In this tutorial we’re going to cover 3 ways to go about that:
- By using Google’s own Keyword Planner Tool.
- Researching your competitors’ keywords.
- Using keyword suggestions tools such as SERPs Keyword Ideas Tool and others.
Keyword Research with Google Keyword Planner Tool
Keyword Planner is by far the most popular keyword research tool and to no surprise.
It includes almost all information you would need to find and assess the best keywords for your business. From suggestions, trends and popularity data to filters Keyword Planner is a truly keyword research workhorse.
Let’s see now how to use it to find new keywords for your business.
Note: Keyword Planner is part of Google Adwords suite. Before you start using it, you’ll need to sign up for Adwords account here. Just follow few simple steps and you will be ready to search for new keywords.
Once you log in, Keyword Planner is located under Tools tab in the main navigation:
Using Google Keyword Planner Tool
The Keyword Planner allows you to perform a number of various tasks:
- Search for new keywords. This is its heart and soul – it suggests new keywords to optimise your site for.
- Check search volume for different keywords. If you have a list of keywords already, you can use this option to check average monthly traffic they receive.
- Get new keywords ideas by multiplying keyword lists. This is an experimental feature allowing you to mash few lists of keywords to come up with different variations. You can then check their monthly search volumes to assess if there are any keywords worth investing into.
Here’s how to use each of these options.
Finding new keywords
This option resides under “search for new keywords and ad group ideas” section of Keyword Planners main panel:
Once you expand it, you’ll see a number of different settings you need to specify before the tool can suggest new keywords:
Enter one or more of the following
This is where you can specify your head keyword – a topic you want to find more keywords for. You can do it in 3 ways:
Specify your product or service. Type in a term that best describes it or relevant keywords.
When specifying your head term remember that suggestions you’ll receive will be closely related to whatever you specified. To avoid receiving any generic suggestions (like “books” or “restaurant” for instance) use 2-3 phrases or terms at least. This will give the tool more information about what you’re looking for.
Use any page on your site as a reference. Paste a specific page URL into “Your Landing Page” field and Keyword Planner will use it as a reference to find relevant keywords.
You can also use this option to research keywords your competitors use. Keyword Planner will analyse their page URL and output keywords they optimise for.
Product category. You can also find new keywords by your industry, category or niche. This is by far the least effective option of the three. it can however at times find some good phrases and thus, it’s worth playing with.
This section contains additional options helping you to further define what results you’re looking for:
Country – this option allows to specify country or region you want to receive results from.
Language – you can also tell Keyword Planner what language you want those results to be in.
Search Engine – you can specify if you want to search the Google database alone or include data from its search partners as well.
Negative Keywords – Last but not least, you can specify keywords you do not want to include in results. These could be keywords you already rank for, or those you know to be irrelevant to your industry or product but might still show in the results.
Advanced – Customize Your Search
Keyword Planner also includes a set of advanced settings. You don’t have to set them up right now. Later on however, when you’re more familiar with keyword research process, they may help you increase quality of your results.
Checking search volume
You might already have a list of keywords ready. There might be terms you know people use. Or ones you’ve noticed on your competitor’s website.
But you don’t know how popular these keywords might be.
That’s what the second Keyword Planner’s tool, “Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups” will help you assess.
To use it, simply paste or upload your list of keywords. Then specify the same targeting options we discussed above and click “Get search volume”.
Keyword Planner will retrieve search volume for every keyword on your list.
Get new keywords ideas by multiplying keyword lists
The last tool in the set allows you to mash up few keywords lists to come up with new suggestions. As mentioned already, this is more of an experiment and personally I haven’t had much success with it so far. That’s not to say though that it can’t generate some interesting keyword ideas.
To use it, enter keywords into each box, specify targeting options and hit “Get search volume”.
If you’ve used one of the options described above, you should see a list of keyword suggestions. Well done.
It’s now time to see what all those numbers on screen mean.
Keyword Planners results page looks like this:
Notice that the screen is divided into two sections:
- Left side column contains a sidebar with various settings – similar to those you used when setting up your search:
- Date range
- Keyword filters etc.
- The main column contains the search results:
There are few other things you need to know before we begin analysing those results:
- Results are split into two categories: Ad group ideas and Keyword Ideas. Because Keyword Planner is primarily an Adwords tool, it contains a lot of data relating to these campaigns. These are included in the “Ad group ideas” tab. For keyword results you need to select the “Keyword Ideas” tab.
- Main results window is split into two sections as well. On top Keyword Planner displays search terms you specified when setting up the tool. The list below includes new keywords suggestions.
What Data You Should Look At
Apart from a list of relevant keywords, Keyword Planner can give you an insight into popularity of each keyword:
- The number of average monthly searches reveals how many people search for a particular keyword each month.
- Competition column indicates how many companies compete for a particular keyword in Adwords. Even though this metric doesn’t relate to organic results, It’s still a good indication of how competitive a keyword might be.
- Keyword Planner can also reveal a keyword’s search trend.
All this data combines will allow you to find the best keywords to promote your business. We will discuss how to do it later in this tutorial.