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Adwords Keyword Tool - How to Do Marketing Research

Updated on March 1, 2010

Keyword Research with Adwords Keyword Tool

Google Adwords Keyword Tool - How to Use It

Are you frustrated by Keywords Research? You are not alone, it's because most people don't understand how to do it properly. The biggest mistake they make is to just rush out and look for keywords that get the most traffic. This is a bad idea because a keyword with a lot of traffic may be either too broad or too competitive for you to use in your marketing campaigns.

The next biggest mistake is for people to rush to look for "high paying" keywords. What does that mean really? It means that some advertiser is willing to spend a lot of money to gain a lead. Does this really help you if you just focus on high paying keywords? NO! Why? Because if you are going to compete with that person/company you are going to spend a ton of money buy your traffic. And if you are an affilaite marketer you may be surprised to learn that just because a keyword costs a lot doesn't mean it pays a lot! And again you are dealing with a ton of competition.

So lets talk about the Adwords Keyword Tool now!

Why should you use the Adwords Keyword Tool and not some other Keyword Reserach Tool?

Answer: Because Google has the most Search Engine Traffic they have the largest pool of keyword research data. So as you "dig deep" into your industry niche you'll find that Google's numbers provide you with the most accurate data and the data is World Wide!

No matter how elaborate or sophisticated the tool, the bottom line is it is only as good as the data set it accesses. People use Google to find what they are looking for and this provides you as a marketer with a wealth of information.

How to use the Adwords Keyword Tool

Almost every Online Marketer knows about this free tool, but few really know how to dig in and use it. For my example I am going to use Keyword Research Pro which is a nice piece of software that makes accessing the Adwords Keyword Tool very simple.

Now here is what you want to do... in my example I chose the word "Keyword"... remember this is just an example. What you want to do is type in a keyword you believe is used to find your product or service.

Start with just one keyword. Remember what you think people use to find your product is NOT what is important, what they actually type into the search engines is... but you have to start somewhere.

Keyword Research takes time! You may spend all afternoon, or even a day or two to get to the real gems that if used properly will really make you money. Don't be in a hurry, this is the most important thing you can do in the Online Marketing equation.

So you type in your keyword. it's time to analyze the keyword...

Here is what you want to know:

  1. How many variations of this keyword are there - including related keywords (Synonyms)
  2. The amount of Searches for each Variation
  3. The Number of Competitors *

* Just typing in a keyword phase in a broad search in Google will tell you the number of "Instances" a keyword appears in the Google Database in any order. This is not your competition. Putting the phrase in quotes will tell you the number of instances a keyword appears in exactly the order you typed it within the quotes. But this is also not your competition. Your competition is the number of people who are actively trying to rank for a particular phrase. This is where you use "allintitle" and "allinanchor". If a keyword phrase appears in a Title Tag then that person is likely trying to compete for that phrase. This may not be true in Broad Niche Phrases... which is why you want to dig deep for what is called the "longtail" keyword pharse. If a keyword phrase of 4 words or more appears in exact order in the Title Tag you can bet that didn't happen by accident. The "allinanchor" is also a good indicator, but probably not as reliable.

So should you search for "broad" or "exact". That is the million dollar question. And in my view it's best to use the "broad" search when doing keyword research because this is a better indicator of people looking for products. If you use the "exact" phrase you may go too narrow and miss part of your market. Use both and see what kind of results you get. Just putting an exact keyword phrase on your webpage doesn't mean that Google is going to give you magic ranking points.

Calculating KEI From Adwords Keyword Results

One indicator used to determine if a Keyword will be easy or difficult to rank for is called KEI or Keyword Effectiveness Indicator. And here is basically what KEI does and how it is calculated. KEI compares the number of searches for a keyword with the number of search results and returns a ratio.

