3 + 1 keyword tools by Google that you really should be using

“Keyword tools? But I just have a simple website.” is still a widespread comment made by website owners and even bloggers. The assumption being that they can just write about what they think is necessary or what they like and that this is magically going to get them loads of traffic. Or that they have to pay for it, regardless of what they write, through expensive ads.

Unfortunately, the consequence of this approach is that to this day, too much valuable information just doesn’t get found. And that the large, already established websites simply attract more and more of the available online audience to their content.

Let me start by saying that it is indeed important for anyone to keep writing about what they think is interesting or of value. But in addition, it’s good to remember that others don’t always use the same terms to search for something as you do to describe it. Sure, search engines are very clever these days. Mind reading is unfortunately still quite a way off. So this is where keyword tools can play an important role in your content creation approach and are a valuable addition to your how-to-attract-more-visitors toolkit.

Google Ads Keyword Planner

Google Ads already appear in the article 5 free Google tools which almost every successful marketeer uses. For planning ad campaigns, but also for a better understanding of search volume this is an indispensable keyword tool.

For use in this article, I’ll look at keyword ideas around the term ‘wordpress’. The popular CMS that also this site is build with.

How to find keywords?

  • To begin with you log in and select Tools, followed by Keyword Planner in the menu
  • Next you pick the option Find new keywords
  • You type the subject for which you want more ideas
  • Be sure to select the correct Locations and Language in the drop-down options above the results that are being shown
  • Sort the results by Average monthly searches
  • Look for keywords of interest, both from the perspective of volume and competition
  • Next it’s a good idea to check the search results in Google itself to better understand the organic competition and whether it’s feasible to distinguish yourself from those competitors 
Keyword Planner in Google Ads
Keyword Planner in Google Ads
Find new keywords in Google Ads
Find new keywords in Google Ads
Setting language and locations in Google Ads
Setting language and locations in Google Ads
Keyword ideas in Google Ads
Keyword ideas in Google Ads

And before you know it, you’re off to a great start in finding new valuable keywords to take on board in your next article. Or perhaps you found inspiration for subjects you didn’t even consider before.

Yet to be found in Google, it’s also important how query volume evolves over time. The fact that search traffic is called organic, isn’t just because it’s not paid for.

Just like the internet evolves, so does the knowledge level and with that the search behaviour of people. And that’s where Google Trends comes in handy.

Keywords from Google Trends

Google Trends is the tool that offers a lot of insight into related search keywords over time including geographic dimensions. For the answer ‘What is on people’s mind across the world?’

Example of keyword trend

Wordpress trend in Google Trends
WordPress trend in Google Trends

In 2004 the most popular keyword related to WordPress was ‘wordpress blog’. In short, the phenomenon was known, but the majority of people had a general interest. Among the rising queries we found ‘movable type’, an alternative to wordpress, on number 1.

In 2011 the most popular search keyword was ‘wordpress theme’. In short, the majority of people knew what a blog was by now. What the offer in themes was, probably to distinguish sites more among the wide offering, grew in importance.

The moment this article was written, in 2018, the most popular term is ‘plugin wordpress’, indicating the need to fine-tune sites with specific functionality.

You can see how keywords evolve over time as knowledge by users changes. It should come as no surprise then that you need to know what the terminology is that people use today, or even better what they’re about to likely to search for in the near future. Both for developers and marketeers, these kinds of signals are key to making sure the need in the market is met.

Keywords from Google Suggest

A third and perhaps less obvious recommended tool for keyword research is Google Suggest, Google’s autocomplete function.

Starting from the principle of ‘maximum benefit for minimum effort’, it’s safe to assume that people make use of suggestions. How much faster is it to click on a suggestion than it is to type the full search query yourself?

Note: be sure to be logged out from your Google account for this activity, otherwise the build-in personalization is sure to skew the results.

Wordpress related keyword suggestions by Google Suggest
WordPress related keyword suggestions by Google Suggest

As visible above, Google Suggest offers various options, including ‘wordpress tutorial’ and ‘wordpress download’. In short, if you have any know-how to share on the subject, be sure to do so! Even though this is an important source of information to keep an eye on, it’s not one to base entire websites on. Just as search behaviour evolves, so does Google Suggest.

What happens to be a suggested term one month, doesn’t have to be there any more during the next. And that’s definitely not something you want to depend on.

Google Correlate

With Google Correlate you’re provided with a way to find keywords that show similar trends in search volume as the keyword that you’re interested in.

Google Correlate keyword tool

So unlike, for example, Google Trends which shows you the time series for a specific keyword, Google Correlate takes this time series and looks for other keywords for which the time series correlate.

The keyword ‘wordpress’ gives a more diverse list of keyword suggestions than the keyword tools above. Which makes sense, since it looks at any and all keywords with a similar trend in searches.

Google Correlate results for keyword wordpress

One thing to remember is that correlation does not imply causation. It might just be a coincidencee that keywords show a similar trend. Like in the case of ‘wordpress’ and ‘tucson az’. Nonetheless the suggested keywords provide a wealth of inspiration for your next piece of quality content.

Correlating wordpress to tucson az, correlation does not imply causation.

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