How To Do Keyword Research Using Google AdWords Keyword Tool?

How To Do Keyword Research Using Google AdWords Keyword Tool?

What do you mean by Keyword Research? It’s nothing but the practice of finding search terms (called Keywords) which people enter into the search engines to find webpages. It’s a practice which is mostly used by Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals while writing content in order to achieve better rankings on Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for the keywords which they are focusing.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

When it comes to Keyword Research Google AdWords Keyword Tool is the right choice for every webmaster and SEO professional. Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a free Keyword Research Tool by Google which is meant for it’s advertisers. If you’re a newbie then you must be familiar with the terms used by Google AdWords Tool. It includes terms such as Search Terms, Competition, Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches, Keyword Ideas, Match Types etc.

So let me begin by explaining the Google AdWords Tool terms you need to know:

Search Terms / Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that people enter on Google Search to find webpages.


Competition column shows the number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google and It’s not the number of searches conducted by people. Competition can be Low, Medium, or High.

Match Types

The traffic volume that appears in the Global Monthly Searches & Local Monthly Searches column for a specific match type is an approximation of the traffic that a keyword gets in a month on Google with that match type.

  • Broad Match: The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words.
  • Phrase Match: The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase.
  • Exact Match: The search volume for that keyword idea.

Global Monthly Searches

Global Monthly Searches are the approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword on Google search. It’s is specific to your keyword Match Type selection.

Local Monthly Searches

If you specified a country or language for your search, this is the approximate 12-month average number of user queries for the keyword for those countries and languages. It’s specific to your keyword Match Type selection.

Source: Google AdWords Glossary

How To Do Keyword Research?

How To Do Keyword Research?

Let’s say you have a service website. So which Keywords should you focus on? The first thing I would do is look at my competitors website and see what keywords are they targeting (called Competitive Analysis). And then I do the Keyword Research using Google AdWords Keyword Tool. And once the Keyword Research is done then I define my Target Audience. I recommend you to try alternate Keyword Research Tools as well. That is from Microsoft adCenter, WordTracker etc. And, you may try more Keyword Tools by Google such as Google Trends and Google Insights for Search.

How To Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool For SEO Keyword Research

Suppose you’re selling Google AdWords Coupon for UK Citizens and you want to find keywords related to that. If you go to Google AdWords Keyword Tool and enter the search phrase “Google AdWords” then you will get tons of Keyword Ideas related to the search term “Google AdWords”.

Now, you need to filter those keywords. So what you should to do is choose the location United Kingdom under “Advanced Options and Filters” and make sure that you check the option “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” otherwise it will show so many unrelated keywords. Click “Search”. Voila! You have the keyword ideas now.

How To Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool For SEO Keyword Research

Again, you need to find out the most relevant Keywords out of the suggested ones. Once you’re done you have to do another Keyword Research using the new keywords suggested by Google.

SEO Keyword Research

In this case, let’s say you chose the keyword “AdWords Coupon” from the keyword ideas and now you conduct another keyword research using the keyword “AdWords Coupon”. Make sure that you choose the option “[Exact’]” under Match Types. Why?


There you’re! Now, choose all the keywords you want to focus. In this case I would pick “AdWords Coupon, Google AdWords Coupon, Free AdWords Coupon, AdWords Coupon Code etc.

The Complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Life Cycle

Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization

BONUS: More Keyword Research Tools by Google

Google AdWords Keyword Tool [Competition Analysis]

Keyword Research Using Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Google AdWords Tools are meant for AdWords customers but you can still use most of the Google Keyword Tools as they are all free. Now, when you do your Keyword Research you can see a “Competition” column. What exactly is “Competition”? You think it’s about how many people are actually searching for a particular keyword. Well, you’re wrong. The “Competition” column is for Google AdWords advertisers. It shows how competitive a particular keyword is. It can be Low, Medium or High. It shows how many advertisers are bidding on that Keyword. If it’s “Low” then it means that only few advertisers are bidding for that keyword. If it’s “High” then it means that a large number of advertisers are bidding for that keyword.

Basically, this is really useless for writers (unless you want to bid for the keyword) as it has totally no effect on traffic or getting your article to the first page of search engine results.

