For optimal rankings in the SERPs, it is important to ensure that a web page contains a number of highly searched phrases, or “keywords” related to the topic of the page. To find out which keywords relating to your topic are getting the highest amount of searches there is an excellent free to use site provided by Google called the Google Ads Keyword Tool, hereafter referred to as the GKT. (Visit the website located at: //adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)
For a basic search (which automatically includes synonyms of the term you are checking) simply enter the term you wish to check in the box labeled “Word or phrase (one per line) as shown below.
For this type of basic search, leave the “Website” box blank, as this will provide search data based on the keywords of the site in question, not overall search volumes on the web at large. For this example, I will use the term “Car Accident Lawyer” (which we utilize nearly every day here at ConsultWebs.com).
After hitting the “Search” button a list of results populates the lower half of the screen that will look like this: (cropped to the first 12 results for this example)
As you can see, the closest related keywords to the term typed into the box previously appear at the top of the list. They are, by default, listed in order of how closely the keyword related to the term that was typed into the box. However, there are occasionally oddballs in the list such as the above “medical malpractice lawyer” term, which is probably only on the list due to personal injury lawyer sites listing all their practice areas on their pages.
There are also several columns listed with various data. The ones we want to concentrate on specifically for our basic search are the “Local Monthly Searches.” Our default “local” area is the entire United States, but you can change that under “Advanced Options” if you ever have an international site to work on.
It is also worth noting that the individual columns can have their headers clicked to list the results in a descending or ascending order by their results numbers. I do this often to check which terms have the highest “Local Monthly Searches” to ensure that I am using the best terms for SEO on the page I’m working on. For this example, when sorted by this column, the terms “Injury Lawyer” and “Injury Attorney” rise to the top of the list, as expected by the fact that they are very broad terms. However, our term of Car Accident Lawyer (90,500 searches) still outshines all the other very close synonyms such as “car accident attorney” and “auto accident lawyer” (both with 60,500 searches) and certainly more than “auto accident attorney” (49,500).
Some terms that we might normally use in our lists of synonyms, such as “vehicle accident lawyer” don’t even appear on the first page of results – and a question you may be wondering is – “Do we even want to use these terms when we create content/meta tags/anchor text/etc?” The short answer is yes, because of the long tail – but we certainly want to be aware of making sure that they stay true to appearing in the same amount of frequency as they are being searched. For example, if I am writing title tags for 10 pages on car accident injury, I will probably use the term “Car Accident” on every single tag, because it is the top searched term – but I may only use “Vehicle Wreck” on a couple of the pages as a secondary term just to draw some of those long tail searches to the site.
While the GKT is an excellent tool, it is ultimately not the final say for how you want to structure every single thing you place on a web page you create. There are a host of other factors that need to be kept in mind when creating any sort of page – you do not simply want to create a list of keywords, what you would ultimately like to create is something that contains well optimized keywords, but is also readable, usable, understandable, and creates curiosity or interest in your topic.