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The Righteous Path to Keyword Research

SEO is one of the most popular and cost-efficient ways of increasing your website's search engine visibility. Search engine users typically only click the website listings that appear near the top of the first page results. And depending on the nature of a user's keyword search, even the paid (Pay Per Click advertising) listings above the organic search results are being overlooked.

Although there are various types of search engine results (with more/less paid ads, Google Places, or Google "enhanced local listings,") the organic listings are among the most respected for users to find quality content to meet their needs. Because of this, the process of keyword research is integral aspect of SEO that must be done correctly.

Seeking Keyword Enlightenment

The goal of keyword research is pinpoint the right keywords for SEO. To find the ideal keyword targets, you will need to perform keyword research using Google's Keyword Tool.

Although the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is designed for Pay Per Click advertisers, it is also an important tool for organic SEO keyword research. This tool indicates the traffic volume (number of searches) that have been queried for specific keywords. But what is even nicer about Google's Keyword Tool is the insights the tool offers in finding new keyword ideas for SEO.

The Traffic Estimator tool in AdWords is another great resource to narrow in on traffic volumes for your keyword targets. Although the Traffic Estimator does not offer insights for new keyword ideas, it is known to provide more accurate traffic volumes for keywords.

We suggest using both of these tools in conjunction for keyword research. First determine the types of keywords that you find most valuable (suing the Keyword Tool), and revert to the Traffic Estimator to drill down on specific volumes.

Understanding Keyword Match Types

It is very important to know that while using AdWords Keyword Tool, there are various filters that produce very different traffic volumes. Located on the left hand side of the AdWords Keyword Tool is the keyword matching filter which allows users to filter the keywords for Broad, "Phrase," and [Exact] keyword matching.

Under the broad match setting, the results shows traffic volume for not only the keyword phrase that you have submitted, but also broadly related keywords. The vastness of broad matching is not clearly defined, so the traffic volumes can be vary open-ended and questionable. For example, the world "military" may also include broad phrase matches for "army", "navy", "air force", etc. For this reason, we recommend not performing keyword research under the broad match setting.

A more precise setting under the keyword match types filter is the [Exact] option. This will allow you to determine the precise traffic volumes for only the exact keyword phrase that you have entered into the tool. This eliminates any ambiguity and enables you to conduct quality keyword research for SEO. In essence, this primary path to take for righteous keyword researching.

Under the "Advanced Search" section of the AdWords Keyword Tool, there are additional settings that you may want to consider while performing keyword research. For instance, if you specific a certain location or set the results to specific language, you can better analyze the traffic volumes for select areas. This is particularly important for Google Places optimization and local search engine optimization.

Do you have any other tips or pieces of advice while conducting keyword research? Let us know in the comments section below.

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