There are many tools out there to do keyword research. Some cost money, some are expensive. Many of these do a great job of keyword research, and some have unique features that others don’t.

However, the most popular keyword research tool is provided to us by Google themselves – the Google keyword research tool (Google calls it the Google AdSense tool) – And it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Free Keyword Research? Why would Google do that?

Because Google makes money from affiliate marketing! Affiliate marketers pay Google to put their ads, articles, etc. in a conspicuous place whenever you do a Google search – these are the ads that show up at the right side of the page in your search results under “Sponsored Links”. This is called the “Google AdSense” program. Affiliates bid on the keyword phrases they think will be profitable, and they pay for each time a visitor clicks on that result and visits their site. This is known as “Pay-Per-Click” (PPC).

But the Google keyword research tool is not restricted to PPC use – it is just as valuable for article marketing! Even though the Google keyword research tool was intended to help make Google rich, it can also be a great tool for your free campaign research!

So Let’s Get Started!

First, go to the Google keyword research tool (AdWords keyword Tool) site at:

AdWords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

After you type in the “capcha” phrase, you will see a form with two fields, “Word or phrase” and “Website”. For this discussion, we will use the “Word or phrase” field.

“Startin’ Broad” and “Diggin’ Deep”

Startin’ Broad

Type a broad term in the “Word or phrase” field. Let’s go REALLY broad. Insanely broad. We’ll just pick a word from thin air – let’s see… “Moon”! Sound crazy? No way you can make money from “Moon”? Well, Let’s see…

Type “moon” into the “Word or phrase” field (without quotes) and click on the “Search” button.

Lots of keyword ideas come up – most involving information about the moon, sun, and stars. However, one keyword catches my eye.. “moonroof” – it has low competition (Competition bar less google keyword tool API half full), and about 27,000 global monthly searches.

The global monthly searches looks promising, but the competition is what we really want to zoom in on.

Scope Out the Competition

We’ll leave the Google keyword research tool for a moment, and go to Google.com. Type “moonroof” into the search field (with quotes), and you will find out how many sites or articles are targeted for that exact phrase. These are the sites you will be competing with for high rankings in Google. You want to be able to get your content on the first or second page of a Google search, so if the competition is greater than 5,000 results, you will probably have a hard time getting there.

In the case of “moonroof”, there are 596 results at this time (these numbers can change daily). That’s EXCELLENT! I like to look for results under 1,000 – makes competing easier. This keyword, at 596 results, is a KEEPER!

Diggin’ Deep

Now, finding a product that you can promote with these keywords may be a challenge – I would probably re-enter moonroof into the Word or phrase field in the AdWords tool and dig deeper. Perhaps I would find something like “moonroof kits“, “moonroof parts“, or even some product-name-based keywords, like “Subaru moonroofs“, or “kits for Mazda moonroofs” – These name-based keywords can be real goldmines!

Wrapping it Up

Using the Google Keyword Research Tool is easy! Don’t obsess over the traffic numbers (Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches) – try to stay above 1,000 searches per month, but the competition is the number you really want to look for. Doing the Google search with a keyword in quotes is the real acid test. I use the numbers in the AdWords tool to tell me what keywords to look for, and enter each of those keywords into a Google search with quotes to tell me what keywords to write for.