Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.
Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:
- As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
- When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
- What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
- What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?
How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.
What are people searching for in Google?
Let’s take the example of a local toy store owner who is considering creating a website to sell her toys online. First, she should know if people are really interested in buying toys online. Wouldn’t it be nice if she can find out how many people are searching for toys on the web?
Local Monthly Searches column shows the number of searches for the filters you specify (such as country, language, and devices), and Global Monthly Searches is total searches without the filters.
Once you hit search, Google will show you the number of searches for keywords you provided and also for what it thinks are other relevant keywords. This list is going to be long so download it into CSV or Excel and look through it carefully to find the keywords you think are important to your business. So this is a quick preliminary way to look at the demand for your product or business.
What keywords are most prominently used in a website?
The Keywords Tool can help you figure out that “toys” and “kids” (instead of say, “children”) are the words your potential customers use. But are you using these words in your site? There is an easy way to find out — just search using your website URL instead of the the keywords.
These are the keywords that Google thinks are relevant to the markitty.com website based on the site content.
And remember, this isn’t just about SEO. If you don’t use the words that your customers use — there is a chance they won’t find your site attractive when they visit. Chances are you’re missing the mark in your other marketing materials and sales pitches too. To get through to customers easily, you have to speak their language.
The best part is that you can enter any site and see what keywords are they using. You won’t find an easier way to see what your competitors are doing (right or wrong).
But don’t get carried away!
- This is not your primary market research tool: you still need to go and talk to your prospects and customers and do your research
- The number of searches per month is not the market size. These are just people searching for these keywords on Google. A number of people will go directly to the websites or stores they want to buy from and won’t come to Google at all.
- Search numbers are a good indicator of interest in certain kind of products or services, but just not everyone searching for “buy toys online” is actually going to complete that purchase. (Some of them might be bloggers doing research :p)
So try this out, and let me know how it worked for you.