Writing a book about working online can be a little tricky – because all websites are ever evolving and rapidly changing. In the final days of writing my book How to Start a Home-based Etsy Business
and right before it went to press (which sold out the first printing!?!), Google made changes to their Adwords Keyword Tool. Although it’s pretty similar to before, it was hard to write about these changes because it was so new there was relatively little information about it out there. Now that I’ve had a few months to use it, and I’ve gotten tons of emails about it, I thought it was time to finally write a blog post about how to use it.
I know this information will only be pertain to bloggers, Etsy sellers, or anyone who runs a website of some kind. I know (because so many of you were so awesome to take my reader survey) that you come here for DIY/decorating & all things home related. So those who don’t need the info bear with me, and tomorrow we’ll talk about rugs or lamps or something.
So first things first – why do you need it? Well that’s simple – to help your SEO so you get found in search engines. (If you have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about, there’s a huge section in my book all about SEO.)
Start by going to the website: Adwords.Google.com. You’ll need a Google account (and you probably already have one) so log in to get started.
When the tool comes up, type the keywords you’d like to search in the first box under “YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE”. Be as to the point as possible. If you are searching for the search stats on table runners, then use “table runners” as your keyword. If you’re not exactly sure, then ask your friends/spouse/someone else to see what words they’d use to find the product/information.
When your words are typed in, scroll down just a bit until you get to the bottom of the box, where you’ll see the words “GET IDEAS” – click on it to open up the results.
When the results are displayed, you’ll see two tabs – to get to the best results you’ll need to click on “KEYWORD IDEAS” which is not the default setting. After the Adwords Keyword Tool page opens, you’ll see a huge list of keywords.
The results will be almost overwhelming, but you’re looking for two main things: a high number of Avg. Monthly Searches plus a low Competition rate. You can click the words on the categories to sort the results by those criteria.
If you click on the Avg. Monthly Searches tab once, it will show from most to least, which keywords get the most traffic. If you click on Competition, it will list them from highest to lowest, click again and it will revert them from lowest to highest (which is what you want – so be sure to click twice.)
Average Monthly Searches means how many times people “Google” that term within a month.
Competition means how often those words are used online. High means theres a TON of folks using those keywords and your chances of being seen are kinda slim. If you choose a Low rate, your chances of being found in a search engine (whether it’s Google or Etsy) are much higher, because you don’t have as many websites to compete with.
If you can find keywords with over 5,000 searches and a low competition rate – you’re in good shape. If you find ones with over 50,000 searches and low competition – you’re in GOLDEN territory.
The hardest part of the whole process is to try every single combination of words you can think of to describe what you’re offering (whether it’s the name of a product or the subject of a blog post.) Either way, using this tool will help you to understand. Just keep trying, you’ll eventually find the best choice for you.