What’s the Google Keyword Tool?

This article provides you with a tutorial on how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. If you want to see a tutorial on my personal favorite keyword search tool, then click here.

Keyword research is one of the first steps to laying the foundation of your successful online business. Making “educated” guesses at what people are typing into the search engines is like trying to shoot an apple with a medieval crossbow 100 yards away. Information Symbol

You’ll need something more accurate to help you find good-quality key phrases.

This is where keyword research tools comes in. These tools will give you a clearer picture of what users are typing into their searches.

They also provide you information on how often a keyword is used, and its traffic potential. You can also learn how competitive a key phrase is.

Basically, a keyword search tool provides you with a wealth of information on which keywords to keep, or to toss.

The goal is to find the “low hanging fruit.” In other words: Look for keywords that are used often in the search engines but few-to-no other websites have discovered. This is very important when building your website.

Being the new kid on the block, you’ll want to keep the competition as low as possible. Your new site won’t rank right away because it has to earn trust with search engines like Google. Build your trust by constantly updating your site with high-quality content articles/blog posts around your keywords.

Keywords Research Scenario

For the sake of this tutorial, let’s say you’re an avid bowler. You have a lot of knowledge about the sport, and you want to monetize a website by promoting bowling balls (these can price over $300 by the way). For this scenario we’ll use the keyword “bowling balls.”

Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!

Steps to Keyword Research

Below is a brief outline on how to perform your keyword research.

  1. Gather keyword ideasKeyword research checklist
  2. Refine your keywords
  3. Check keyword relevancy
  4. Determine traffic potential
  5. Determine competition
  6. Create content

Now, let’s go into more detail.

Step 1: Gathering Your Ideas

Alright, find something to jot your ideas on. A spreadsheet usually works best for this. If you don’t have spreadsheet software, then you can download the Apache Open Office suite, or use Google Sheets. These a free alternatives to Microsoft Office.

Brainstorm a list of keywords. At this point you’re going to make educated guesses, and that’s perfectly fine. Think like a consumer. Let your ideas flow as naturally and freely as possible. Write/type your key phrases down.

If you’re having trouble with this step, then you can use a method we over at Wealthy Affiliate like to call, “The Alphabet Soup Technique.”

How to Use the Alphabet Soup Technique

Open up a private/incognito window, and go to the Google search page. If you want, you can clear your web cache and history for good measure. Now type, “bowling balls” into the search bar. Do you notice how Google came up with other suggestions related to that keyword?

Instant in actionGoogle Instant

This little feature is called Google Instant. It tries to predict the next word you’ll type into the search bar.

To use the alphabet soup technique, type the letter “a” after the words “bowling ball.” Notice how Google Instant gave you another list of keywords. Now, delete “a”, and type “b.” Delete “b” then type “c,” and so forth. Each letter will result in a new list of suggestions. This technique will help you brainstorm possible key phrases for your niche.Alphabet Soup Technique Google is secretive on how Instant actually works. Many say it’s based on real-time searches from other users, while others say it’s localized to your own personal searches. From my personal experience, I tend to lean towards Google Instant pulling its data from the searches from others.

Either way, using the Alphabet Soup Technique in conjunction with Google Instant will help you brainstorm many different keyword possibilities.

Step 2: Refining Your List

Sign into Google Adwords. If you don’t have a Google account, then create one. You’ll need it to access the Keyword Planner. Once you’re in, select the first option: “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.”

Choose the Top OptionType your keyword into the text box. You can enter multiple keywords on separate lines. For now we’ll just type “bowling balls.”

Keyword Planner text boxClick the “Keyword ideas” tab, and you’ll see a list of keyword suggestions. These phrases are what users are typing in their searches. This list will give you extremely valuable information about your niche, what kind of articles/blog posts to write, and your competition.

The keywords in the screenshot below are sorted by “Competition.” The screenshot is cut short, but there are a total of 800 possible keywords. If you’re following along, then scroll down to see the what the keyword tool came up with.

Keywords sorted

Step 3: Are the Keyword Suggestions Relevant?

Look through the list of suggestions. Determine if the key phrases are relevant to your niche. Your results will most likely include phrases which are irrelevant to what you’re promoting. Find keywords which are most closely related to your niche.

