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09 Jul 2013

How to Use the Google Keyword Tool

With so many opportunities to reach your online customers in a given day, I’m sure you find yourself pondering, “Have I chosen the right keywords?” It’s a good thing to ask yourself, considering your ad dollars are on the line. There’s good news, though. The AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to view your statistics right next to your keyword ideas so you can get a quick sense of what’s working, and what’s not.

By looking at one report, you can see how your keywords stack up against competitors, how many people across the world have searched on a certain keyword. By using that information, you can refine your Campaigns to include keywords and Ad Groups that will lead to increased conversions and sales. During the process of selecting your keywords Google will immediately present the statistics that correspond. You don’t even have to click a button to gain access to this valuable information.

When using the Keyword Tool, there are a number of default columns that will automatically present statistics. The first column refers to “Competition”. This shows you the approximate number of competitors across the globe bidding on certain keywords in relation to all existing keywords available across Google. This column will indicate whether the competition of a keyword is “low”, “medium” or “high”.

The next column to analyze is “Global Monthly Searches”. This shows the average number of searches for each keyword on Google over a 12-month time span. This covers all languages, locations, devices and match types in all countries. This is an extensive statistic, however if not enough data is available a dash (-) will be indicated.

The last default column is “Local Monthly Searches” which is similar to the previously column mentioned however, you can select which countries, languages, devices, etc. to scan for keyword activity. This also covers a 12-month period of time, and a dash (-) will be used if data is lacking.

So now that you have a sense of the default columns, let’s explore the other data you can access from the “Columns” drop down menu located above your statistics table.

The “Ad Share” column will show you how often your ad is triggered by a search query. This will be limited to your specified location or territory. Ad Share data is only visible when you search by a website URL.

The “Google Search Network” column will show you the monthly average number of searches on the Google Search Network (based off of 12-month estimates) for exact match types. The data will only be reflective of your targeted location/country and language.

Next “Search Share” reveals the percentage of time that your website URL was displayed on the first page of search results. This does not include ads that mention your URL. This is also targeted by country or territory and the data can only be accessed when you search on a website URL.

You can get an idea of the kind of money you might spend by bidding on a keyword when you view the “Approximate CPC” column. The CPC will be an estimation averaged over all positions on the Search Network.

“Local Search Trends” measures local trends for your keyword ideas. This is limited to your country/territory and language and will show you the most common searches occurring over a recent 12-month period. This can be viewed in a bar graph format.

The “Extracted from Webpage” feature will provide examples of landing page URLs that are relevant to your keyword ideas. This provides suggestions for the landing pages that are most likely to be effective when spurred by a search query.

Remember that the data Google provides are merely suggestions to effectively build campaigns. Depending on your product and service offerings, you might have tighter plans than the directions that AdWords implies. Whether your match types are Broad or Phrase will cause your data to vary. Changes in the season and other factors may influence data or how you want to move forward at any given time. It’s also important to remember that the search volume statistics to which you have access may varying depending on the devices that you’re advertising across because these numbers are rounded off.

If at any time you want to download your keyword result data, just hit the “download” button located above your table. Local search trend statistics will filter into your report if you’re signed into your Keyword Tool at the time of download. These reports should be referenced often, and always remember that a few relevant keywords are more valuable than several that don’t match your product offerings as closely. Relevance should always take precedence over quality because those people who are genuinely interested in your products are more likely to make a purchase after triggering your ad. An irrelevant keyword or a confusing landing page is just a waste of money for you.