The Free Google Keyword Tool (and the Top 10 Reasons You Should Use It!)
Even if you do not use pay-per-click advertising, you nevertheless should be using the best keywords for your Web site content and your blog posts to get the best search results for them.
There is no point reinventing the wheel. Republishing this article serves the purpose of informing you about the Google Keyword Tool and why it is important to your online marketing efforts.
Even if you do not use pay-per-click advertising, you nevertheless should be using top keywords for your Web site content and your blog posts to get the best search results for them. If you know what search terms your potential customers use to find art and services like yours, you owe it to your marketing efforts to utilize this freely offered highly effective tool.
The Free Google Keyword Tool (and the Top 10 Reasons You Should Use It!)
By Andrew Palmer
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We often talk about the importance of choosing the right keywords when writing for the Web. It can mean the difference between heavy traffic and no traffic to your landing page… and possibly the difference between a high-conversion landing page and a complete bomb.
In the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, the trick is not just to write good copy but to use keywords that a reasonable buyer would type in as a search query.
For example, someone looking for information on investing in stocks might type in "stocks" or "stock market." They might be more specific and type in "investing in stocks" or "buying stocks." Or they may focus their search even further by typing in "the best low-priced value stocks" or "stocks under $5 for 2009."
Your job as an Internet marketer is to think of all these options… and brainstorm about which search terms would most likely be used. And, most important, to make sure those terms not only answer the search queries but are relevant to the product or service you're selling.
The best tool you can use for this research is, of course, your brain… and any opportunity to brainstorm with friends and colleagues. To further expand what you learn, you'll then want to use an online keyword tool. Keyword tools will not only give you ideas on how to grow your list of relevant keywords, they'll also give you synonyms and data about the popularity of your search terms.
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If you do a quick online search, you'll find many available keyword tools. But did you know that one of the best ones is free?
That's right. It's the Google Keyword Tool (GKT).
The GKT is an integral part of the AdWords pay-per-click system, but it's available for free even if you don't have an account.
It's a great way to find new keywords for your ad campaigns.
For example, if you run a dollar store, the GKT can suggest helpful, related keywords like "discount stores," "discount shopping," or "closeouts." Adding these alternate terms can help you find new customers who have questions you might otherwise have missed – questions your offer can provide an answer for.
And now for the top 10 reasons to use the GKT…
1. It's free. Need I say more? Okay, well how about this… all your research is available and easily downloaded in multiple formats, including text, .CSV for Excel, and .CSV.
2. It accepts filtering criteria for better results. When using the GKT, you can filter out results that are not helpful. For example, you can specifically request that it not include certain words or phrases. You can also request that it filter out adult content or words already included in your campaign. And you can request that it not show ideas for new keywords, but only show data about the keyword entered. This would include data on advertiser competition, approximate search volume for the previous month, and an approximate average search volume.
3. It organizes your keywords into groups. In AdWords, Google will match up every keyword search with the most relevant ad copy and landing pages. By grouping words together in sub-themes and creating separate ads and landing pages for those themes, you can often achieve bigger and better results. The GKT will do this for you automatically, making it easier to break out some words into groups for your PPC campaigns.
4. It identifies negative keywords. The GKT can show you off-topic keywords that are similar to your words but are irrelevant or too vague. You want to exclude these "negative keywords" from your campaign.
Suppose you sell a stock newsletter and you research the keyword "stocks" in the GTK. It may suggest multiple uses of the word that are relevant, as well as many more that are not. Terms such as "stock film" or "chicken stock" will not help you sell a stock newsletter. Thus, if you choose to use the word "stock," you need to add these other terms to your group as negative keywords. This helps make sure only interested prospects see your ads.
5. It allows you to choose the match type. The GKT automatically produces results based on a "broad match" of the keyword or keyphrase entered. This means your ad will appear if any of the words are included in the query, even if not written in the same sequence as your keyphrase. This also applies to similar keywords, such as plurals and synonyms. Thus, a "broad match" will reach a wider audience and trigger your ad to appear whenever that keyword or similar term appears in a user's query.
The GKT will also let you change the match type for your results. With one click, you can change your results to a "phrase-matched" variation. This means your ad will appear for any query that includes your keyword or keyphrase in the exact sequence and form that you specify. (Additional terms in a user's query can precede or follow the phrase.) This narrows your reach by restricting your ad from showing on irrelevant variations of your keyword. (To enable phrase matching, you enclose your keyword in quotation marks.)
In addition, you can use an "exact match," which is the most precise method for targeting your keywords. Use an exact match when you want your ad to appear only on a query that precisely matches the keyword or keyphrase you've chosen… meaning there are no additional words or letters before, between, or after it. (To enable exact matching, you enclose your keyword in square brackets.)
6. It supplies relevant statistics. There is an option called "Show or Hide Columns" in the GKT that allows you to see results with additional columns of relevant information. These are estimated performance statistics about keyword results to help you pick the best ones. Available statistics include estimated ad position, estimated average cost-per-click (CPC), the number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword, the previous month's Google search volume, the average monthly Google search volume over a recent 12-month period, Google's search volume trends over a recent 12-month period, and the month that each keyword received the highest Google search volume within a recent 12-month period.
7. It allows you to expand your theme (and be more specific) when your current keywords are performing poorly. Even the most relevant keywords can produce little or no traffic. No traffic means no one's seeing your ad, so you need to find more keywords. The GKT allows you to expand your theme and be more specific. You can even go the other way and test some vague words. The idea is to test any relevant words that could give you a boost in traffic.
8. It expands with or without synonyms. When using the GKT's "Descriptive Words or Phrases" section, you simply enter a relevant word or phrase and it will generate wide-ranging synonyms. For example, it might suggest "index funds" or "investing" as a synonym for the keyphrase "value stock." Most people don't realize that this is set by default. You can uncheck the "Use Synonyms" button so it will give only results that contain at least one of the terms you entered.
9. It expands based on site content. After you've brainstormed all the words and phrases you can think of, use the "Website Content" option. It lets you enter the URL of your landing page or website, or of any site related to your subject matter, to find more keywords. It scans the content of the link entered and suggests additional relevant keywords. You can even ask it to include other pages on your site linked from this URL.
The best part is that you can enter the URLs of your competition and other related sites and learn the keywords of their content and what they might be buying for PPC.
10. It enables you to target when you find a winning phrase. Often, one word or phrase will bring in all your traffic and conversions. If so, follow that thread… and find as many variations on that word as possible. The GKT makes it easy. Just click on the "Existing Keyword" button and then click on your best-performing keywords to generate variations.
Give it a whirl!
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