Keywords (or keyphrases) are one of the fundamental principles of SEO. They allow your website to be found organically through search engines.
We briefly cover what keywords are and how they should be used to optimise your site in our guide to the basics of SEO.
Before you can begin the process of optimising your website for search engines, you’ll need to figure out what keywords you’re going to target. Google Keyword Planner can be used to figure out:
- what keywords people are searching for
- in what numbers people are searching for those keywords
- whether the keywords are contested (this is how many other people are trying rank for those keywords)
Google Keyword Planner
To use Google Keyword Planner, you will need a Google Account. If you don’t have one already you can create one here. We recommend creating one specifically for your business.
Head over to Google Adwords and sign in with your Google Account. Adwords is the system used to start running adverts with Google, but it’s here that you’ll find Google Keyword Planner.
Searching For Keywords
1. On Adwords, click the button at the top and then choose Keyword Planner:
2. Choose the top option to search for new keywords using a phrase:
3. Type in the keywords that you want to find data for and hit the search button:
Choosing Your Targeting
You can be more specific on what information you want to see, including:
- Choosing search locations (e.g. UK)
- Language used for search
- The date range for the searches (e.g. average monthly searches for the last 12 months (default))
If you’ve followed the above you’ll see that the first box on the results page shows the data from the keywords that you entered earlier.
- The average monthly searches (or whatever date range you have set it to)
- The competition for that keyphrase (how many people are targeting that keyphrase for their adverts)
- The suggested bid (how much you should be bidding, per click, to have your advert show up in the search results
What you’ll be interested in is the number of searches and the competition for each keyphrase.
For example, our search of the keyword ‘keyword‘ showed that the average monthly searches at time of writing was between, 100,000 and 1 million. Competition for that keyword was shown to be low, possibly because the keyword wasn’t specific enough to target.
If you look below the data for your searched keyword, you will find your related keywords. These are other keywords people have searched that are related to your keyword(s).
Here’s the related keywords for our search:
Note: Google Keyword Planner doesn’t show exact figures for search volumes, but puts them into brackets. Keyword competition is also shown to either be low, medium or high.
Our keyword of ‘keyword‘ gets between 100 thousand and 1 million searches a month globally, but the related keywords ‘keyword research‘ has anywhere between 10 thousand and 100 thousand.
The competition for ‘keyword research‘ is also medium, meaning that there’s a decent number of people trying to rank in search results for that keyphrase.
Choosing Your Keywords
As keyphrases get more specific, the search volumes go down. You’ll want to try and find keyphrases that are somewhere in the middle; not too many searches and not too little.
It’s a balance between choosing a keyphrase that isn’t specific enough for you to be relevant to the searches, and choosing a keyphrase that isn’t searched enough to be worthwhile.
So which keywords should we pick for our search?
Well, ‘keyword‘ is too broad to target.
This article explains keyword research using Google Keyword Planner, so we need to make sure that we are targeting people who are looking specifically for keyword research, as this article has content relevant to them.
As such, we’ve gone with the keywords ‘keyword research‘.
There are 10 -100,000 searches every month globally for that phrase on Google, and although there is a medium level of competition, it isn’t shown to be high.
If we were to run a advertising campaign with Google, we would have to pay at least £3.04 per click to start showing up on search results pages for ‘keyword research‘, which isn’t great, but it’s not too bad a price either.
Applying the Keywords
You might have see that the following areas of this article contain our chosen keywords:
- The title
- The URL
- Image descriptions
- Main content
- Meta information (the stuff that shows up on the results page)
We’ve taken our chosen keyphrase and applied it across the article to help us rank on search engines for that keyphrase.
It will take some time to figure out what keywords you want to target, but Google Keyword Planner makes it easier. You can start your keyword research today using this tool and begin the process of optimising your webpages to rank for your chosen keywords.
Don’t forget to drop us a comment below if you have any questions.