Once you've developed your list of key words and phrases and gotten the big picture with Google Trends, you're ready to find out what the millions of internet users are actually searching for in your subject area. One of the best ways to do that is to use the Keyword Tool offered by Google's Adwords. Because it's offered by Google, and because Google is by far the most-used search engine, you get up to the minute results showing every imaginable search term. It even includes mis-spellings and words you may not have thought of. Most importantly, the results show what people are actually searching for rather than what you may think they're searching for. This is truly helpful ... we think it's better to be rich than to be right.
For most topics, the keyword tool will give you a huge list (around 800 results). You can sort the list by most searched, local searches (this is the one we use most often, because it shows what people in the US are searching for), and several other very helpful criteria. It's easy to download this list into Excel or some other data management format to help you collate the results.
So how are you ever going to optimize your site for 800 words and phrases? You're not. Almost nobody has the resources to optimize that many terms, and the good news is that most of us will do very well by focusing on the top ten or so words and phrases (more about that in a future post).
By the way, opening an Adwords account is free. Just Google "Adwords." You'll find the Adwords site in the organic listings at this address: https://accounts.google.com/ Pretty neat, huh?
At this point you should have a better idea of which keywords to use, based on the amount of traffic that each one is generating. Another tool to evaluate what keywords and phrases you should use is the Traffic Estimator within Google Adwords. We'll talk more about that in a future post.