is the very foundation of any search engine optimization campaign. Get it right and your SEO campaign stands a reasonable chance of success. Get it wrong and no matter what you do later on, the SEO campaign is already a failure. It is akin to the computer parlance “Garbage in, garbage out”

There are many keyword research tools. Some are FREE tools while others are PAID tools.

Of the FREE keyword research tools, the very prominent are Google and Wordtracker. Wordtracker also has an upgrade PAID version.

Talking of PAID keyword research tools, one can mention

  • Keyword Spy
  • Keyword Elite
  • SEM Rush
  • Keyword Discovery
  • Wordtracker (Upgrade)
  • Wordze
  • Market Samurai
  • SEONuke

Why do some marketers use PAID keyword research tools?

This is simply because it provides more in-depth results than FREE tools and so, most suitable for highly competitive niches. The marketer is able to come up with long-tail keywords which he would not have unearthed with FREE keyword research tools.

How To Use Google Keyword Research Tool

Perhaps because it is the original/main source of search engine data and because it provides a reasonable volume of varied data useful for keyword research, seems to be the favorite FREE tool of many marketers for keyword research.

The following is a step-by-step process of using Google keyword tool for keyword research.

I will illustrate with the “general or seed keyword” for this post : “Keyword research”.

  1. Identify a “general or seed keyword” for your niche or web page as applicable.
  2. Insert this “general or seed keyword” in the Google keyword research tool ( In the box on top, labeled Word or phrase)
  3. Enable(Click) the box alongside the sentence “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms”.

    This will provide very specific keyword terms with the “general or seed keywords” inclusive.

  4. Click on “Advanced Options And Filters”. This will throw up the box containing “Locations and languages”
  5. By “Locations and languages”, click on the country where your target market is (not necessarily where you are located or resident).

    I usually use “United States”

    Follow up by clicking the relevant language in the target market which in my case is “English”

  6. Do not check the box beside “Include specific content” except you intend to include adult ideas.
  7. Select the device you will like to show ideas and statistics for. I always select “desktop and laptop devices”
  8. Filter Keywords. I always select “Local monthly searches”
  9. By default, all categories are represented in the provision of input for the keyword research. This usually is fine by me but you can select specific categories if you so wish. This is found on the extreme left, middle portion of the Google keyword research tool.
  10. Now Click On “Search”
  11. A list of keywords will be generated below, with “competition”, global monthly searches” and “local monthly searches” stated beside each keyword.

    Note that the figures shown by default are for “broad” searches and you need to click on [Exact] under “Match Types” on the left side of the Google keyword research tool and de-select “Broad” to have figures only for “exact searches”.

    This is usually more appropriate for your keyword research as it will show search volume for your specific intended keyword phrase unlike the “broad search” which will include searches for terms including any word within your selected keyword phrase.

Above the headings for the keywords generated, you will find “Sorted by relevance”. You can use this to sort the data generated based on different sort criteria as you wish.

You will also find above, “Columns” which you can use to alter the “headings” you want for the displayed keywords. You can for example choose to exclude “competition” and include “search share”.

When you click on any of the generated keywords, it will take you to the google search results page for that keyword/keyword phrase where you can determine the competition for that keyword phrase.

You now have a list of keywords/keyword phrases to select from, as your long-tail keywords, based on reasonable search volume and minimal competition.

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