Today I want to point out a useful tool for bloggers wanting to do a little research into topics to blog about (or even what topic to choose for your next overall new blog). The tool is a free one from Google – their AdWords Keyword Tool.
This tool is one that Google offer their advertisers (looking to work out what keywords to target on Google) but is also useful for bloggers wanting to research how many people are searching for certain keywords. It will also give you information about how many potential advertisers there might be on a topic also.
There are other tools that do similar things and many ways that you can use the AdWords Keyword Tool but let me show you a couple:
1. Using AdWords Keyword Tool to Chose a BLOG Topic
Lets just say I was starting a new blog and am having trouble choosing between topics or want to research specific keywords to use in my blog’s title and or domain.
I’ve narrowed down my interest to ipod accessories but am tossing up whether I should narrow my niche even further and just have a blog about ipod cases.
In the AdWord Keyword Tool I would simply enter in both terms and ask for keyword ideas. The tool will give me this (click to enlarge):
What we’re seeing above is a number of things. Firstly the Green bars under ‘advertiser competition’ show us that in the AdWords system there is a lot of advertisers competing for these keywords. This gives me an indication that if I were to use AdSense there would be a healthy amount of advertisements to serve to my blog.
In the ‘search volume’ columns we get an indication approximate search numbers for the term per month in Google. While the numbers are unlikely to be perfect they do show that ‘ipod accessories’ gets searched for on Google more than ‘ipod cases’.
At this point in my topic selection process I’d probably also have a look at Google Trends for the two terms:
Here we see the same information (in terms of which term is more popular) but also see whether the topics are trending up or down and whether they have seasonal spikes (all good to know when choosing a topic for a blog).
2. Using AdWord Keyword Tool to Choose a POST Title
In a similar way I regularly use the AdWords Keyword Tool to help me form post titles that have potential to bring in search engine traffic.
Lets say that I’m writing a post on my photography site rating my favorite digital cameras. I’ve written my post and am going to call the post ‘Top Digital Cameras’.
Before I hit publish I decide to go to the AdWords Keyword Tool and type in ‘top digital cameras’ and ‘best digital cameras’.
What this shows me is that ‘top digital cameras’ only gets a third as many searches on Google as ‘best digital cameras’. Also, it shows me that ‘best digital camera’ (no plural) gets even more searches than both terms.
This gives me some clues as to what to title my post and what keywords to use throughout my article if I want to optimize it for a term with the most search traffic that I can possibly get.
If I were to look further down the results page for these terms I would also see other suggested search terms and how many searches there are in Google for them. This not only gives me ideas on what keywords to use in my current posts title – but also might give me ideas for future posts to blog about.
A variation on this is to use another helpful feature in the AdWords Keyword Tool – one that lets you submit text and get suggested keywords from it.
Here’s how to do it. Say you’ve already written a blog post and you’re wanting to choose a title for it. Simply choose the ‘Website content’ option and then the ‘enter your own text in the box below’ option. Then copy and paste the text from your post into the field provided and hit ‘Get keyword ideas’.
The tool will then scan the text suggest keywords that match it – highlighting those which have the most searches. You then can use these keywords as the basis for your post title.
Will this Really Have an Impact?
It is worth stating that using the AdWord Keyword Tool to help you choose keywords for your blog will have different impacts upon different blogs – depending upon how well they already rank on Google.
If your blog is new you might not notice much difference in the traffic to your blog no matter what keywords you use (simply because your blog is yet to build a ranking in Google yet) – however in time, as your blog accumulates links from other blogs and sites, it will certainly pay off. This is particularly true if you use the keywords not only in your blog post but the title (which has real power with Google particularly).