When it comes to keyword research…chances are you’ve read a few guides out there, bought a few e-books or spent countless hours researching and trying to comprehend how keyword research even works. I was in the same boat and in most cases, I am still pretty new to it… but if you found this article through a search engine…it must be working, right? haha
It’s safe to assume you already know how powerful keywords are for your website. If you don’t? Allow me to sum it up:
Keywords are the words that users are searching for in search engines. If you rank well with a specific keyword, that means more people to your site.
Easy enough? So let’s get down to business. Understanding the ins and outs, the tips and tactics; anywhere from optimizing your site to keyword research, the first thing you need is a keyword research tool. Now, there are a plethora of them out there. Some free, some premium, some amazing, some good and some just down right awful.
Since there are countless options when it comes to keyword research, I just want to cover two. Why? Because one of them is free, (yes, 100% free) and the other is a premium keyword research tool that I use almost exclusively.
Let me start off by saying I am not a seasoned veteran with keyword tools, so I’m going to avoid doing the standard comparisons on why one tool is better than the other because quite honestly, the bottom line is that whatever tool you choose; what matters is that it works for YOU.
So let’s get started shall we? For those of you who are new to keyword research, let’s start off with the free tool I mentioned.
From SEO to Keyword Research: Google Adwords Keyword Tool:
The Adwords Keyword tool is the most bang for you buck…because it’s free! The tool is available for use with Google Adwords – Google’s advertising platform for marketers and businesses.
To access this tool, you simply need to sign up for Google Adwords, it’s free.
When you get signed into Google Adwords, you will be presented with this screen (I’ve blocked my user ID and email for security purposes):
After accessing adwords, you want to click the “Tools and Analysis” tab. Then you want to click the “Keyword Tool.” This is the link that will take you to the Adwords Keyword Tool. I personally wish Google did a better job at making this tool more visible to people but that’s what this guide is for!
Ultimately, this tool can be used for a multitude of tasks. Primarily for you, it can be used to distinguish what keywords people are looking for…
But more importantly, what keywords are the most profitable.
At the next section, you’ll notice a few things after it takes you to keyword research (see image below). You’ll notice the following:
- Word or Phrase Box – This is where you type in your keyword research.
- Match Type (“Broad and Exact”) – Some people don’t really know what these mean, but without getting into too lengthy of an explanation, this filter allows you to look for keywords exactly (people typing in a keyword with the [brackets] or if they just search it more commonly (“keyword” without the quotes). I personally suggest always going off of the “Exact” search. With Adwords it will give you a better idea on the statistics of what people are looking for.
Next, you want to put in your keyword in the “Word or Phrase” box. For this example, I used “bamboo trees”. Yes, it’s a silly example but it doesn’t matter what keyword you search for, the process is the same. After the first step to keyword research, the search comes up with your results:
A few things to note here:
- Global Monthly Searches – This gives you a general idea on how many people in the world are searching for that specific keyword. (Remember the ones in the [brackets] are the exact searches.
- Local Monthly Searches – This gives you a general idea on how many people in your targeted country and language are searching for that specific keyword you are researching. I generally go by this ONLY if I have information that caters to a certain demographic.
- Competition – This will give you an idea on how many websites are competing for that specific keyword. Low, Medium and High are what it shows. High meaning you’re going to have the hardest time getting ranked on the 1st page of search engines.
- Approximate CPC – This is more of an Adwords tool…but it essentially tells you how much advertisers are paying per click when they advertise with those specific keywords.
You’ll notice near the mid-bottom of the image above there are a few search terms that aren’t exactly “bamboo trees”. The reasoning for this is because it also shows other keywords that are related to your keyword that users are searching for as well. This is a great feature because it can give you other ideas on how to utilize your keyword with other keywords that are related.
Don’t get discouraged if there is a Medium to High competition for your keyword. If your content is good and you have plenty of information on your site, there is still a chance you can rank well with it.
With that said, I hope this was informative. If you’re looking for a successful solution to keyword research; these two tools are definitely the two to try.