Today I want to point out a useful tool for bloggers wanting to do a little research into topics to blog about (or even what topic to choose for your next overall new blog). The tool is a free one from Google – their AdWords Keyword Tool.
This tool is one that Google offer their advertisers (looking to work out what keywords to target on Google) but is also useful for bloggers wanting to research how many people are searching for certain keywords. It will also give you information about how many potential advertisers there might be on a topic also.
There are other tools that do similar things and many ways that you can use the AdWords Keyword Tool but let me show you a couple:
1. Using AdWords Keyword Tool to Chose a BLOG Topic
Lets just say I was starting a new blog and am having trouble choosing between topics or want to research specific keywords to use in my blog’s title and or domain.
I’ve narrowed down my interest to ipod accessories but am tossing up whether I should narrow my niche even further and just have a blog about ipod cases.
In the AdWord Keyword Tool I would simply enter in both terms and ask for keyword ideas. The tool will give me this (click to enlarge):
What we’re seeing above is a number of things. Firstly the Green bars under ‘advertiser competition’ show us that in the AdWords system there is a lot of advertisers competing for these keywords. This gives me an indication that if I were to use AdSense there would be a healthy amount of advertisements to serve to my blog.
In the ‘search volume’ columns we get an indication approximate search numbers for the term per month in Google. While the numbers are unlikely to be perfect they do show that ‘ipod accessories’ gets searched for on Google more than ‘ipod cases’.
At this point in my topic selection process I’d probably also have a look at Google Trends for the two terms:
Here we see the same information (in terms of which term is more popular) but also see whether the topics are trending up or down and whether they have seasonal spikes (all good to know when choosing a topic for a blog).
2. Using AdWord Keyword Tool to Choose a POST Title
In a similar way I regularly use the AdWords Keyword Tool to help me form post titles that have potential to bring in search engine traffic.
Lets say that I’m writing a post on my photography site rating my favorite digital cameras. I’ve written my post and am going to call the post ‘Top Digital Cameras’.
Before I hit publish I decide to go to the AdWords Keyword Tool and type in ‘top digital cameras’ and ‘best digital cameras’.
What this shows me is that ‘top digital cameras’ only gets a third as many searches on Google as ‘best digital cameras’. Also, it shows me that ‘best digital camera’ (no plural) gets even more searches than both terms.
This gives me some clues as to what to title my post and what keywords to use throughout my article if I want to optimize it for a term with the most search traffic that I can possibly get.
If I were to look further down the results page for these terms I would also see other suggested search terms and how many searches there are in Google for them. This not only gives me ideas on what keywords to use in my current posts title – but also might give me ideas for future posts to blog about.
A variation on this is to use another helpful feature in the AdWords Keyword Tool – one that lets you submit text and get suggested keywords from it.
Here’s how to do it. Say you’ve already written a blog post and you’re wanting to choose a title for it. Simply choose the ‘Website content’ option and then the ‘enter your own text in the box below’ option. Then copy and paste the text from your post into the field provided and hit ‘Get keyword ideas’.
The tool will then scan the text suggest keywords that match it – highlighting those which have the most searches. You then can use these keywords as the basis for your post title.
Will this Really Have an Impact?
It is worth stating that using the AdWord Keyword Tool to help you choose keywords for your blog will have different impacts upon different blogs – depending upon how well they already rank on Google.
If your blog is new you might not notice much difference in the traffic to your blog no matter what keywords you use (simply because your blog is yet to build a ranking in Google yet) – however in time, as your blog accumulates links from other blogs and sites, it will certainly pay off. This is particularly true if you use the keywords not only in your blog post but the title (which has real power with Google particularly).
This is a great tool for so many reasons! It really helps clarify your gut feelings about what people are searching for and gives you solid data to back it up. Thanks again Darren for pointing this great little tool out to us.
Good tool and introduction! I learnt another way to choose keywords and topics.
I use this tool a lot to find some keywords to use in my posts so that I can improve my adsense earning. The tool is free and extremely easy to use.
I will try that out with my next blog post. It will be interesting to see what the keyword tool comes up with since my subjects vary quite a bit. This should help to nail titles down and I love your idea of using it for future ideas. Thanks!
I need to remember to use the keyword tool more often than I do. Admittedly, I usually just crank out a post title without much thought to SEO, and that is mostly just laziness on my part. I’ve got this page bookmarked so I can use it for future posts.
I recently started using adwords tool for blogpost ideas as well as optimizing them. I will try google trends often.
I just downloaded something in text format.. will be useful when I write posts :) thanks for the link
Your disclosure here today might just create more MFA (Made For AdSense) sites tomorrow.
Don’t get any ideas, guys.
Google already cracked down on a lot of MFA sites, and they will definitely check by the time an account reaches payout (if it even reaches payout)
I’ve been using these especially for market research. Two wonderful tools from Google, which are totally FREE.
I have used the keyword tool since the beginning of my blog and it has made a big difference in its search traffic.
Just be sure not to load down your titles and posts with so many keywords that they are awkward or don’t make much sense. Also, be sure to have variety in your post titles, something that is more difficult when being keyword-conscious.
Thanks for a great article!
Microsoft also has a good free tool that gives you a slightly different look at the same information http://adlab.msn.com/Keyword-Forecast/default.aspx
Darren, this idea is actually genius. Thanks for constantly surprising me with things like this that help me improve my site on a regular basis.
yes, but what are the threshold numbers that makes it worth starting a site on that topic, both from pure search volume and advertiser competition? can you make any general conclusions? and which is better for a new site, a general topic with a large number of searches, or a collection of more specific terms? and what are the threshold levels for each type? just trying to figure out how to use this information. thanks!
