Refining Keywords – Google Keyword Tools

February 15th, 2009 by Barry

Google has a variety of tools that you can use for free to try and determine keywords. Building on the earlier brainstorming session we can see which words are most searched for.

First up is the Google Adwords Keyword tool.

This keyword tool was designed to help Adwords Advertisers find more keywords on which to bid. We’re going to use it to determine what terms people are making money on by seeing which popular terms people are bidding on. If people are bidding on them it is reasonable to assume they’re making money from them.

Whilst at this stage we’re not ready to look at PPC advertising but there’s no reason we can’t use the information that other people are paying for icon smile Refining Keywords – Google Keyword Tools

The tool itself draws upon the number of ads it displays for each search term that is typed into Google to give you an approximation of how many times a word is searched for in a month.

Remember of course that one of the limitations is that it can only draw on Google searches, depending how popular Google is in your territory will depend on exactly how useful this is.  Also remember the terms that people target for PPC may not be the same ones they’re targeting for natural search.

We’re going to use the tool to find words that we didn’t come up with during the brainstorming and start to eliminate phrases that aren’t popular search terms, to cut down on time spent creating content for our new site.

Depending on whether we want to geo-target content on the site we can tailor the locations we want to check on in the options.

country Refining Keywords – Google Keyword Tools

Select your country

Next we want to use the option to find new “Descriptive words or phrases” (this is selected by default).

howtogenerate Refining Keywords – Google Keyword Tools

Descriptive words and phrases

Then we want to add our selection of keywords which were brainstormed earlier. In this instance I’m just going to add 5 (poker marketing, poker seo, poker affiliate, poker articles and poker links). Next fill in the captcha and hit the ‘Get Keywords Ideas’ button.

captcha Refining Keywords – Google Keyword Tools

Captcha image

*TOP TIP* – Keep keyword phrases short or the tool will have difficulty selecting the important words to match.

This will then return a selection of what it thinks are related words directly underneath and then a second set of more broadly related keywords underneath those. You can then sort the results by each of the columns or export the data to use in a spreadsheet program.

keywords Refining Keywords – Google Keyword Tools

Keyword example

*TOP TIP* – Export all keywords and use a spreadsheet program to sort the data. It’s much easier and more effective than the tool filters.

Initially you can sort the results by approximate search volume to get an idea of what people are searching for and get a rough idea of what words you want to use.

I can’t tell for every individual case what will be a good and bad keyword to go for but generally low searches with high competition are to be avoided and high searches with low competition are to be pursued.

It will also fall to your own judgement what words are or aren’t relevant to what you want to write about.

In this case all of my keywords look poor and many of the more broadly related keywords suggested aren’t actually what I want to be writing about.

As with Wordtracker though it’s important not to use these tools as the only defining factor for choosing to go ahead or not.

There are a few other, more advanced, applications of this tool that I’ll look at in future posts including how to get an idea of your competitors keywords, how to use the hidden columns and how to narrow down inflated search counts by using the ‘exact match’ feature.

After exporting all the data I now have over 150 keywords from the original 5 I entered. Repeating the process for all 30 is likely to give me almost 750 keywords, many of which will be similar phrases for the same topic.

Using another Google tool, we’re next going to narrow it down which one we’ll use in each instance.

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