Google Adwords Keyword Tool Review

We are talking about keyword research this week and today I’ll give you a quick review of the Google keyword tool and how I use it. It’s a great free tool, but you do have to do some additional work to find out how competitive a particular keyword is.

Start by going to – Enter a main keyword and be sure to leave “Use synonyms” checked. This will give you more ideas for further research. Enter the characters you see in the image to proof you are human and click on the “get keyword ideas” button.

In the image below you will see the results for the keyword “affiliate marketing”.

Google Keyword Tool

The first column is a list of keywords this tool has come up with for you. The first section will be keywords directly generated from what you have entered for your original search. If you scroll down, you will also see additional terms below. This is a great way to expand your keyword list.

The second is an indication of how active the bidding on this keyword in Google Adwords is. For our purposes (SEO) we can ignore this. The only reason to glance at it is to get a quick idea of how profitable a keyword will be. The basic idea behind this is that if other webmasters are paying for these keywords there has got to be some money in it.

The next column shows you local searches. Unless you are specifically optimizing your site for a particular region, state or city, ignore this column as well.

In the next to last column, you’ll find the information you really want to pay attention to – Global Monthly Search Volume. This is a rounded estimate of how often that particular keyword is searched per month. THIS IS JUST AN ESTIMATE.

That’s the data we can get from this keyword tool. Now let’s look at how we can use this.

Generate Keyword Ideas

When I write a new blog post, create a new page on one of my websites or write an article for an article directory that I want to rank, I start with a keyword tool. It will show me what terms people are actually searching for. I find one that represents my topic well.

Let me give you an example. I recently interviewed my friend Christine (via email ) about meal planning and was getting ready to post the interview on my site. I did some research on the keyword “meal planning” and found that family meal planning was searched frequently.

I could also have looked at what long tail keywords were available under meal plan, menu plan, planning meals etc. You use your keyword tool to find those keywords and then …

Competitive Analysis

Step two is to see how hard it will be to rank for each term. You want to strike a balance between traffic volume and how hard you will have to work to rank for your keyword. In the above example, I could have chosen just “meal planning” as the keyword, but competition for that term was a little more than I was willing to take on. It would have taken too much time to build enough links to rank in the top 3 for that term. Instead I chose family meal planning, which still gets a decent amount of traffic, and has little enough competition that I should be able to make it to page 1 of Google and eventually one of the top 3 positions with just a few well placed links.

By now you’re probably wondering what I did to find out how many competitors there were. There are  a few different ways to do this.

1) You can search for the term in google with quotes around it (i.e. “family meal planning”) . The result will be any page that has this particular term anywhere on it. Take a look at page one of google and pay attention to who has the exact keyphrase in their title and click on the those. Take a look at their page rank and then go to and use the site: command to find out how many links this page is getting.

2) My preferred way to look at this is to find out who is using the keyword in their title and also has some links pointing to that page with this particular anchor text. Those are the real competitors. To find this data go to Google and type the following in the search box, replacing “family meal planning” with your keyword of course.

allinanchor:”family meal planning”

Then look at who also uses this exact term in their title tag. If there aren’t too many pages doing this, it will be pretty easy to rank for the term with on page optimization (using the keyword in your title and in your text), as well as using it as your internal anchor text. Lastly, go out and get a few external links to the page with with the keyword in the anchor text of the link as well. I usually write a few articles and submit them to my favorite article directories.

For more link building strategies, visit and sign up for my 12 week link building course.

Susanne Myers

P.S. No keyword tool is 100 percent accurate. Often it helps to look at the data from more than one. Another good free tool is the the free version of wordtracker. Tomorrow I’ll go over it and the paid version of wordtracker in more detail.


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