Using Google’s Keyword Tool

Last week, we discussed the importance of writing SEO content for the web and left you with a clue to this week’s topic – understanding the full power of Google’s Keyword Tool. While it’s often used in conjunction with AdWords to target paid campaigns, the tool can improve your SEO efforts by gauging traffic for the words you’re already targeting and identifying related keywords you might not have thought of yet.

Let’s start with the basics. Typing in your website’s URL will generate a nice list of keywords based on the content of your page. This is great on its own because it gives you a snapshot of what searches Google thinks your site is about. If you don’t see some of your primary keywords there, you might want to reconsider your content strategies.  Next to each keyword, you’ll see columns for Competition, Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches and Local Search Trends, which we’ve broken down for you in a nice bulleted list:

  • Global Monthly Searches is the average number of searches for a keyword on Google and its search network in all countries and languages.
  • Local Monthly Searches is the average number of searches for a keyword on Google and its search network in the your default country & language. You can specify a different area & language under Advanced options.
  • Local Search Trends displays the fluctuation of a keyword’s traffic during the past 12 months using local search data. Changes may be moderate for some keywords like 360 degree marketing or substantial for seasonal phrases like Tony Awards.
  • Competition shows the number of advertisers bidding on that keyword, which may help you identify some keywords you could dominate in a low-budget paid campaign.

You can also add words or phrases to narrow your search and get an updated list of keywords, competition and monthly search data. For example, if we were analyzing The Pekoe Group  we’d start by adding theatre marketing and theatre advertising. From there, we might add Broadway marketing to dilute some of the generic, high-competition such as ad agencies, advertising agencies, advertising agency, etc. With a few more additions, you’ll have a highly-targeted list of the best keywords for your site. You may have identified some new, low-volume phrases that you can easily incorporate into your content, but at the very least, you’ll come away with a map of the search traffic that’s crucial to your site’s success.