Being able to take a look at the words and phrases people use when looking for things online is invaluable. Rather than listening to people say what they think they might do, you get to observe what they actually did. And when aggregated, you get a nice view of the words people most often use when thinking about and searching for a certain topic. Once armed with keyword intelligence that’s relevant to your niche, you have the unique ability to create highly-relevant content that aids your site visitors and enhances your credibility. You’re speaking the language of the audience after all, and satisfying their needs. And if you get it right, you’ll likely rank well in the search engines too, after promoting the content in a strategic way.

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo compete largely on the quality of the results that their users get. Google dominates the market because it's modus operandi is to find the most relevant search results and present these results to searchers. This is Google's number one priority. 

Here are three specific ways to use the tool:

1. Research what your customers are looking for

Some will tell you that Google’s Keyword Tool is all you need for research. Paid tools may be superior choices to those provided by search engines since the proprietors are not motivated to sell you search advertising, and include Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery.

How to use the Google Keyword Tool

  •  Bring up the tool by going to You need to have a Google account to benefit from the full features.
  •  In the Website field, type the URL of one of your main competitors, then click 'Find Keywords'.
  •  This will present a list of keywords to you, ranked by the number of searches carried out per month on each. There is some debate about how accurate these results are however it gives you an indication of how important each keyword might be to your business. What is also visible on this page is the price  that Google suggests you bid for the keywords when you are looking to advertise using Google's Adwords programme which  we will cover later.
  • You will also see a graphical indication of how much competition exists for that keyword. Good keywords are those which have a high volume but a low to medium level of competition. I would suggest  not going below 800 searches. Generic keywords that have huge monthly traffic volumes are worth avoiding, although they will not cots you anything financially competition will be fierce and you will find it tough to rank near the top. Keywords and Keyphrases are much of a muchness. For example,  your keyword could be 'cake decorating'. You can also export these keywords as a CSV file if you wish to refer back to them; for example when starting an advertising campaign.
  • Make your list. Discount hose which do not apply to your business. 

2. Focus

 Having an "elevator pitch" is a useful way of establishing if you have a focused , sellable business proposition. If you can summarise your business and what it offers in one sentence then you are moving in the right direction. “Keyword” is the term that gets tossed around, but what you’re really after in most cases are keyword phrases. For example, a  family solicitor in York would gain very little actual benefit from ranking highly for the single word “solicitor” but specific keyword phrases based on geography and specialty would yield highly targeted traffic (“York family solicitor”).

3 Use to create great content

Here’s an idea: can a particular keyword phrase support the development of content that is a valuable resource to readers? Something that:

  • Satisfies the preliminary needs of the site visitor
  • Is worth linking to


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Ihubbusiness is an information hub for small businesses who wish to learn about internet marketing. The site was founded by Lola Bailey in 2010. Lola is a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing and has over 20 years sales and marketing experience. She is also a full-time copywriter at, a copywriter consultancy which she founded. Email:

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