Although the world of search has come a long way during the past 20 years, keywords are still the most foundational building-blocks of any PPC or search engine optimization campaign.
The best campaigns are built on strong keyword research, and one of the best ways to conduct keyword research is by using a keyword suggestion tool like WordStream’s new and improved Free Keyword Tool.
WordStream’s Free Keyword Suggestion Tool
WordStream’s Free Keyword Suggestion Tool has helped thousands of search marketers and SEOs find the keyword data they need, fast. The Free Keyword Tool offers relevant, accurate, and actionable keyword data for both paid and organic search marketing uses.
To start getting keyword suggestions to use on your website and in your advertising campaigns, all you have to do is enter a keyword or topic. You also have the option to enter the URL of a specific webpage to view keyword data for that page, which can be useful if you’re researching your competitors’ campaigns.
To get even more accurate results, you can also enter your industry and country – it’s not unusual for keyword data to vary widely from one industry or region to another.
After entering your initial query, you’ll see a range of keyword suggestions on the left-hand side. Each keyword has four corresponding metrics: Google Search Volume, Competition, CPC, and Opportunity Score. Let’s take a look at each metric and what it means.
Google Search Volume
The first metric you’ll see in the Free Keyword Tool is Google Search Volume. This figure represents the average volume of monthly searches for a given keyword on Google. You’ll notice that our top keyword, “cars for sale”, has an approximate monthly Google search volume of 1.2 million. This tells us that interest in this keyword is very strong – a great start!
Once we’ve determined the average monthly search volume of a keyword, we need to examine how competitive it is, which is represented by the Competition metric. There are three levels of competition: Low, Medium, and High. Alone, a keyword’s competitiveness isn’t that useful, but when viewed in context of the other data provided by WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, we start to see a fuller picture.
The next metric is cost-per-click, or CPC. This is where things start to get really interesting. One of the most important metrics in paid search, CPC tells you how much you’d be charged every time someone clicks on an ad featuring that particular keyword. This should give you a much better idea of whether targeting a particular keyword is realistic from a budgetary perspective.
We know that one of the biggest barriers for small-business owners when it comes to online advertising is a lack of time. That’s why WordStream introduced its proprietary Opportunity Score metric. This metric shows you at-a-glance which keyword suggestions offer the greatest potential return.
By targeting these high opportunity keyword suggestions first, you can quickly and easily prioritize your work to move the needle right away.
Tips for Using Keyword Suggestion Tools
Any SEO project is only as good as its keyword data, which is why choosing the right keyword suggestion tool is a crucial first step for any search marketer, regardless of whether they’re completely new to SEO or a seasoned veteran.
Using Keyword Suggestion Tools Is a Great Refresher
Even the most experienced search marketer can miss optimization opportunities. That’s why using keyword suggestion tools is a good idea, even if you’re an old hand at SEO. Even a cursory search can reveal niche keyword ideas you may not have considered – and negative keywords that might surprise you! – further expanding your potential reach.
Keyword suggestion tools should also offer long-tail keyword recommendations, as long-tail keywords represent the overwhelming majority of searches conducted on Google and other major search engines.
Keyword Suggestion Tools Help You Identify Relevant Keywords
When it comes to keywords, relevance is everything. It’s in everybody’s best interests – searchers, advertisers, and Google – that online content be as relevant as possible to a searcher’s query. This includes elements such as commercial intent, or how likely a person is to follow-through from their original search to a conversion such as buying a product.
Something else that many marketers overlook is the importance of negative keywords, or search terms that should be excluded from your campaigns. Going back to our example above, although “cars for sale” may be a highly relevant keyword for your next campaign, another keyword – such as “classic cars” – may not be relevant, and should be excluded as a negative.
Keyword Suggestion Tools Should Offer Actionable Data
Identifying relevant keywords is only half the battle. In order to launch and sustain successful search marketing campaigns, you need your data to be not just relevant, but actionable.
WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool allows you to download your keyword data in handy CSV format by simply entering your email address. This data can then be uploaded directly to an AdWords account or content management system, where you can begin segmenting and organizing your keywords.
Whichever keyword suggestion tools you choose to use (and there’s quite a few out there), be sure they offer the data you need for your campaigns.