Keyword Research for Inbound Marketing with Google Insights

Keyword Research for Inbound Marketing with Google Insights

By Guest BloggerMar 19 /2012

Keyword Research Google InsightsKeyword 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.

ActionGoogle Keyword ToolGoogle Insights
search volume displayed as specific numbers (estimates) trending (line graph)
geography 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?

  • Visit Google Insights
  • Enter those three phrases
  • Choose the “United States” as a filter
  • Click “search”

Here’s what you’ll see...

Keyphrase Trending

Google insights graph
Yellow line: “internet marketing”
Blue line: “web marketing”
Red Line: “digital 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”

Google insights map 1
“Web Marketing” search popularity across the US: Search volume is distributed relatively evenly.

  • “Digital Marketing”

Google insights map 2
“Digital Marketing” search popularity across the US: Mostly in states with major metropolises

  • “Internet Marketing”

Google insights map 3

“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.

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.

Andy CrestodinaAndy Crestodina is the co-founder and Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a Chicago web development company. He speaks frequently on topics ranging from Internet marketing to content marketing. You can find Andy on and Twitter.

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