Adwords & Keyword Research Tool

Adwords Keyword Tool

Keyword research is fundamental to success in Digital Marketing. We can use it to help us in a range of activities from writing great content to buying exact match domain names. However many digital marketers can’t afford to pay for a keyword tool. The Google Adwords Keyword tool is a keyword research tool that is both free and easy to use.

The Adwords is what Google calls it’s Pay Per Click marketing platform. The “sponsored” you see at the top and side of search engine results pages are generated by Adwords as are many of the contextual ads you see on web pages.

Luckily for us to keyword research at the Adword tool generates is also valid from an SEO point of view. The tool provides a list of keywords related to your first search and provides information such as search volume and competition. This provides a good first step into doing preliminary keyword research.

It’s all about data

One of the main advantages that the Adwords keyword tool has over other keyword research tools is the access it has two actual searches within Google. Whereas many of the other tools used for keyword research rely on predictions based on much smaller search engines Google is the search engine of choice in many countries and as such has a huge amount of data about how we search for things. The question is of course, how much of this data will Google provide and for data does provide how much is obfuscated.

Features of the Adwords keyword tool

The Adwords keyword research tool has a mountain of functionality allowing you to cater your keyword research to your requirements.

Keyword match types

Ability to search on different keyword match types including broad match, exact match, and phrase match. Keyword match types are typically used within PPC campaigns to control which terms your ads will be shown for. For the purposes of SEO keyword research always set your match type to exact because we are looking for exactly what people have searched.

Include and exclude terms

This feature allows you to exclude terms from the phrases that are returned to you. For example, you are doing keyword research on “accounting software” but you want to remove the word “free”. All you need to do is add the word free to your excluded terms list.

If you want to be highly targeted in your keyword research and only include phrases with particular terms then there is also an “include terms” tool. This will only return times where the target keyword is included within the phrase. In our accounts example, we only want to return terms that include the phrase “online”. So all we need to do is add the word online city include terms box.

Search volumes

The Google Adwords keyword research tool provides information on search volumes NOT actual traffic. Your site will not receive all the traffic on a search and at best you are looking at a 40% CTR on a first position.

Global versus local

With the keyword research tool, you’re able to narrow down the results to specific countries or alternatively you can see global phrases and search volumes. Setting results to global will instantly bring in your results range of terms that may be used on a global basis, for example, using terms such as ” cellphone” in the US versus ” mobile phone ” in the UK.

Global terms can give you additional insights into types of keywords used when describing your product or service. When choosing which term to use think about your target audience and market. Remember that there is no value in ranking for a term side of your target market also trying to rank for the term cellphone in the UK could be easier than ranking for mobile phone, however, there will not be as much traffic. Even so, there will be less competition and the search volume estimator will give you an idea of how often is searched and you can decide if your website should target that niche.

Best practice when looking at global versus local keywords would be to look at each country individually to get more a more accurate view. So my primary market is the UK would localize my search to the UK if I’m targeting both UK and the US I would look up UK first and then the US. Remember that many countries have their own localized versions of Google which prioritize local sites of global ones, so there is more to ranking internationally than just choosing the right keywords.


The Google keyword research tool can give you an idea of how much competition there is for it and the term. However, this is only classed as high, medium and low. We also need to remember that this tool is for PPC campaigns and not aimed at organic search keyword research. Take the level of competition as an estimate. To achieve a better understanding of competition around the terms we suggest entering them into Google search and seeing how many competitor sites are returned and also looking at the top 10 results. If the top 10 consists of major brands and you are only a small enterprise and how likely or how cost-effective is going to be free to rank in the top 10. This is to provide a quick idea and there are much more accurate ways of estimating keyword competition.

Local search trends

This information presented in a bar graph is a graphical representation of how search trends have changed for a term. This will help you spot trends and seasonality. For example, a search for Euro 2012 shows how search volumes have changes in the build-up to the event.


The category allows you to narrow down your search to a specific sector. If you are targeting a specific niche, the category drop-down will be particularly useful. In our example of looking for accounting software related keywords, we can tell the Adwords keyword research tool that we want to focus our results on “Family and community”. This returns keywords such as ” nonprofit accounting software “



Leave Your Comment