Keyword research is one of the most essential components for successful website SEO. Not only should you do keyword research prior to beginning your web project, but its also recommended to do it for every new type of content you intend to publish, e.g. pages and posts on your website.
Google Keyword Tool
First, let's get familiar with the tools we need to get accurate information about our targeted keywords, by opening the Google Keyword Tool.
- After opening the Keyword Tool, log in your Google Adwords account if you have one, so that you get a wider range of keyword varieties.
- Now, you should see a window containing a form similar to the image on the right.
- Next, you would simply type one or more keyword phrases into the Word or Phrase field and click search.
Search Results and Column Definitions
After the tool processed your input, you will see several columns per keyword and keyword group tabs, which contain a set of keywords for the suggested group.
You can modify which columns to display or hide, in case you don't have the same columns in this example:
- This displays the keywords difficulty, based on how many Adwords users are bidding for this keywords, which makes it relatively irrelevant for SEO. On the other hand, the difficulty does help determine the awareness of the keyword and whether it is realistic to target (searching the keyword and the search result data is a more accurate way to determine this).
- Global Monthly Searches
- This number represents the amount of searches are being made for this keyword on a global scale. The results show the number independent of the location option under the Word or Phrase input field (see image).
- Local Monthly Searches
- In this column, the number represents the searches for the keyword phrase in the location you chose from the Location option, which defaults to the geo-location your browser identifies.
Accurate Keyword Searches
To get a better idea of the keywords to choose for your content, we take a closer look at the Match Types, on the left sidebar of the Google Keyword Tool window.
By clicking the help / question-mark icon above the match types, you get the definitions of each option.
For the purpose of using the keywords for SEO, we want to view only Exact matches, so leave everything other than [Exact] unchecked. This way, we know the exact keywords monthly searches, in the order the words withing the phrase and in which tense, for example: You can now see whether to use secondhand car(1,000) and secondhard cars(1,600), or both, as a keyword for related content.
Upon adjusting the result outputs via the Match Types, your results should refresh and a the corresponding keywords' global and local monthly searches should show a more accurate results.
Researching SEO Keyword Ideas & Variations
Lastly, in order to see what other keywords, related to your search, can be used within the content or replace your original ones, switch from the default tab Ad Groups to Keyword Ideas.
In the Keyword Ideas tab, you can also sort by Global/Local Monthly Searches, exclude certain terms to get a more accurate list and export it all via CSV.