When doing keyword research for SEO it is very important to access the most accurate data possible. Otherwise, all of your hard work may be for not. It’s not uncommon for inbound marketers to hand over a long list of keywords with search data attached to them and the data is completely wrong. It’s a simple mistake that can easily be made.
While Google is not the only source of keyword data for SEO research, it is certainly the most widely used. Many of the other tools available to do keyword search research actually tap into Google’s data so there’s a good chance that whatever tool you’re using the data source is the same. When a user of the Google Keyword Tool types in a word or phrase Google will provide a Pay Per Click (PPC) competition score, number of global monthly searches and number of local (US) monthly searches. These numbers are rounded and the website is marketed as a PPC tool.
Cynics will say that Google’s numbers are inflated because they have a vested interest in providing large numbers in order to convince would-be Adwords customers to sign up. There may be some truth to this, but it’s still the best data set available and the claim is nearly impossible to prove.
The number one mistake made by marketers when conducting keyword research for SEO or PPC is to NOT check the [Exact] box in the Google Keyword Tool. By default, the Broad box is checked. Results from the Broad selection contain numbers which include any variation of the keyword phrase and/or any searched phrase which contains the words typed into the tool.
For example, if the word New York Plumber is placed in the tool and the Broad box is checked, the data set returned will include search data from phrases like New York City Plumber, New York Industrial Plumber, and Industrial Plumbers Upstate New York. This mistake can make keywords appear to have thousands of more searches than they actually have.
It is very important for inbound marketers doing SEO keyword research to have the best data set available to them in order to make targeted decisions. The conclusions made from the data can have a lasting impact on a business’s revenue. Therefore, conducting SEO keyword research with the [Exact] box checked in the Google Keyword Tool is necessary to properly plan, execute and track SEO and inbound marketing.