So in general it’s useless for you unless you’re an AdWords advertiser. But I still consider that while doing Keyword Research. If the Competition is High then it’s difficult to achieve Top 10 ranking on Google Search Engine Results (SERP) page. If the Keyword Competition is Low then it means that we can achieve Top 10.

Google Trends

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to compare the search volumes of two or more keywords (up to five keywords). Google Trends also shows news related to the keywords/search terms. If you have a news blog then Google Trend’s new flavor is the best Keyword Research Tool. Let’s say you have a tech blog then you can use the Google Trends to find out “Hot Searches” so that you can publish more articles related to Hot Search Keywords. Use Hot Searches to see a snapshot of what people is searching right now.

With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.

Google Trends

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of the search terms in all years.

Google Insights for Search

Google Insights for Search

Google Insights for Search is much like Google Trends. It provides better insights about the keywords which people use on Google Search. Unlike Google Trends, Google Insights for Search also provides a visual representation of regional interest on a country’s map. It displays top searches and rising searches that may help with keyword research. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Google Insights for Search

You can see how searches for “Michael Jackson” and “Steve Jobs” peaked when they died. Learn more about how to use Google Insights for Search.

Google AdWords Traffic Estimator

Google AdWords have a Traffic Estimator which shows the ”Estimated Daily Clicks“ for AdWords advertisers. But you can still use Google AdWords Traffic Estimator to get an idea of potential clicks you’ll get if you hit Top 10 or whatever.

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  • Abcdindia

    I have used Google Keyword Tool. It’s Giving 100 good related keywords as our given one. It’s really good.

  • Rahul Tilloo

    You have written a great detailed post on keyword research.
    I would have like to see some more of alternate approach.

    • Mahesh Mohan

      Alternate approach? Like what? More ways to find keywords?

      • Rahul Tilloo

        Hi Mahesh

        Yes I would have like more ways to find keywords & how to select the a profitable keyword.

        • Mahesh Mohan


          I guess the Google AdWords tool is more than just enough to find the keywords. Most others are either paid or as much effective as the AdWords tool.

          And if you want to find a profitable keyword you can use the competition column in AdWords tool.

          If you want to try an alternative then go for

          – Mahesh

          • Rahul Tilloo

            Thanks Mahesh for answering my queries.

  • article unique

    I am now not sure where you are getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or understanding more. Thanks for great information I was in search of this information for my mission.

  • Yong Custodio

    Hi Mahesh,

    So you’re saying that Keywords based on the Competition results of Google Keyword Tool is based on Advertisers’ Bids? Not SEO Competition? This could be the main reason why Market Samurai is giving a different Competition results. Correct me if I am wrong, but your post is very helpful for me to realize the competition stuff from these 2 great keyword tool. Thanks!


    • Mahesh Mohan

      Yes, that’s correct.

      But those competition can be considered as SEO Competition as well because those advertisers must be paying attention to SEO as well. So if the Advertiser competition on AdWords is high then it indirectly means that its difficult to get higher ranking.

      If the advertiser competition is low then we can easily get higher rankings for our keywords.

      – Mahesh

  • TourRajasthan

    Your way of describing the whole keyword research is very good and up to mark so to achieve the results desired and I think one ca easily get the first page search engine results if he/she know how to do backlinking of a website.

    • Mahesh Mohan

      That’s right! Quality content + Some back links gets you top ranking on SERPs.

  • car rental chennai

    I had made many mistakes in researching keywords now i got the point how to use google adwords

  • Doug Tobs

    well written article thank you for the insight, I will be using this strategy.

  • Renukhanna

    Yeah,really a good article for the newbie how to use a google adword tool.

  • google first page


    I always use google keyword tool, if you have 10 keywords, it will help you to find 100 keywords.
    its best

  • Annie

    Thanks a lot

  • Prashanth K

    Great post. Although I have tried several tools in the past (including a certain favourite that starts with U!), Keyword Planner is the fastest to work with.

    Over months, I also changed the way keyword research is done. Rather than searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack riddled with other searchers, I now try to branch out and check what else is going on out there. Keywords will naturally follow.

    • Mahesh Mohan

      Thanks for that! And yes, Keyword Planner is the only keyword tool that I personally use (unless competitor analysis is involved).