Web Marketing: Tools to Optimize Your Keywords - dummies

Web Marketing: Tools to Optimize Your Keywords

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

Luckily, as a web marketer, you don’t have to guess to find keywords. You can use some of the great tools available to help you with your initial brainstorming to optimize your keywords.

How to use keyword services

Several companies have launched keyword services designed just for search engine optimization pros looking for the right targets. These services include the following:

All services cost a small monthly fee, but they are a good investment. They provide at-a-glance reports showing keyword demand, competition, and quality.


How to work with the Google AdWords keyword research tool

The Google AdWords keyword tool is the only source for Google keyword search data. It’s not perfect, but it’s what you have.

You have to log into your AdWords account to use the AdWords keyword research tool. If you don’t yet have an AdWords account, sign up! The account is free.

To show search volumes, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google AdWords.

  2. Type a phrase in the text box, and click the Get Keyword Ideas button.

    The report you receive shows searches performed in the previous month, average monthly search volume over the past 12 months, and advertiser competition in Google AdWords.


  3. Click the Columns option list and then choose Local Search Trends.

    Doing this adds an additional column to the report. You see trended search data by month.


Be sure to try these other options:

  • You can change the Match Type. By default, the Adwords keyword tool gives you search counts based on a Broad match. You might want to set the Match Type to Exact, to make sure that you don’t get too excited about search volumes.

  • You can also get keyword ideas based on a website’s content. Click website Content and enter web address. Google’s tool checks the page and pulls keywords based on the words and phrases on that page. The website Content option is a great way to get ideas for keywords you hadn’t thought of. You can also verify that your page is optimized for the right phrases and check competitors’ pages.

At this point, you’re probably thinking why use any other keyword tools? Google has the lion’s share of the traffic anyway. Although Google does get most of the traffic, the Google keyword tool is designed for pay-per-click marketers. If you rely solely on it, you may miss some great niche phrases because they don’t get a lot of bids in Google AdWords.

How to use Google Trends

All major search engines favor content that focuses on hot key phrases. For example, say that a famous movie star loses 45 pounds on a diet solely composed of mixed greens. The story hits newsstands, and suddenly everyone is searching for mixed greens diet.

If you knew that, you could add a few articles to your site about the mixed greens diet. The search engines would see that and quickly move you up in the rankings.

If only you had a way to check on trending phrases. . . .

Wait, you do! Google Trends. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google Trends.

  2. Type any phrase and click the Search Trends button.

    You can see whether search volumes are rising or falling. The report even shows specific news stories and whether they affected search volumes.

The top section is the search volume index, the rise or fall in searches for that phrase. The bottom section is the news reference volume, which tells you online media mentions of the phrase.

You can get more advanced reporting at Google, including seasonality, geography, and categories.

You can see a list of the top 100 hot phrases by clicking the More Hot Searches link.