What does it do... really?
When you are looking for keywords that are relevant to your site, Where do you go? Google provides a great tool (free of charge) called the Google External Keywords Tool.
Primarily set up to find keywords for an adwords campaign, it can be used, very handily I might add, to find keywords that are related to you main phrase or topic of your site. What most people don't realize is that it will list phrases and keywords that Google thinks are related to the word or phrase you are researching.
In a nutshell, Google will tell you what additional keywords and topics you need to have on your page to rank well for your main keyword phrase. There are many other aspects and things you have to do to rank for a phrase: on page SEO (search engine optimization), site architecture, knowing how many other sites are competing to rank for that same keyword or phrase, and how many other sites consider yours as authority page.
The first step and MOST important of these is finding a phrase that is searched often, and has a low number of competing pages. That is something that the Google keywords tool is NOT designed to do. You have to find that out for your self with other tools (see our main site page for information on that).
How it works.
You will first need to open this link up in a new browser window or tab: Google Keyword Tool so you can refer back to this page for instructions.
When you have that page up, you will see it is asking you "what descriptive phrases are you looking for"? You'll see that in the column on the left. On the right is a blank box.
- Type in the subject of your site or blog that you are working on.
- Fill in the captcha code.
- Click on the "get keyword ideas" button.
Google is now going out to its data base and looking at the sites that it has ranked highly for that phrase. This takes a about 15- 30 seconds depending on your connection speed.
When it finishes, you will see a table pop up at the bottom of the page. This is a list of keywords and phrases That Google believes are important and directly related to the phrase you search. By default, this list is returned in a very important sort order- relevance.
Do you see the line that says "Sorted by Relevance"? Even though you will see what the search volumes are for each of those additional phrases, Google places a high value on its own judgment and algorithms. Google is telling you,
"These are the words and phrases that I KNOW are relevant to the phrase you just searched. If you want to rank well in my search results for the phrase you are researching, then you need to include content that is also relevant to these phrases."
Isn't it cool when you can understand what Google is telling you? This is one of the few things that Google gives you so that you can build your page or site properly and get love from them in return.
The reason for this is that Google places its searchers experience above all else. To be listed well in their SERP (Search Engine Rank Position), your site needs to give a good experience to the searcher when they click on the search listing for what they have search for. You have about 3 seconds for this to be determined and it is called "bounce rate".
If visitors click on your site link in the SERP, and stay for a while reading your content, Google sees this as a favorable experience.
If visitors click on your site link in the SERP and immediately click "back" or to another site/page, Google sees this as a BAD experience for the searcher and will penalize you for it.
The reason? Google's goal is to give the searcher what they want and if they immediately leave your page or site after being directed there by the SERP result, then you are not giving their searchers what they are looking for and you will move down in the SERPs.
Where does your site rank for your phrases?
Google is also very kind and generous with their Keyword Tool. If you go back to your initial search (at the top) and click on the "website content" radio button, you can type in the url of your page. Again Click on the "get keyword ideas" button.
Google is now going through your site and analyzing everything on it. when it is finished, it will again give you a list of keywords and phrases that it says your site is about and what their searchers are looking for when they go to your site. If these don't match up with at least 50% of the list you ran, your page will rank poorly according to Google's content analysis. So build you page around what Google is telling you to build it around and you will have a happier relationship. Google is a fickle lady and you have to keep her happy or she will make you sad.
Which of these phrases should you go after?
Keywords Blueprint - Keywords Tool