If you want to tinker even more with Google’s data, here a recent favorite of mine:
It allows you to slice and dice the results in so many ways that you can really discover some quite unobvious gems. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
I’ve only recently become aware of the Google keyword search tool and hadn’t really done much with it, but after your superb tutorial I shall definitely be making use of it when trying to choose my blog titles in future.
I would never have thought that such simple changes could have such an affect and that the sort of information required to make the informed decisions is so readily available and free!
FYI, the search volume numbers will be more meaningful for your purposes if you override the default “Match Type” setting from Broad to Exact.
Sounds pretty good. I will definately have a look at it when I start advertising my blog (once I create a product I am going to sell)
I would add that the CPC tool in the dropdown menu can also provide valuable numbers.
Also, I recommend selecting “exact” instead of “broad”. The numbers you’ll get back will be a better representation of what you’re looking for.
thanks Darren, I’m really looking forward using this to make more traffic for my blog
I have been using this tool ever since I started. In fact, you guys can use this tool not only for searching for a topic with high demand bust also for looking at a profitable topic. You can do this by showing all attributes including CPC (cost per click) and then seeting maximum clicks att 99. The higher paying keywords will then show. In this method, you will clearly see how much is adsense paying for a click in a specific keyword.
I think it may help me to grab more attention to my blog. Thank You Darren.
Thanks Darren, this is an excellent post on how to use the keyword tool for research other than just Adwords keyword discovery. And, you beat me to it – I was actually just about to write a post on using the keyword tool to choose your post title. Your quick tutorial is, as always, on the money! Thanks.
iam using this tool for the past 2 months and have got top positions for specific less-competitive keywords !
It is a very nice article and useful for every blogger and web master.
Using correct key words makes a difference not only in terms of motorization but also in terms of SEO.
Thank you Darran.
Google Keyword Tools has a powerful and very relevance with keyword and SERP, I still use that…
Very good article. AdWord Keyword Tool is a very good way to choose titles and keywords for a post.
I have just discovered this new google tool 10 hours ago. And thanks for informing us darren. Are you an advertiser in google adwords? How much do you pay?
Excellent way to use keyword discovery tools, we have various tutorials on using them for niche market research and product topic ideas for writers and infopublishers – funny, hadn’t extended the concepts to blog posting – Thanks!
It is also important to note that to do some comparison shopping for KW, like between the G tool and SEOBook for example, I think the G tool numbers are very high, maybe included so bot clicks and spam clicks, but by comparing a couple of KW sources, you can get a happy medium.
Don’t forget you can use Adwords Tool to find the highest PPC keywords up to $100. These are estimates and don’t include the chunk Google takes out of advertisers.
Looks like the trend is for Xmas on iPods…Hmmm
This is one of the most interesting uses for this tool I have ever seen. For once, adwords isn’t just the domain of aggressive affiliate marketers.
I know that this might have been mentioned already but, WOW! I had not even thought about using the Keyword tool to discover blog topics. This will actually help with one niche that I’ve had just doing horribly due to lack of new content!
Thanks Darren! I will definitely apply this tool starting tomorrow. Can’t wait!
I often use this tool, by read your posting…..it’s really easy to understand , thanks
I never used Google Trends that much, but you make it look a lot easier.. guess I will have to start using it now.
Your article makes keyword-optimization looks like a child’s play. Thing is I did try my hands on Adwords Tool but somehow clueless on how to make good use of it. The idea of keyword suggestion is simply awesome. I’d better check it out myself.
Thank you first of all for another brilliant post…
I would like to suggest to do the following as well to people who might want to try this tool out. It is about competition. Once you have found your topic using the KW tool on Adwords, you should head over to Google and search for the tool. If there are millions of sites competing, perhaps you sohuld try and find keywords either in the longtail or find keywords RELATED to the one topic you had in mind. Remember, it is of no good if you have a great blgo on a well paying subject but not getting anyone to visit your blog besides you, your mother and some friends (If you ask them nicely) So, I suggest check the competition too. Then make your choice based upon the tool Darren described and the amount of competition. This will save you a lot of hassle and heartache…. It will make you focus on and target the perfect markets. Thanks.
I’ve see double traffic when doing keyword research before posting… by using keyword in post title… On blogger blog at least I tried it and tested it.
I have been looking at:
It looked like a very good SCAM site. I was skeptical for several reasons. 1) The whois info was blocked by protectfly.com 2) The domain had been registered only a week before. 3) The website was of professional quality 4) the prices were reasonable.
I had an email conversation with the sales dept. The price for iPods was good, but the only payment method was a wire transfer to a Mr. Ling in Singapore. No escrow, CC, cod or anything else. No other documentation on the company would be provided.
I wrote it off as a scam, but since they had a “salehoo certified” sticker on their site, I emailed http://about-salehoo.com and asked about them. To my surprise, salehoo replied and said they were reputable and people were ordering ipods and psp without problem. (Ordering yes, but receiving….. )
Now I am not sure if it is a scam or not (http://salehoodropshipper.com) . I am tempted to order one iPod as a test, but I hate to waste $220 bucks. Any thoughts? I would love other opinions.
Very informative information regarding google keyword tools, I would also add that this tool can also cater for countries as data change from country to country