Many webmasters, marketers, bloggers and general digital agencies will be conducting keyword research at some point in time, if not on a consistent basis. Working at a search agency, I am accustomed to keyword research on a daily basis. In fact, I don’t think there has been a day in my role that I haven’t used the Keyword Tool. So I’ve decided to share some basics for people that are yet to use it and/or would like to know more about it.

What is The Keyword Tool?

It is simply a user friendly platform to be able to identify high volume keywords that are relevant to a particular website or business. The aim of keyword research and using this tool, is to identify the key words or phrases that your potential customers will type into a search engine, in order to locate you.

For example: Let’s say you own an e-commerce website that solely sells sporting merchandise. Your primary focus and highest selling products are supporter gear and team wear (NBA, AFL, NRL & soccer jerseys) and your target market is Australia wide. You want to determine what your potential customers are searching for online, in order to be able to put together a strategy to target those keywords and encourage those customers to visit your website.

Let’s take a look at some keyword research for this online store. Put yourself in your customers shoes, and from a customers perspective, what would you type into Google to come across the products you offer?

We’ll focus on 10 keywords that are highly relevant to your product offerings that have high search volume.

These 10 keywords (left hand column) are highly relevant and match the products you sell. You have kept it relatively generic to attract a large customer base, based on individual sports categories. You have also added in Collingwood and Rabbitohs terms, as they are your highest selling team products.

Filtering The Data

When you type your keywords into the phrase box, be sure to filter the results based specifically on what you are searching for.

Here I filtered the desired results to only display Australian search volume, in all languages via desktops and laptop devices. If you want to only retrieve American search volume, you can quite simply adjust the filter options. The results will now only display Australian based search volume.

Keyword Match Types

You can also search for a variety of different match types. Match types include:

1. Broad Match – keywords or phrases that may be jumbled or in a different order – includes misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.

2. Exact Match – keywords or phrases that will only retrieve results for that exact term.

3. Phrase Match – keywords or phrases that may contain close variations of that phrase.

I generally use the ‘exact match’ option, as I’m trying to filer the data to find search volume for the exact keyword or phrase. This is a better option for SEO or AdWords, as you’ll have more indication of what people are searching for and the approximate volume.

Keyword and Ad Group Ideas

You’ll have a general idea of what your customers are searching for, and you’ll begin the search based on these top-of-mind terms. However the tool also provides two options of suggestions and similar search terms.

1. Keyword Ideas – Provides a list of potential keywords similar to what you have included that may assist or help you identify other keywords you may not have thought of.

2. Ad Group Ideas (Beta) – Provides a list in specific categories to help filter through the results of suggestions. For example, the ad group ideas provided more suggestions in sporting categories that you can drop down and analyse:

Here you can continue to search and narrow down on one specific category and look at the search volume further for ‘rugby league’ or other relevant search terms.

The keyword and ad group ideas options are a great way to further expand your keyword list and identify some good opportunities that you may not have originally thought of.

Interpreting The Data

The ‘competition’ column provides an insight into the competitiveness of that keyword. As you can see, sports merchandise is a highly competitive market. However you see an opportunity to target ‘NBA jerseys’ as the competition is low in the Australian market.

You can determine the search volume for these keywords on either a global or local scale. Local monthly searches refers to Australia wide (unfortunately you can’t narrow it down any further to specific cities or destinations). In this particular instance, we are only targeting Australia, so we will refer to the ‘local monthly searches’ column. The keyword list has been filtered to display to you based on this search volume. You can simply click on the ‘local monthly searches’ cell to order the data based on highest to lowest, or vice versa. You can also order the results for ‘global monthly searches’ or ‘competition’. Depending on what you are trying to identify, will determine how you order it.

What Now?

Now you have a suitable keyword list, that is both high in search volume and relevant to your product or service offerings, you can now utilise these keywords in your SEO or AdWords (SEM) campaign. You may have to optimise your website accordingly to include and target these keywords to achieve the best possible results. However constructing your keyword list is the first step to take, and now you’ve done that by only using the Keyword Tool.