool will give you a number of pieces of information on each keyword.

Adding keywords to AdWords

If you are signed in with your AdWords account you can easily add any of these keywords to your campaign by clicking it and then clicking “Add Keywords”. A new window will ask you to select the campaign and ad group you’d like to add the keywords to.

To add keywords to your AdWords campaign, select them and click “Add keywords”.

To add keywords to your AdWords campaign, select them and click “Add keywords”.

Match Types

The tool also gives you the ability to exert greater control over your search. One option you’re given involved a dialog on the left of the screen which allows you to change the “Match Type” for your search terms. This relates to the keyword traffic statistics that you’ll see when you do a search.

The different match types you can choose from.

The different match types you can choose from.

  • If you choose “broad match” this will show you the statistics not just for your chosen keywords but also for related keywords.
  • “Phrase match” means that your phrase must be included in the key phrase but not exclusively (so the traffic figures for “top hat” will also include the figures for “top hat for sale” as this includes the original phrase).
  • “Exact Match” returns the statistics only for the exact phrase.

These correspond to the ways you can use keywords in your AdWords campaigns where “exact match” allows you to run a more targeted campaign and the other two options increase he number of impressions that your advert will receive. When using the keyword search tool to modify an AdWords campaign, you’re best to choose the same setting that you intend to use with the advert itself.

Advanced Settings

You are also able to access a range of advanced settings by clicking the plus sign next to the words “Advanced Options and Filters”.

The Google Keyword Tools’ advanced settings.

The Google Keyword Tools’ advanced settings.

While a location and language will generally be set for you by default, the advanced settings allow you to change these as desired. Along with a few other options, this section also allows you to set filters to restrict the keywords returned in response to your search. For example, with these filters you can restrict keywords based on the competition for them, the number of searches, the approximate cost per click and so on. This allows you to identify suitable keywords while spending less time manually scanning the options.

Summary

Choosing effective keywords for AdWords and your website can be a complex process. As such, the Google Keywords Tool presents an opportunity to make this process that little bit easier and more effective.

How do you select appropriate keywords for your website and advertising?

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