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Using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool for SEO

A challenge that is faced by most of the online marketers is – finding the right keywords. Since there are so many keyword research tools out there, both free and paid, the search for the right one can get overwhelming.

However, most of the aspiring web marketers fail to realize that there is a tool that can help them discover profitable keywords at no cost. That’s right – we’re talking about the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

Even though this tool wasn’t specifically created to cater SEO marketers, it can be really be helpful in creating a strong keyword list. Here are five useful tips to help you get the most out of the Google AdWords Keyword Tool in terms of SEO.

#1: Start with Broad Search: If you want to get good results with the AdWords Tool, then make sure you begin your research with a ‘broad search’. Many commit the common mistake of using highly specific keywords for researching.

The smart way to use this tool is to drill down the broad results that you get for a keyword phrase. This can be done by using the synonym tool that gives you variations and suggestions for the keyword.

#2: Use the Filters Effectively: One of things that you need to focus on when doing keyword research is filtering out what you are interested in. You can do this by sorting the keywords in a descending order with the “Global Monthly Searches” filter.

This puts the keyword with the highest search volume at the top. Besides that, make sure you check “only show ideas closely related to search terms” – or else you will end up with an irrelevant list of keywords that don’t apply to your website.

#3: Analyze Frequently Targeted Keywords: People use various keywords to search online, so always keep in mind that your target audience will use other keywords to search for your site, besides your primary keyword.

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to search for keywords by entering your site’s URL as well. You can use this feature to find keywords that people are using to land on your website. Doing this you may come across keyword phrases that you didn’t consider before.

#4: Create Three Sets of Keyword Searches: Creating a keyword list that makes sense is important if you want to uncover golden nuggets from your research. By dividing your keywords into different groups, you will be able to add:

  • The most competitive terms in the first group
  • Keywords with mediocre competition in the second group
  • The least competitive terms in the third group

This regrouping helps prioritize your keyword research goals and lets you focus on the best ones.

#5: Use Your Judgment: The search data that you gather using the AdWords Keyword Tool has its own flaws and isn’t very accurate. This is why you should use your own judgment and not completely depend on it. The tool gives you great clues about the keywords that you can target, but that’s about it.

So don’t just blindly follow the data that you get, use your common sense to understand what works and what doesn’t. Also, don’t just stick to one tool when doing keyword research. Go beyond and experiment with various tools in the market to get optimum results.

How often do you use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool for research? And how has it helped you research the right keywords? Do comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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Mustafa Khundmiri

Mustafa Khundmiri is a staff writer for Performance Marketing Insider. He is also the co-founder of - a knowledge hub for entrepreneurs.

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  1. Good article! As far as i remember, you can also use the filter for geo targeting, meaning that you can check keywords for a few different countries. Not everybody is located in the US or targeting the US market.

  2. Mustafa, great tips here on using the Google Keyword Tool. I found your step# 4 to be interesting and very useful.

    Great job on breaking this down for your readers. Thanks!!

  3. Google adwords are very helpful in determining some keywords that has a low competition and that has a high global searches. I use google keywords tool sometimes but for mew the best way to determine some good keywords is to use market samurai.

  4. I love the google keyword tool and use it almost daily. I just wish there’d be an option to filter by amount of words, like search only for 3-word-keywords, 4-word etc. to find those good long tail keywords!

  5. I’m gonna try working this tool- google adwords keyword. Maybe its time to try something new and experiment more so that traffic will be go along the way.

  6. Great advice. I think newbies are more apt to forget competitive analysis (#4) in their efforts, and might inadvertently use keywords that are already over-saturated.

  7. I currently use this method to conduct keyword research and have found it a better and more precise method than some of the other programs available.

  8. It is very simple to use AdWords to research keywords. We can either enter the URL of your site or put in some seed keywords, the tool will then automatically generate a whole bunch of suggested keywords. Look at the results and shortlist all the keywords that seem relevant and have a decent global search volume.

    1. I agree it is a vast and complex decision making process, but I think go for low competition and high hits. Great article.

  9. Thank you for the informative post, Mustafa. Google Adword Keyword tools is great for both SEO and PPC purposes. It is simple to use yet very effective.

  10. Exact match, exact match, exact match…..

    So many people (mostly clients) look at only the broad match results, and think those are realistic numbers for keyword searches.

  11. This keyword tool has become the necessity for everyone who owns a website today. Much easier to use, however might be difficult for newbie. Nice explanations.

  12. Everyone focuses on Google Adwords, but Bing now has a webmaster page and a keyword tool as well. These should not be overlooked when considering your SEO research.

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