KEI is calculated like this:

Seaches x Searches divided by # of results

Example using numbers from the Keyword Graphic Above:

If Google Adwords Tool says there are 1,600 searches per month for your keyword and 3,370 results (Pages with the Phrase) you would calculate the KEI like this:

1,600 x 1,600 = 2,560,000

now divide this by the number of results

2,560,000/3,370 = 759.64

So your KEI is 759.64

If you look in the Graphic Picture I uploaded above you can actually see this is a real world example for the Keyword phrase "Most Searched Keywords".

So a high KEI is an indicator of a keyword that has higher searches and less competition. Remember this is just an indicator but helpful in picking a phrase with the potential to rank better than another.

You still have to beat out the guys on page one for that phrase, but KEI will help you determine if this is really possible. If the top 10 results for that phrase are large companies with 1,000's of backlinks, reputation, high PR, etc. Then you may still want to skip that phrase. KEI is a quantity indicator not a quality indicator.

You can do all these calculations using the Adwords Tool and a Spreadsheet that reads the CSV files, but it's very time consuming which is why I use Keyword Research Pro.

What to do with Your Basic Keyword List

Once you have selected your basic keyword list it's time to dig deeper to see if there are related keywords or keyword phrases between 3 to 9 words. These will often bring you in even more targeted and valuable traffic. So essentially you repeat the process until you have a list that meets your own marketing goals.

I'd suggest that most people in most niches focus on phrases that are 3 words or longer and have less than 10,000 competing sites. This is not a rule, it's a suggestion.

Once you have that list of keywords go get the Firefox Plug in SEO Quake or the Free SEO Tools plug in from SEO Book.

You want to now take your keywords and type them directly into Google and analyze your competition. I actually use a product called SEO Elite to do this faster, but both of the free plugins should work just fine for you.

What you want to know now is the Page Rank and number of Back Links pointing to your competitions site. SEO Elite allows me to quickly and easily dig into the same data the plugins dig up but in an easy to read report format.

Look at your competitors, and determine if you can beat them. If you can then you have done your research correctly, if not... start the cycle over for new keywords and niches.

Good luck and keep at it!


Submit a Comment
  • ashraf_2003 profile image


    7 years ago from Palesetine

    Full of great information I never heard about before.


  • Tom_Radford profile image

    Tom Radford 

    8 years ago from Singapore

    You see, this is what i love about Hub pages, real quality and no BS! Great article, really got me thinking


  • Peter Owen profile image

    Peter Owen 

    8 years ago from West Hempstead, NY

    good stuff. most articles don't go into this depth.

  • MikeNV profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Henderson, NV

    Keep in mind that marketing is ALWAYS about THEM and not YOU. Give people what they want and you'll be rewarded. The Adwords Keyword tool simply helps you determine what it is that people want.

  • BigSerious profile image

    Christen Roberts 

    8 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

    Good lesson, lots of specific info and broken down nicely. Perhaps after I actually get a chance to LOOK at adwords, I can revisit and better understand. Strong work!

  • MikeNV profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Henderson, NV

    It's just a formula for comparing trends. It doesn't take into account many factors including quality. The original developer of the formula noted he could compare phrases by squaring the popularity of the searches. That's really all there is to it. In and of itself the number doesn't mean anything. It's only useful for a rough determination of potential ranking.

  • tuku20026 profile image


    9 years ago from Dhaka

    great idea!!!!thanks a lot.

  • Jackson Riddle profile image

    Jackson Riddle 

    9 years ago from Melbourne

    I like the whole 'Keyword Effectiveness Indicator' it could come in handy. Personally I have not been analysing my keywords this way but I think I should use some of your methods to benefit what I am already doing and earn a greater online passive income.

  • MikeNV profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Henderson, NV

    Most people are not very good at analyzing the information they pull from Google. They stop way short and don't dig deep enough into all the variations of phrases.

    As far as accuracy... The keyword tool is skewed towards getting people to purchase advertising. Our use here is for our own benefit - which really doesn't benefit Google. You need to consider that many searches are done by people checking ranking and not really looking for information. You will also often find "0" returned for low volume search phrases which in fact do have traffic. Google also censors their own results omitting what they deem objectionable. So it's far from perfect, but it's still the "Best" source of data for keyword research simply because they have so many users. Many other tools appear detailed and accurate, but their data pools are simply too small.

