When doing keyword research it is important to use a good tool to help you know the volume of traffic on particular queries, the order the keywords are most popular in and a good keyword tool will help give you suggestions or ideas on similar keywords. We will do a quick look at the Google Adwords keyword research tool, and how to narrow down the results to exact keywords to help you research keywords (for information about keyword match types in Google click here).

Google Adwords offers a free keyword research tool, but the initial results tend to be pretty broad and they don’t really help you hone in on those long tail keywords that you may be looking for. The tool gives general ideas of volume and types of keywords related to what you are looking for (and a good idea of what Google sees as relevant to your query (which helps build negative keyword lists early if working on paid search). Google’s free tool is useful when starting to learn about keyword research.

Let’s research “keyword research tool” as our keyword. The top results that the Google Adwords keyword research tool gives you are:

Which are all seemingly good keywords based on the keywords entered. The issue that you can run into here (even though no tool is really 100% accurate on keyword counts), is that the number of searches noted is based on a broad match count. So the breadth of broad match “keyword research tool” responses are 27,100 globally (local = United States). So if I wanted to have a clearer idea of the number of searches for “keyword research tool” by itself I would select the exact option in the left hand column shown here:

This changes the number of searches for “keyword research tool” from 27,100 globally to 6,600 searches as show here:

Now that you are looking at an exact query you can see that “keyword research tool” is a very popular query, and that the singular “tool” is more popular than searching “keyword research tools” (plural). This is good to know when writing copy for SEO, whether you prefer to use the singular or plural version of the word based on your goals.

There are a large variety of paid keyword research tools, some with free trials. If you are just starting to learn how to do keyword research your needs may not require the use of a paid tool, but most of them let you try a query or two. Which tool is really the best may be based on your personal preferences. The Google Adwords free keyword research tool should get you started, and if you find you need more help in keyword research for more sophisticated long tail keyword results you can start looking into a paid tool..

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