The Google Keyword Tool is the best free tool available for keyword research. Most professional SEO experts use a paid service like WordTracker.com for keyword research, but for most small businesses, the Google Keyword Tool should be adequate. Here’s a quick guide to using the tool for your keyword research.
- Go to http://adwords.google.com and sign up for a free AdWords account, if you don’t already have one. You won’t create any ads at this time, but this will give you fullest access to the keyword research tool.
- Sign into your Google Adwords account and go to Reporting and Tools > Keyword Tool.
- Type in Keywords:
- Type your list of keyword phrases (that you generated during your Brainstorming [link]session) into the box, one on each line.
- Click the Search button.
- After the results appear, go to the left-hand side and under “Match Types”. Uncheck the box next to Broad and check Phrase instead.
- Save the entire list: On the left, above the keyword list, click on Download > All. Select the file format you want (CSV for Excel is usually best) and click Download. This list is your “Master List”, and it will be a great source of ideas for topics and categories that your website should include.
- Narrow Your List:
- Starting at the top, go through the list and click the checkbox next to each keyword phrase meets all of the following criteria:
- Extremely relevant to your business (describing your key product or service categories)
- At least 2 words in length (avoid 1-word keywords)
- Likely to be a query for your type of business (try to guess what the people typing each phrase into Google were trying to achieve)
- If you have a lot of results, you will be tempted to quit after going through the first 300 or so, or skip the ones with a small number of searches. Don’t! The whole list is relevant.
- When you’re done, click on Download > Selected (xx) and download this “Targeted List” to your computer.
In the next instalment, we’ll show you how to take that refined list and select your final keywords for each page of your website. If you missed the beginning of our series, head over to “What Is Search Engine Optimisation?”