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How to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Posted by on May 22, 2012

Last week, we published a post about how to choose and implement the right keywords to use on your marketing site. In that article, we suggested using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool if you’re having difficulty figuring out different keywords/keyword iterations. It’s important to research, implement, and test different keyword iterations on your site to figure out which ones are most effective at increasing targeted website traffic, and as a result, customers.

Here’s how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool:

  1. Enter a keyword or phrase into the first “Word or phrase” field. For this example, I’m going to use the keyphrase “yoga studio”.
  2. Enter in your website’s homepage URL into the “Website” field. It just so happens that there is a company out there called “The Yoga Studio” in Brookline Village, MA and their homepage URL is “www.yogastudio.org”, so we’ll use them for our example.
  3. Select the business category that corresponds to your business under the “Category” field.  I’m selecting “Yoga & Pilates” under Sports & Fitness>>Fitness>>Yoga & Pilates.
  4. There are a couple of options you can use to filter the keyword results which you can access by clicking the “+” button next to the “Advanced Options and Filters” link.  This part can be useful if you’re marketing to other countries.
  5. Type in the characters that appear in the captcha picture and click the “Search” button.

You will then receive a list of relevant keywords from Google. Click the image to the right to see the expanded screenshot of the results. You will see additional information specific to each keyword such as the competition levelglobal monthly searches, and local monthly searches.  You can organize and re-order this list on any of those aforementioned criteria. It’s usually a good idea for start-up companies to target keywords that have a “low” to “medium” competition level because they are receiving a relatively high amount of searches, yet there are fewer websites out there targeting them.  Bigger net, smaller pond. Keywords with a “high” level of competition are usually reserved for sites that are already well-established and well-optimized.  High competition levels for keywords mean that there are a massive amount of searches being conducted for them along with a massive amount of websites targeting them. Smaller net, bigger pond.

For our yoga studio example, we wouldn’t want to target keywords with a low amount of local searches and a high amount of global searches because most, if not all, of your business is going to come from your local community. You don’t want to optimize your website for a keyword that very few people in your area are searching for!  If you are targeting a national, or even world-wide market, you would certainly want to take this metric into consideration.  The more searches a target keyword receives, the more likely it has a high level of competitiveness.  The higher the competitiveness, the harder it is to appear at the top of the search engine results.

You can also click the down arrow next to any of the keyword results and click the “show more like this” option to find different iterations of that particular keyword.  If you see a keyword in this list that doesn’t correspond to your product or service offering, you can click that same down arrow next to it and click the “exclude term” option.

The point of using the Keyword Tool is to determine which keywords describe your product/service offering most accurately, yet are in the sweet spot of competitiveness, not too saturated, but not too barren. Then you’ll implement these keywords by creating new content on your marketing website and/or blog in the form of articles which mention these specific keywords in the page title, heading tags, body content, etc.  The more often, the better!  Google loves seeing fresh, relevant content.  In fact, they love it so much, they’ll actually reward you for it!

One of the main advantages of using BoostSuite is that it will tell you exactly which keywords you need to add to each of these website content areas in order to get the best results. Sign up for a free account today!

About the author

Ryan Kettler Ryan Kettler is Director of Content for BoostSuite. Ryan is a sports fanatic, avid golfer, devoted runner, beer connoisseur, Internet marketing zealot and live music enthusiast. When he’s not indulging in all things content marketing he can be found on the links, running 5ks, or sampling IPAs. BoostSuite is a co-marketing tool for small businesses. BoostSuite connects you with thousands of other businesses who already have the audience and content you need. With BoostSuite you can run a successful online marketing program in less than an hour a week. BoostSuite is free, easy to use, and only takes a minute to set up.

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