How to Use the Google Keyword Tool - dummies

By David Karlins, Doug Sahlin

Google has a powerful tool you can use to research keywords to help manage your website’s content. You enter a term, the URL for your website, and the type of service or product being promoted from the site, and the Keyword tool lists keywords and shows you the level of competition for each keyword.

If you can find a relevant keyword for which the competition is low, your site will appear higher in the search rankings. If you choose a keyword with high competition, your site is the proverbial needle in the haystack. The trick is to find keywords for which there is low or medium competition and that are used frequently as search terms.

To use the Google Keyword tool, follow these steps:

1Launch your favorite web browser and navigate to Google’s Keyword Tool Box.

In addition to finding keywords, you can use the site for other tasks.

2Click Google Keyword tool.

The browser refreshes and takes you to Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

3Enter a keyword you want to include in the search by entering it in the Include Terms text box and then clicking the plus sign (+).

You can enter as many keywords as you like. Click the plus sign (+) to add additional keywords to the list. If you type two keywords that you want to appear in a specific order, type a quote before the keywords and one after the keywords (“Sarasota weddings”), and then click the plus sign (+) to add the keyword phrase to the list.

4Enter a keyword that you want to exclude from the search, and then click the plus sign (+) to exclude it from the list.

You can exclude as many keywords as you like. Click the plus sign (+) to add additional keywords to exclude from the search.

5Choose the desired Match Types.

Use Broad unless you want to search for a specific keyword idea, in which case you would choose Exact. If you choose Phrase the search results include all terms that include the keyword word or phrase you enter in the next step.

6In the Word or Phrase text box, enter the word or phrase for the type of business or service for which you want to find keywords.

You can enter more than one word or phrase. Each keyword or phrase must appear on its own line. Press Enter/Return to put additional keywords or phrases on a new line.

7In the Website text box, enter the URL for the website. In the Category text box, enter the category for the business or service for which you are attempting to find keywords.

You can choose a category from the drop-down list, or type the category that best describes the business or service for which you are attempting to find keywords.

8(Optional) Select the Only Show Ideas Closely Related to My Search Terms check box.

This narrows the amount of keywords or phrases that are returned. Leave this unchecked because you may find a keyword or phrase you never suspected would be useful.

9(Optional) Modify the Advanced Options and Filters.

The default choices are for the part of the world in which you live, the language spoken in that part of the world, and for desktop and laptop computers. To change any term, click it to expand the area and see the additional choices.

10Enter the dreaded Captcha terms.

This is Google’s front line defense against robots accessing the site.

11Click the Search button.

The keyword finder thinks about it for a while and returns a list of keywords showing the amount of competition, the number of searches per month both globally and locally.

12Make a note of the keywords with Medium and Low competition that have a large number of monthly searches.

These keywords are more likely to bring success. Repeat Steps 6–12 as needed to generate a list of keywords for the site you’ve designed.