If you want clients to find you online, you may already know that a big factor in successful search engine marketing (SEM) is keyword selection. Now,if you’re not a techie, your eyes may already be glazing over, but stay with me—I promise, this is going to be painless! Empowering yourself with just a little bit of keyword knowledge can help you get found and enable your business to thrive.
Let’s start with some basics: Keywords are the words and phrases that your potential customers are typing into Google. If you can optimize your website and target pay-per-click (PPC) marketing for the right keywords, you’re findable! If not, potential clients will never get to your website—and you may be shelling out a big portion of your marketing budget with no inbound leads to show for it. That means good SEM includes doing some smart keyword research.
Start with this amazing, refreshingly intuitive tool called Keywords Everywhere (you can sign up for free—who doesn’t love free?—at https://keywordseverywhere.com/). Essentially, this tool integrates keyword data into your Google search results (and more). It’s a total game changer!
Once you install the extension, go to Google and type in a keyword or key phrase to see how it works. Underneath your keyword search, you’ll see three metrics appear:
This tells you how many people are searching for this particular keyword. For example, if you search the phrase “Search Engine Optimization,” you’ll see that, over the past year, there have been an average of 823,000 searches for that phrase per month. By default, the tool shows you global data. If you’re only targeting users in a certain country, you can easily change the settings to only see search volume for that country.
CPC stands for cost per click, or the cost that Google AdWords advertisers are paying each time a searcher clicks on their ad. This metric is important because some keywords are extremely expensive. For example, if you want your website to show up in the sponsored results when a Google user searches “insurance,” you can expect to pay over $50 per click! (Yikes! Most keywords, fortunately, cost far less.) You’ll need to weigh the CPC of a keyword against the likelihood you’ll be able to convert a searcher into a customer based on it—so it’s vital that you’re not paying to advertise based on keywords that are irrelevant or only somewhat relevant to what your business offers.
This metric lets you see how many other advertisers are running ads on Google for the keyword you are considering. It’s expressed as a decimal between0 and 1. So when you see that “internet marketing” has a competition of 0.33, that means that more advertisers are running ads for that keyword than for “web marketing,” which has a competition of 0.31. You don’t necessarily want to choose keywords with lower competition—after all, lower competition may mean users aren’t searching for a keyword as frequently—but you can use that information to make smart decisions when allocating your PPC dollars.
Continuing with the theme of simple to use, the tool also displays two helpful widgets on the right side of your search: “Related Keywords” and “People Also Search For.” In these widgets, you can view the volume, CPC, and competition for numerous similar keywords to help you compare and contrast.
Keywords Everywhere doesn’t stop there, either. Living up to its name, it also shows keyword search data on sites other than Google. The current list of 16 supported sites includes Bing, Amazon, Etsy, YouTube, and more. And if you highlight and right click any keyword or phrase on any website, you can collect the search data without ever leaving the site. It’s seriously so cool!
For years, SEMrush has been my star tool. But it’s pricey and has a learning curve. With Keywords Everywhere, we’ve found the holy grail of keyword research: a tool that’s easy and free. Oh, and not only is it free to install, there are also no expensive monthly subscription fees like there are for many SEM tools, and that’s definitely worth celebrating.