I can talk to you about keywords all week long, but I know a lot of you are still having trouble understanding how keywords work. (I know because of the assignments that still come back with incorrect keyword phrases in the headers.) So I’m going to let you see for yourself:
This is a free keyword research tool for Google AdWords. It’s not the end-all-be-all of keyword phrases, but it can give you a really good idea of what works as a keyword and what does not. If you ever want to check out what works as a keyword phrase and what does not, type it into this keyword tool.
Here’s a an example title to work with: Toddlers to Teens: Best Pennsylvania Vacation Spots for Kids
Find where it says Enter one keyword or phrase per line:
Enter the following words, each on a different line:
- toddlers to teens
- best pennsylvania vacation spots
- vacation spots for kids
- vacation spots
Uncheck the synonyms box, because that will give you too many results. You’ll have to enter a Captcha word before hitting the “Get keyword ideas” button.
When the results come up, see if your three phrases are on top. If not, you can sort by keyword and find them alphabetically. We are especially interested in the Approx Avg Search Volume column. The higher the number, the more people there are typing in that phrase when they do a Google search.
Maybe it shows differently for you, but [best pennsylvania vacation spots] didn’t even make it to the list on my screen, despite the fact that I typed it in. Neither did [toddlers to teens]. That means that these phrases should never be considered keyword phrases. (As a side note, the “Toddlers to Teens” part makes it a catchier title, even if it has no keyword value.)
With a search value of only 1,000, [vacation spots for kids] is also a no-go. It’s looking better for [vacation spots] at over 200,000, which also has great advertiser competition. (Advertiser competition is whether or not people are bidding on ads for that keyword phrase.) But [vacation] is the clear winner, with a search volume of 45,000,000. You can use [vacation spots] as a secondary keyword phrase.
Clarification: I’ve been informed that going for the phrase with a search volume of 45,000,000 is not the best idea, since it will be very hard to rank for that phrase. Go with the secondary ones!
I highly recommend using this tool before sending me title suggestions for articles you’d like to write. Getting in the habit of checking your keywords will help you find a better focus. And while I’m “just” your client, the habit will carry over and benefit you when you write for yourself. If you’ve ever sent me a title suggestion and I’ve changed it when creating your assignment, I did so after using a keyword tool.
Let me know if you have any questions.