One great tool for finding highly valuable keywords is free, easy, and produced by one of the largest internet companies in the world, Google. The tool is called Google AdWords Keyword tools. The Google AdWords was originally designed for AdWords customers to find highly trafficked keywords with lower cost per click. Inadvertently this gives us an insight into a few areas for keyword research.
Just like the AdWords customer, searching for highly trafficked keywords, we can utilize this tool to determine which niche keywords have the most traffic. The AdWords tool has a column which displays the estimated monthly searches for each keyword you enter. One thing you should do when targeting keywords is to change the default setting of "broad search term" to "exact". There are three settings within this tool; broad, phrase, and exact. Broad relates to a term being in any search in any order. Exact displays how many searches for your exact term. Finally, phrase displays information for your terms within other searches. We will use the term "baby seat" for illustration of the three Google AdWords settings.
With a broad setting AdWords says that there are an estimated 201, 000 local searches monthly. So this tells us that both baby and "seat" were searched for approximately 201, 000 times, but not necessarily in that order. One example of a search that would include "baby seat" in a broad search would be "cheap baby car seat". "Cheap baby car seat" has approximately 2400 monthly searches. As you can see both baby and seat are in the phrase, but they aren't in that order, so your site may not be found for that search or other searches that separate the words car and seat.
A phrase search will have the term in that order, but will have other words around it. In our example of "baby seat" in phrase search, AdWords will returned the searches where "baby seat" was found in that order, but with other terms around it. One phrase that was provided was "bike baby seat" so "baby seat" is in that search, but with bike in front of it, there were 880 searches. If you are targeting "baby seat" it's important to note that your site may show up for "bike baby seat" but if your site isn't about bike baby seats, you may have a higher bounce rate than normal.
The final, and probably the most important setting, is exact. With exact AdWords returns the searches for that exact term, without additional words and in the exact order entered. In our example of "baby seat" AdWords says this term is searched for exactly 1, 900 times locally a month. In addition to our entered term, AdWords provides alternative and related terms and gives us the searches for these exact terms as well. With exact turned on, we can find our main keyword and then move on to target additional relevant keywords by the number of searches per month. So if we target the exact terms of "baby seat" and "baby car seats" our site will be relevant to approximately 5400 exact searches per month. This means that the site may also rank to some of the phrase searches as well as.
Another way we can utilize AdWords for keyword research is to search for alternative keywords. Since AdWords provides users alternative or related terms to their original search, we can utilize this to find other words for our website. This has a few uses in search engine optimization, it allows us to find alternative words or phrases to our target keyword, and AdWords also provides us with relevant keywords to utilize on our website. After the first use of finding a highly trafficked keyword, the list of relevant keywords may be even more important. The reason for this is that part of search engine algorithms is to determine what a site is about and the more related and relevant keywords you utilize the better search engines can determine what the site is about.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a great, free tool for determining what phrases to target and write about. If you haven't already set up an account, head over to Google and set one up, it's free, painless, and quick.