SEO Basics: Using Google Keyword Tool To Get Traffic For Your Blog or Website

Posted by – March 17, 2011

If you want to get search engine traffic to your blog or website, you need to write articles containing stuff that people are actually searching for. Fascinating Experiments presents a quick getting-started guide to using Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool to do just that.

Important Information About This Article

I now believe that this article contains a basic error, repeated from other similar articles. The ‘competition’ column in the keyword tool does not in fact tell you how many other websites are competing for the given key phrase. It tells you how many other advertisers are competing for that key phrase.

If you are a website publisher and not an advertiser, you probably want competition to be high, not low!!! I apologise to anyone who was misled by the original article, which you can still read below. In fact, if you want to know how many websites are competing for a given key phrase, you have to click on the phrase to do a Google search. Presumably you would want the number of competing websites to be as low as possible.

I suggest ignoring the competition column, enabling only CPC (cost per click) and clicking on the phrase link to judge how many competing websites there are for the phrase you’re targeting.

That said, I can attest from personal experience that if you follow the recipe below, it will tend to bring people to your site. But I now think that the information presented below about competition is erroneous.

That said, on to the (erroneous) main article ….

Every day millions of people are typing millions of words and phrases into Google. If you want the page you’ve just created to appear prominently in those search results, what do you have to do? Let’s say you’ve got an online art shop, and you want as many people as possible to find your article promoting your latest art sale. Your first thought might be: — use the phrase ‘art sale’ in the article title and repeat it as much as possible throughout the article; then people typing in ‘art sale’ will find your article. Right?

Let’s go to the keyword tool and check it out. Be sure to create a free Google account and actually sign in to the keyword tool (see the links in the upper-right corner) if you haven’t already; the tool only shows full results for registered users.

First, click the columns button and make sure Global monthly searches and Competition are both checked. Also make sure Only show ideas closely related to my search terms is checked.

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Type in ‘art sale’ and click search. This is what you get:

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You can see that 165,000 people are searching for art sale in Google per month. That’s lots of people! But here’s the problem: look at the bar under the competition heading. It’s more than half full! That means that lots of other sites are also offering what you’re offering. Your art sale page will be buried under established art sale pages.

We need to include phrases in the title and body of the page that people are searching for, but that don’t have huge competition. That way there’s a good chance that people will find your new page.

Uncheck the Only show ideas closely related to my search terms checkbox, then click search again.

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Now we can see a list of phrases related to art sale that people are searching for, with varying amounts of competition and monthly traffic.

Click the competition heading to sort in order of competition.

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These are all very high competition phrases; they are no use to us. Click the competition heading again to sort in order of competition from least to most competition.

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Much better!! Now we’re seeing lists of key phrases that have very low competition. For instance, we can see that 49,500 people a month are searching for art gallery painting, but the phrase doesn’t have very much competition.

You can click on the phrase itself to see a list of websites related to that search term.

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Of course, if you title your page art gallery painting: art sale online, or some such phrase containing art gallery painting, many of the people who find your page won’t want to buy your art; they’ll just be looking for information on art galleries.

This is the challenge of SEO (search engine optimisation). Find key phrases that correctly describe the subject of your page, that have fairly low competition from other sites, and that plenty of people are searching for every month.

Clearly various strategies are possible here, bearing in mind that it takes time to get traffic to a website.

For instance, if you run an art gallery, you could regularly write 250-300 word articles on art-related subjects, with the title of your articles based on good key phrases. Make sure that each article has a strong chance of actually providing people with the information or services that they’re searching for; for instance, if you title a page Oil Art Paintings, really provide people with information about oil art paintings, or offer to sell them oil art paintings, depending on what you think those people are really searching for.

If the titles of your pages are irrelevant to what people actually want, people will simply leave your site immediately and make a mental note not to visit it again. Neither will anyone link to your site, and you need inbound links to bump you up in Google’s search results.

If your aim is to build a really popular site, not only do you need to provide good, relevant content focused around good key phrases, but you might also want to consider posting regularly, since search engines love regularly-updated sites. Some bloggers post two or three 250-300 word articles per day; others write longer articles less often. But you don’t necessarily need to do either of these; if your aim is simply to get a small steady stream of targeted visitors (visitors who actually want the product or service that you provide), just posting one good page a week for a few months might do the trick. But if you want great search engine results, or you want visitors as quickly as possible, keep the above ideas in mind.

The key phrases you choose need to be in the title of your article; it’s also good to use them in headings or in bold elsewhere in your article. But don’t go overboard, or your article will look weird and read like a scam page, and people will avoid it (as will Google!). Keep your articles’ titles, headings and content focused around good key phrases, with relevant content, and in time you can get the traffic you need.

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2 Comments on SEO Basics: Using Google Keyword Tool To Get Traffic For Your Blog or Website

  1. Orsi says:

    This is a really useful post. Köszönöm! :-)

  2. Squiffy says:

    As an example of how quickly this can work, I created an article on Monday for a one-month-old programming website, based around a keyphrase that 400 people a month search for but that registers as 0 competition in the keyword search tool. Already on Tuesday someone found the article through Google, and today I see it comes up as the 13th result in Google for that phrase. Clearly this one article won’t pull in hundreds of visitors, but once the site has a good collection of such articles, I hope and expect to see some good traffic. I also have my URLs configured so that the article keywords appear in the URL, and I have an automatic XML sitemap that allows Google to find site updates — both of these extremely easy to configure in WordPress.

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