Perhaps I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but why does Google have three different keyword tools? The oldest of the three (to my knowledge) is the External Keyword Tool here. This is the tool I’ve had bookmarked in Firefox for years. However, a while back Google launched the Search-Based Keyword Tool. This represented a branch in the product development more than evolution since the search-based tool was intended to take “actual Google search queries” into consideration when looking at a URL or list of keywords & phrases. Then, a couple weeks ago I saw a tweet mentioning a new Google keyword tool that was only accessible from a link in AdWords. I have been using it quite a bit over the last couple weeks and I’m quite impressed.
The New Google Keyword Tool
Understand that I use the term “new” liberally because the official AdWords blog post about this if from September. So it’s new to me (in my defense, they say it’s in beta, so I like to think my account just didn’t get access until recently). You can read the official post for the details, but here is why I think this tool is too cool for school.
- Great Filtering – On the left sidebar you’ll see that you can check/uncheck the different main keywords to weed out less relevant threads. You can also display broad, phrase and exact match searches AT THE SAME TIME!
- Sorting – Now that you can actually display all 3 match types together, sorting by total search volume, or average CPC, will quickly give you a high-level snapshot of the opportunity.
- Competitor Research – Here’s a little trick for you to try. Take the URL of a competitor and put it into the “Website” box. Include all match types and then sort the list by relevance (drop-down box above the keyword list, right side). This will show you what Google thinks are the most relevant keywords on your competitor’s site and how much search volume they’re potentially getting.
- Self-Analysis – Now put your own URL into the tool and run the same process as above. Are you sending Google the right message?
P.S. When you first bring up the tool you’ll only see columns for Keyword, Competition, Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches, and Local Search Trends. The “Views” drop-down box will show you the other 9 columns of info you’re missing out on.