Keyword research is the starting point for many new websites, geolocal campaigns, PPC, microsites, content marketing and any good SEO campaign. There are many tools, paid and non-paid, for Internet professionals to use. There are also different philosophies and approaches on how to do keyword research. Below compares two of the most popular free tools, articulates how they complement each other and recommends strategies for using them.
Google Keyword Tool Suggests many phrases and shows estimate numbers for monthly search volume (how many people are searching for the phrase) in the US and around the world.
Google Insights Shows trending for specific phrases over time. It allows comparison of phrases and also suggests a few phrases.
Google Keyword Tool
search volume displayed as
specific numbers (estimates)
trending (line graph)
US (local) and world (global)
countries, states, metro areas
The Keyword Tool is your bread and butter for research, but Google Insights compliments it well. Here are two ways you can use them together.
Suppose you’re a web design company and you’re creating a page about a new service for marketing your clients’ websites. But do you call it web marketing, digital marketing or Internet marketing?
You can see that sometime last summer, “digital marketing” became a more popular phrase than “web marketing.” Had you researched these phrases a year ago using only Google Keyword Tool, you may have concluded that “web marketing” is a better phrase than “digital marketing.”
Seeing the trend, especially with the forecast, it’s clear which of the two is the more popular phrase. Keyphrase trend lines can display surprising results.
Tip: Seasonality. Since the data goes back to 2004, you can see seasonal trends for various phrases. You’ll notice that some phrases have seasonality and in some cases the spikes can be dramatic.
Check Geographic Differences
“Web Marketing” search popularity across the US: Search volume is distributed relatively evenly.
“Digital Marketing” search popularity across the US: Mostly in states with major metropolises
“Internet Marketing” search popularity across the US: Florida and Nevada are over-represented.
Conclusion? Start an internet marketing company in Nevada.
I’m kidding. Going back to the page you’re planning to write, consider using the targeted keyphrase “internet marketing.” But if the phrase is too competitive, or if you're looking for a secondary phrase, target “digital marketing.” Adjust based on your state or metro area.
Takeaway Although you may not check all your target phrases this way, always check your main phrases. If it’s a keyphrase for a blog post? Maybe not. But a phrase for your home page, services pages, product pages? Absolutely!
Target phrases that are trending up whenever possible
Target phrases that are popular in your region whenever possible
If you have questions about Google Insights, or keyphrase research in general, feel free to send us a tweet or leave a comment below.