Keyword Column Highlighted

Step 4: Determine Traffic Potential

Look at the “Avg. monthly searches” column. The more searches a keyword has the better. Choose phrases which at least have a minimum of 50 searches per month.

Monthly search of keyword phrase

Step 5: Determine Your Competition

Find out how many websites are competing for the exact key phrase you found. The keyword planner will indicate if the competition is “Low,” “Medium,” or “High” in the “Competition” column. This is all well and good, but finding an exact number will help you find keywords with the lowest competing websites.

At this point you should have a list of low-competition keywords along with their monthly searches.

"How to choose a bowling ball" keyword

Suppose you chose “how to choose a bowling ball” from your list of phrases. You want to find how many websites are competing for that exact key phrase.

Find How Many Websites Are Competing For an Exact Key Phrase

Open a new private/incognito tab, and go to the Google search page. Type the phrase “how to choose a bowling ball” in double quotes.

At first you’ll see a large number of search results. Ignore them. Keep going through the SERP (search engine results page) until you’ve reached the end. You’ll see a much smaller number. This number represents the number of webpages and videos which are competing for this exact keyword.

As a rule of thumb, use keywords with less than 300 competing websites. According to the picture below, the keyword “how to choose a bowling ball” has only 87 competing websites. That’s a great number!

Competing websites pic

Step 6: Create Content

Now that you know how many websites you’re competing with, your job is to outdo your competitors. Create an article/blog post discussing a variety of topics. You can elaborate on topics such as, which weight to use, the bowling ball’s composition, and the composition of it’s core.

You can even discuss whether to go with standard finger holes, semi-fingertip, or full-fingertip. If you’re promoting a specific brand and type of bowling ball, then this is where you’d do it.


Google’s Keyword Planner is a decent tool to use if you’re on a budget. It gets the job done, and will help you look for low-competition keywords to use in your articles/blogs. It’s not as powerful as my search tool of choice, but hey, it’s free!

Wait a Second! Who Uses Quotation Marks Around Their Keywords?

Well, practically no one. Quoted searches are very useful if you’re looking for an exact match for a specific key phrase. I use them quite frequently, even when I’m not mining for keyword ideas. However, quoted searches are rarely used by the average user, if at all.

The point of using a quoted search as an affiliate/online marketer is to determine if a keyword is viable. It’s an invaluable search technique in determining if your site can rank with a key phrase. This is a useful step in researching keywords.

Questions or Comments?

I hope you found this tutorial useful! If you have any questions then comments on how to perform keyword research, then I’d love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “What’s the Google Keyword Tool?

  1. GREAT post Chris! very well written and super easy to read, after reading this I feel super familiar with Googles Keyword planner. Well Done!

    Love the topic example Bowling balls, they are very close to me heart. I was a Div 2 bowler up until kids come into my life haha. (bit off topic but, hey!!)

    Cheers – John

    • Thanks John!

      I’m glad you found it simple to follow!

      I used to be on a Junior League bowling when I was in high-school. I don’t bowl as much as I used to, but still enjoy it when I get the chance.


  2. Hi
    Excellent post. Feels like I actually understand how to work with keywords. And most important how to find good keywords that represents what i try to get across to the people searching for things that I write about myself. A very good walk through in my opinion.

    I will return if ever I get stuck in keywords optimization and also a page I can recomend for others.

    Would you say that working through google adwords is better/easier than Jaaxy?


    • Hey Per,


      Google Adwords will get the job done, and it will work well enough for people who are on a budget. You can find decent keywords, and it will give you good information if you want to start your own PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign. Google’s Keyword Planner is not bad once you learn how to use it. However, you’ll quickly start noticing its limits.

      I find Jaaxy MUCH easier to use, even with all of its features. I discovered its true potential after watching the training videos found on the site. These videos combined are a little over an hour long, and provide you with a more in-depth explanation about Jaaxy’s features than my tutorial. You won’t have to invest a lot of time figuring out how everything works.

      I guess the only drawback about Jaaxy is that you have to pay in order to fully appreciate it. I’m all about the free stuff, but you get what you pay for…in most cases, lol. With that said, I still HIGHLY recommend Jaaxy.


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