Using Google Adwords for Keyword Research

Team Bonafide
by Team Bonafide on March 9, 2012 in Strategy
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Keyword research with Google AdWords sounds simple—just type in your descriptive terms and Google will come up with your best keywords, right?  Well, sort of.  In reality, effective keyword research for SEO involves more than just getting a list of related search terms. 

Your goal is to target your audience as precisely as possible, and for that, you need to understand who your site is trying to reach and how you want to reach them.  Before you let AdWords work its magic, consider the following:

                1.   What are you selling?  Make a list of all of all of your products
                      and services--specific, general and related.

                2.   Who is your target audience?  This is your core group of 
                      buyers, those most likely to visit and buy from you.

                3.   Who else might be interested?   Lots of people out there 
                      aren't sure if they need you-- but they just might.  Who else
                      can you bring to your site?

Using this information, create a list of long- and short-tail keywords that cover every aspect of your site and every possible search query.  Include related terms that unsure, potentialbuyers might use.

Now, you can start using the tools—

The AdWords Keyword Research Tool is designed to find the best performing keywords for your business.  See if your list is a good one by typing each keyword in, then looking at the data. 

AdWords provides you with Global Monthly Search and Local Monthly Search statistics for each keyword, and price per click for each term.  These figures tell you how many searches are done on a global and local basis, and how competitive each keyword is in terms of PPC cost.

How do you interpret this data?  In general, the best keywords will have both:

  • High monthly searches/low PPC cost

  • Higher estimated Cost Per Click value 

This means that you are looking for high search volume and low competition.  These are the terms that more searchers are using, and fewer of your competitors are trying to rank for.   A recipe for keyword success!

Add any new keywords that AdWords has come up with to your existing list, eliminate any that aren’t going to work and narrow the list to less than 20 keywords—at least at first.  Keyword research is an ongoing process, so you can always adjust as data comes in.

In the meantime, take your core group of solid keywords and incorporate them into your site.  This involves several elements, including:

         Alt tags
         title tags
         anchor text
         internal/external links

And of course, content.  All content on your site should include your keywords at a density of no more than 1-2%.  Any time you add a blog post, article, product description, or content for your home page or landing pages, the appropriate keywords for each page should be inserted.

Using Google AdWords for keyword research puts the power of a mighty analytical tool at your disposal.  But it’s up to you to get the maximum benefit from it.  With the help of AdWords and good website design, your keywords can bring you the kind of qualified traffic that boosts sales in a big way.

Team Bonafide

Team Bonafide

Not your father's digital agency. Wicked-smart, straight-shooting, modern-day marketers who are hell-bent on growing businesses and relationships.