Monday, July 23, 2012

How to use Google's Adwords Keyword Tool for SEO Research

As of September 1, 2013, Google's Keyword Planner replaced Google's Keyword Research Tool.  Go to to see Google's general guidelines for using the new Keyword Planner.  FYI: the Exact Search counts, which have always been so important to choosing good keywords for natural organic Google SEO, are no longer available.  

 If you find that the new Google Keyword Planner is too complex to figure out, try jaaxy at or Keyword Discovery at Both of these Keyword Research tools are much easier to use then Google's Keyword Planner, both come with either a free trial or a smaller free version of the tool and both tools give many excellent alternate keyword suggestions.

Why use an external Keyword Research tool when Etsy makes keyword suggestions for each Relevancy search on Etsy? The keyword suggestions on Etsy are limited to a very short list with no information provided that includes search volume or the number of searches per day, month or year. The external Keyword Research tools give several hundred alternate keyword suggestions along with search counts or search volumes within a specific time period. 



This post is a followup to my earlier post today about SEO Basics

Before even trying to use Google's Keyword Tool, take the time to brainstorm for ideas with friends, family and even post a thread in this forum asking for ideas for different ways to describe your work. It's not always a good idea to only ask other Etsy sellers since most tend to think like the artist or craftsperson and not a like a shopper.

Once you have a good list to work from, Go to
(there is more than one Google Adwords Keyword Tool and this is the one I have found to be the most accurate in displaying the monthly counts)

Enter your list of keywords in the "Word or phrase" box, one keyword phrase per line, such as,
handmade jewelry
handmade gemstone jewelry
sterling silver jewelry

Do not enter anything in the Web site box (this creates a filter that keeps Google from displaying many potential keyword phrases)

Do not enter anything in the Category box.

On the left side, uncheck the Broad Match box, and check the Exact Match box (the Exact Match is the only one that gives counts for each keyword phrase exactly as shown).

Enter the encoded characters shown to verify that you are not a spammer or an automated tool.

Click the Search button.

For each Keyword or Keyword phrase you entered in the "Word or phrase box," Google will display:
- Competition - (this is only for Google Adwords and not important unless you are planning on using Google Adwords)
- Number of Global Monthly Searches (this is good to know for Etsy since Etsy sells globally)
- Number of Local Monthly Searches (this is the number in the country you are searching from)

Below the data on your keywords, Google will display a list of up to 100 Keyword Ideas. You should look through this list for other good keyword ideas that you can use in your shop, sections or listings.

Once you compile a second list of good keyword ideas, go back with each keyword phrase that you really like and enter that one alone in the Word or phrase box and check the box for "Only show ideas closely related to my search terms." Look through the new list of keyword ideas to find other potential keyword ideas.

The list of suggested keywords will display in Relevance sequence. Select other sequences, such as, Local Search, to see more potential keywords that might not show up on the Relevancy results.

Select the "Advanced Options and Filters" and make sure you are getting search counts for the United States, unless you really do want to see the search counts for whatever country you are in.

These steps will make more sense when you go through them with your keyword lists.

Plan on spending a few or more hours digging for the best keywords.

Plan on going through these Keyword research steps every now and then. Practice and experience are the best way to learn how to find great keywords.

Shoppers tend to become very specific in their use of keywords when they are ready to buy. Shoppers might browse for a while through all the necklaces looking for ideas but when ready to buy will use detailed keyword phrases such as,

blue beaded long necklace
peridot stud earrings
vintage 1950s prom dress
letterpress birthday card

Be specific when choosing at least some of your keywords. These more targeted keyword phrases work much better for sales.

I like to download the keyword lists from Google onto my computer and use Excel to work with the lists. Click the Download button to download to your own computer or open directly with Excel.

SEO and Relevancy Guide Books

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