Using The Google Keyword Tool Like A Pro (Part 2)

Last week, we covered the first part of our two part series, “How To Use The Google Keyword Tool Like A Pro. This week, we’re going to delve into some more advanced options to help filter your keyword research to the most relevant phrases for your geographic area and market segment.

To access the advanced options, just click on the “Advanced Options” link below the keyword box:

Keyword Tool Advanced Options

Once you expand this, you’ll see a few more options to help you narrow down your search:

  • Locations and Languages – here, you can select the country and the language you will be targeting with your PPC campaigns. Search volumes can vary significantly between countries due to local vernacular and spellings – don’t assume that popular keywords from one country are popular in another! Also, it’s important to note that the “Local Monthly Searches” and “Local Monthly Search Trends” data will be based on whatever settings you select on this option.
  • Include Specific Content – here’s where you can choose to see adult ideas for your keywords, if you’re feeling saucy. This won’t matter for most advertisers, but if you’re in the business of selling adult products, make sure this box is checked or else you won’t be getting many ideas out of the keyword tool. If you are targeting adult terms, make sure you check up on Google’s policies on adult terms in AdWords. There are certain limits on how ads on adult terms display, including the fact that adult ads won’t show at all in certain countries such as Germany, China, Korea, and India.
  • Show Stats For Mobile Search – it’s a big, big deal to check this box if you’re doing a mobile targeted campaign. It might also be an interesting comparison to look at your desktop search volume stats vs. mobile search stats for the same keywords.
  • Show Results For – I love the Google Keyword tool, but sometimes it spits out nothing but irrelevant junk. This setting can help you solve that problem. If you have a couple of ambiguous keyword phrases that keep returning irrelevant suggestions, try coming up with more variations on those keywords, and only look at stats containing your search terms. This comes in really handy if you cut and paste in a multi-line text file into the search box, too.
  • Filter Keywords – if you’re fortunate enough to get too many suggestions from the tool, this setting could help you out. Here, you can filter your suggestions by total number of searches, competition level, average CPC, or search share. This way, you can narrow down your results to only the highest search volume, or keywords that are within your CPC budget.

Now that you know the basics and some advanced options, let’s talk about a couple of Google Keyword Tool hacks that can help you take your research to the next level.

Hack #1 – If you download your data into an Excel spreadsheet, your Local Search Trends data changes from an unlabeled bar graph into hard numbers. This is going to give you a better analysis than some green rectangles.

Hack #2 – Notepad is your friend. If you’re analyzing a lot of keywords at once, just type in all the keywords you want to research into a .txt document (one per line). Then, you can just cut and paste this into your keyword search box. For best results, make sure that under the “Show results for” option you have the “Ideas containing my search terms” button selected.

Hack #3 – Google Insights For Search is integrated into this tool. Use it. To find more search data about a particular keyword, click the magnifying glass icon next to the keyword suggestion:

Insights For Search Integration

With one click, you’re on the Google Insights For Search analysis for that keyword, which should offer you up more detailed search volume and seasonal trends on that particular keyword. You should already be using Insights For Search as part of your keyword research, but this integration just makes it easier.

That about wraps it up. Anyone else have some cool hacks for the keyword tool? Let’s hear about them in the comments.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
This entry was posted in Google AdWords, Keywords, PPC Tools and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Using The Google Keyword Tool Like A Pro (Part 2)

  1. Ryan says:

    Great tips, Shawn. Keyword research is so important for all aspects of internet marketing and most people don’t go the extra mile and do keyword research like a pro (tips that you had provided.)

    Keep up the great work.


  2. Hans says:

    I’m not too crazy about using the new Keyword Tool from Google for keyword research. The best keyword research I think comes from Google Suggest.

    In fact, we’re offering a free software tool that scrapes Google Suggest from our blog.

    You can download it for free here: