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Conducting Effective Keyword Research With Google’s Tools

Keyword Research is essential if you wish to attract targeted visitors to your site. Google Adwords offers a free tool to help you choose relevant keywords for your website. You can get valuable information about how much competition there is for a keyword and how the search volume for these words changes over the year.

You can access the tool even if you don’t have an Adwords account at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

The following screenshots will guide you through using the tool. Click the screenshots to view larger images. The screens you say may look slightly different depending on whether you are logged in or not.

Adwords Keyword Tool overview

You can either search by keyword or by website URL. If you have some starter keywords in mind, select “Descriptive words or phrases” and add them into the box, one word or phrase per line. To get Google to extract keywords from your website, click “Website content” and enter you URL. Once you have completed this, click “Get keyword ideas.” In this example we have search for “e-cards” and allowed the tool to search for synonyms.

Our first list of keyword ideas

You can see the list of keywords that was returned in the image above. You can get some very useful information from this tool. The following columns are available in the results:

  • Keywords – the keyword related to your original search phrase.
  • Estimated Ad Position – shows where you ad is likely to appear in Adsense results.
  • Estimated Avg. CPC – how much you should expect to pay for a click on Adsense.
  • Advertiser Competition – how many other advertisers are competing for this keyword. A more full green bar indicates more competition.
  • Approx Search Volume – approximately how many times this phrase was searched for on Google in the previous calendar month.
  • Approx Avg Search Volume – approximately how many times this phrase is searched for in each month.
  • Search Volume Trends – how the search volume for this phrase changes over the year. Hover over the bar to see which month each bar represents. A taller green bar represents a higher search volume.
  • Highest Volume Occurred In – which month has the highest search volume for this phrase

The useful results we need for our keyword research are advertiser competition, search volume and search trends.

You can click the header of each column to sort the results. If we click advertiser competition twice we can sort the results so the least competitive keywords are at the top

Sort our search results

You can see the advertiser competition bar is empty at the top. These are the least competitive keywords. For the least competitive keywords, some of the data may not be available but the approximate average search volume should always be available. Scroll through the list looking for the phrases that are suitable for your website.

Working with Adsense

Since this tool is designed to work with Adsense, you can directly import your keyword findings into your Adwords campaign if you have one. Click “Add” next to all the keywords that interest you.

Work with our keyword results

Once you have added your keywords you can download them in text or csv format. You can also estimate how much traffic Adsense could bring you with these keywords. Click “Estimate search traffic” and enter you default bid per click. Click “Save changes” and then click “Show total potential clicks in the table below.” You will then see how many visits these keywords are likely to bring you and how much they will cost you each day.

The Adsense portion of this tool is optional and our original plan was to find good keywords for our website. Once you have chosen your keywords you should download them in text format so you can keep them for later reference.

Keywords should be added to your <title> tag, page headings and placed in bold and italic on the relevant pages. Beware of overloading your page however, as search engines may regard it as spam and penalise you for it.

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