  • Andy101 profile image


    9 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

    A highly informative hub! Thanks. I've been using only Google's external keyword tool for my research with analyzing first page results on my selected keywords identified with the Google tool. With great results and even without calculating KEI. I didn't know about KEI before reading your hub, so thank you. This will certainly give me more of a competitive edge.

    I have however read that the Google tool is not very reliable, because Google inflates the monthly search results in order to get people bidding on keywords for Adwords campaigns. What's your opinion on this intimation?

  • agvulpes profile image


    9 years ago from Australia

    Mike this hub is a nice summary on the Google keyword tool and I'm bookmarking it for future reference thankyou :-)

  • EllenGraeger profile image


    9 years ago from Madrid

    That was a good lesson about keyword research. I will follow your instructions because I am still fighting with the Google keyword tool. Thank you.

  • FarmTipsnTricks profile image


    9 years ago from

    Great ideas

  • shazwellyn profile image


    9 years ago from Great Britain

    keywords are a mine field. I will revisit this hub so have bookmarked. Thanks for writing x

  • TnFlash profile image


    9 years ago from Tampa, Florida

    Keyword selection is an important item in internet marketing. Great Hub!

  • MikeNV profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Henderson, NV

    Banner Ads have very poor clickthroughs so if you use them you need to really target specific products. I don't see a banner campaign combined with a general store type of site being very successful. So there isn't much advice I can give you on that. When people search to make a purchase online they get really specific.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I have no website and dont intend making one.. I want to use banner ads on Adwords Conent network to promote a clickbank store.. it has 10,000 products in about 120 categories.

    possibly several million keywords will be involved. any ideas on how to do a project of this size?

    anyone plz.. email me at

  • akuchey profile image


    9 years ago

    Nice post dude.Give me some idea how to use it.Keep it up.

  • Jenny Cakes profile image

    Jenny Cakes 

    9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    a very important hub my friend!

  • advoco profile image


    9 years ago from cadiz

    Good information. I do use some of these concepts and techniques already but I learned some new ones. Thanks

  • MikeNV profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Henderson, NV

    Google provides the best "data set". To access and analyze the data you still need to know how to do it by hand or to use a 3rd party tool to speed up the process. Keyword Elite is okay, but in my opinion a lot of hype. It's just another interface tool. Only Google Data matters right now because Adwords is the dominate PPC engine.

    Easegiri what I mean is to not worry so much about a specific phrase... because Google will pick up and determine the ads from the entire content on your page. So if you just write an article and then use the same keyword phrase over and over that is a bad approach. What you want to do is use variations of a theme. So if you are writing about Office Furniture... you want to use the phrase office furniture in your Title and perhaps in your headline, but from then on you want to include phrases about Chairs, Desks, and brand names of Office Furniture manufacturers. That way Google will easily pick up on what your page is about and display the correct advertisements. Too many articles look forced and are uninteresting because rookies make the mistake of just focusing on one phrase.

    Google will keep the best part of earnings if it considers your article to be low quality. If you have high quality article the same ad will pay more. My sites that rank high in search get a lot more money per click than my sites that do not rank high.

  • easegiri profile image


    9 years ago from Bangalore

    You have told in another hub that keyword specific hub is not necessary. And that google will keep the best part of earning themselves instead of paying it to the hubbers. I think that is a good tip you gave which makes me not to break my head about these keywords analysations.

  • nms profile image


    9 years ago from Cochin

    Google tools for keyword research is inadequate. They lack something. Google can provide a better tool than keyword elite or wordtracker.. Hope in near future they will

  • prasetio30 profile image


    10 years ago from malang-indonesia

    thanks for share this idea. great tips how using Adwords Keyword tool. I think your tips useful for us.


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