Some of you may be aware that Google AdWords has a couple of free keyword research tools. Both tools are handy for PPC and for search engine optimization. You can use them even if you don’t have any active PPC campaigns or even if you are not planning to start any. You can use the tools for your search engine marketing and optimization campaigns and improve your performance drastically. But when should you use each tool?
The Google AdWords External Tool is a good place to start your research. It’s free so performing your initial keyword research is fairly simple. There are two ways to use it, primarily.
You can use the external tool to search for related keywords or you can have it analyze your website and return relevant keywords. Either way is OK and you can even do both. The nice thing about the external keyword tool is the breadth of information it returns. What you should be interested in the advertiser competition meter and the average search volume field. If you are running PPC campaigns based on your keyword research then use the dropdown menu for showing which fields to display and show all fields. If you are using the tool simply for SEO purposes then you don’t CPC and ad position fields so stick with the default.
Use the external field to input several of your known keyword phrases and try to find related phrases that you can capitalize on.
After playing around with the external tool, you may want to go to Google’s search-based keyword research tool. This tool returns information based on actual searches. Just like the external tool, you can use this tool to search your website for key phrases or to search for related key phrases. But there are a couple of drill down tools that the search-based tool is good for. Because of that it is great for narrowing in on your most important keywords.
No. 1, if you want to search your website for the best keywords, do it for each individual page separately. You are not looking for sitewide keywords here. You are looking for specific keywords that are relevant to a specific landing page. Also, you can type in one or two primary keywords and get a list of related keywords with some great information attached such as how many monthly searches have been made for that term, what is your level of competition, and a suggested bid for PPC campaigns. Now, that last one is important even if you are using the tool for search engine optimization and not for PPC.
Use this tool to discover which of your keywords are the most valuable and focus on those. By using this double-edged approach to keyword research using Google’s free keyword research tools, you can achieve an excellent search engine optimization campaign based on real data.