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Using a keyword tool to find high traffic keywords

There are quite a few tools freely available to track down those elusive high traffic keywords, those keywords that we all type in to find something on the internet via a search engine.

We can all hazard a guess at some of the best keywords, by simply thinking about what sells most over the internet, car insurance, mortgages and clothing to name but a few.

But knowing these "Big" Keywords is not enough as there are literally hundreds of ways people could ask a query about a mortgage, cheaper car insurance , designer clothes or any other product or service the internet offers. Occasionally, more specific searches have even more traffic – searchers are learning to be more specific in their searches.

So you either have to read the minds of the billion people surfing the net, or get somebody to compile a list of who searched for what.

My mind reading skills are a little rusty, so the question is, who do I trust to provide me with some data that could prove useful?

One major source is the search engines themselves; Google has several tools that give figures relating to numbers of searches over a given period of time.

Do I trust these figures? Should you trust these figures?

Not exactly! As Google freely admits the figures are drawn from its "Network" and therefore are generalities rather than hard facts about who is typing in what.

However they are useful for pointing out trends and can be highly effective in discovering new keywords to target for your website.

It is advisable to do a keyword check every six months or so or even more regularly as the way in which people search for products can alter and new keywords appear.

The first tool to recommend is the Google Ad words keyword tool

This tool is set up to give advertisers on Google Adwords an idea of the kind of exposure a Google ad click campaign may achieve by showing the number of searches that were carried out over a period of time for a specific keyword of phrase.

Because Google sets the tool out to provide a broad search term figure; this "default" figure produced is pretty useless for a conventional website looking to list naturally.

The only figure you can try to use after adjusting the results to show an "exact match" or "phrase match" is the local search volume for the previous month, as this is based on UK searches only

The "global monthly search volume" figure is horrendously inflated because it is a figure based globally on all related searches and keywords. Don’t just use these figures.

Google keyword toolGoogle keyword tool

Select your keyword, in this example I will use "Golf".
Google will show a lit of all phrases and keywords it associates with the word "golf".

Google tool settingsGoogle tool settings

What a difference a setting makes

Broad match selectedBroad match selected

The above list is achieved by clicking once on the "global approx average search volume" tab, this sorts the list highest first. Note the word global - this is from all countries and will be well over the actual figure.

"Golf" shows a staggering 24,900,000 apparent searches each month

"What are you waiting for! Go open an online golf shop!""

There is a catch – the Broad search is selected – this means any search on the net which includes the word "golf" is included into this result. The same goes for all of the other keywords in this list. This means the apparent searches are from any searched for phrase – "I don’t like Golf" "Golf in London" "Volkswagen Golf" etc. If you site sat on position one, it would not receive as much traffic as you would expect from the search results.

The reason is simple - any business or any web page on the net can only be found via a specific word search one search at a time, so having a figure for an unknown number of possible variations of any key word is pretty useless. It does highlight trends or total interest in the general area.

So what is a realistic figure?

The same search but on the "Exact" setting reveals a little more.
Not only are the figures drastically reduced but the actual position of each keyword in the list had changed too. In the Broad search "golf vw" was 4th in the list with 1.5 million searches. In the exact list its well down the field in 56th place with only 1900 searches.

This search reveals actual figures for exact search phrases. That means on average 201,000 searches are made for the keyword "Golf".

Exact search resultsExact search results

You must ask yourself the question "exactly what were the searchers looking for" - who knows? , a golf club or a round of golf? a new car perhaps?

You can improve your use of this tool by entering exact match phrases – such as, "round of golf" and regional searches, such as "play golf in london".

Keywords can be quite highly searched yet be unspecific - the only way to check is to do an actual Google search for the keyword Golf.

The results are not always conclusive as to why people keep coming back to search a particular phrase, but you must decide whether a particular word or phrase will bring traffic to your website.

This Tool can assist you in finding related keywords and give them a hierarchy in terms of potential. The actual numbers are not very trustworthy in relation to sales forecasting.

Comments12 Comments

Robin

good article..very interesting

12 May 2009

Steve Morris

The tool is great but there is a difference between tool figures. if you use the Adwords keyword tool and compare to the figurers you get from the search based keyword tool there is a drastic difference. web design london - search based = 4400 Web design London - Adwords Tool -8100 -Exact

06 July 2009

chris

Thanks for the article.

07 July 2009

Harry @ SEO Megacorp

This article may solve a lot of confusion that most newbies have. Thanks.

15 September 2009

suriyanto

Very good information. Keep it coming. We'll be checking this site more often.

18 September 2009

Essay writing

Thanks for useful tips and guidelines. Awesome article - looking forward to hear more reports from you!

15 October 2009

Monturi Crap

Nice article. I never used that tool in this way.

23 October 2009

Russ

thanks very much for the comments , when I get time i will be posting an article on the adwords traffic estimator tool- another useful bit of kit -if you know what to look for!

19 November 2009

Writing Research Papers

Your helpful article made me look at this problem from another point of view...thanks for sharing..

11 January 2010

The Comparison Supermarket.com

Nice article on finding high traffic keywords, we have had a problem with which keywords to choose for insurance as so many websites are competing and paying so much for a click!

13 May 2010

arash

wordtracker is also useful

20 July 2010

Service Apartment in Delhi, service apartments delhi

thanks for this useful information...really informative and usable. Thanks alot to share with us....!

21 December 2010

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