Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Is the Google Keyword Tool any use for SEO?

The title of this post is a question I was asked by a colleague recently. I realise that for most people working on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) I’m teaching you to suck eggs, in which case stop reading, or read it and tell me what I’ve missed! But for any beginners (which is what this is aimed at), read on for my answer:

Yes the “Google Keyword Tool” is very useful to anyone doing SEO.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

What it does is analyse actual search traffic for certain keywords in Google as well as suggest other keywords. The current keyword tool is a combination of two previous keyword tools and despite initial problems with accuracy of the search figures it seems to be fairly trustworthy now. That said I wouldn't base your company strategy on the figures they quote, just use them as a handy tool, backed up by your own site analytics.

For example type the word ‘property’ in there it will tell you how many times people searched for that keyword on Google worldwide and in the UK. You can search for many words at the same time and it will also give you related keywords, again with search quantity.

Now there are loads of uses for this but some examples include:
  • When you’re looking to optimise a page about a specific subject, for example “Architect jobs”. I can type this in to the keyword tool and find out how many times it’s been searched for. However I can also type in “architects” and find out related topics people are searching for which may help me extend my website reach, such as “the role of an architect” and “architect salary”. In this particular example I added these two subjects to my job website and so increased the traffic to the site.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool - architects
  • Another example is when someone comes along and says “I’ve a great idea, why don’t we change all our title tags to ‘Real estate’ from ‘property’ to grab the American market”. I can go to Keyword tool and prove that it’s not a good idea because the word isn't used much in the UK or that maybe we should create an entirely new section targeted at the American market that discusses real estate.
You probably already know the top keywords people use to reach your site, but by using this you can gain a better understanding of the search universe for different keywords. It can confirm what you’re doing is right, maybe clarify keywords you should use or suggest other areas of development.

Oh and you can also now put in a website address and it will use all the keywords on that site to feed its keyword ideas.

The original purpose of this is for people to find keywords to put against their AdWords but it works for what I’ve suggested too.

PS: There are two versions of the tool one 'external' and one built in to Adwords. There are numerous posts about the accuracy of the external tool so suggest you use the one in AdWords. You just need a FREE AdWords account to access it - you don't even need to use AdWords itself.

Related posts
Finding keywords for Google Adwords (Jul 2007)
Growing strange cacti (Feb 2009)


Sathick said...

I always use Google Keyword Tool for keyword analysis and research

rajanrufus said...

Google keyword is the best one and i always used to use this for the keyword research. Thanks for sharing.

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