Use the Google Keyword Planner to Boost Website Traffic and SEO

First in a series on selecting keywords to help your website rank well in search results

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Search for Good Keywords with Google’s Planner

One the most important issues facing business owners today is increasing traffic to their websites. In the past, searching the phone phone directory was the main method for finding a specific service or product provider. If someone needed a plumber or a carpenter or real estate agent, they looked in the yellow pages. Bigger advertisements ensured more calls because they caught the eye and drew attention.

Today, most people turn to the Internet and a Google Search to find products and services. Failure to show up in the search results probably means a business won’t get many calls. Keywords, the words search-engine users type into the search box, are an important signal to the search engine on the content users are likely to find on your website.

Creating website content based on specific keywords and phrases allows your website to show up in the search results for many different search phrases.

Keyword Planner

Google’s main revenue comes from an advertising network called Adwords. Advertisers craft ads using keywords and then Google publishes those ads on websites. They match website content to advertisement keywords. That way, a website about plumbing shows advertisements related to plumbing, provided the website uses keywords related to plumbing.

The free to use Google Keyword Planner Tool is also useful to anyone who creates content because it helps determine which keywords search engine users are typing into the search box at Google. It is a fairly safe bet that other users at Bing and Yahoo, and any other search engine are also using those words.

When a number of users are all looking for the same thing, trends begin to show up that indicate how they are using the search engine to find it. That is how website owners can leverage the Keyword Planner to build content that attracts users to their websites.

Using the tool requires that you sign up for a free Adwords account. You can use an existing gmail account if you have one and you’re never obligated to purchase a single ad.

Finding Keywords

Log into your Adwords account, then click “Tools” on the top menu and choose “Keyword Planner” from the dropdown. Keyword Planner asks what you would like to do. Choose “Search for New Keyword and ad group ideas.”

The selection will expand into a box with different fields. Using one to three words, type your product or service into the first box.

Examples: CPA or Certified Public Accountant, Realtor or Real Estate Agent, Property Management, Plumbing.

Click the the “Get Ideas” button at the bottom of the search parameters box.

The results are displayed in two tabs: Ad Group Ideas and Keywords with the Ad Groups Tab displayed. The Ad Groups tab puts related keywords together. Each group can be expanded to show specific keywords or phrases that people use to search the various products or services within that group.

Click on a group and it shows you keywords related to that subject. For example, if we enter “plumbing” into the Product or Service field and search for ideas, one ad group shown is plumbing supplies. Clicking on the group displays keywords that people use to search for plumbing supplies.

The Keywords tab provides more generic results. The table contains many keywords with no apparent relationship.

Keyword Results

Whether you display keywords within ad groups or the list of keywords, the results are displayed in a table with columns. The left column shows keywords, next is a graph symbol that displays a trend graph (point at it), average monthly searches, competition, and then bid prices and monthly share.

Finding keywords for building content is our purpose, so our main focus will be on the keywords, monthly searches, and competition columns, which is the topic of our next post in this series.

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