There are two very powerful tools offered by google that you can use for the keyword research purposes. One is Google Search based Keyword Tool and other is Google Adwords Keyword Tool. There are two versions in google adwords tool one is internal that you can use with an Adwords account and one is External Google Adwords Keyword Tool that anyone can use even without registering a google account.
Internal Adwords tool has many advantage compared to the one used as an External tool but for the time being we need to learn and concentrate on the external tool and how we can use it to manipulate search results as well as exploring other niches that are there unexplored. One of the basic usage of this tool is to learn about potential domains that are available in a particular niche apart from regular keyword research and stuff.
Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool
There are few advantages direct and indirect of using this tool to research about potential domains available rather than other websites that you check your domain with. First is that if security is not proper on the website where you search about an available domain name, it might be leaked and lost even before you can register it. Big registrars don’t face this problem but it is there with smaller ones. So we are going to learn more about features and advantages of using Google Adwords External Keyword Research Tool and how to use it for Search Engine Optimization in general and to book a niche domain name in particular.
Few years back I was doing the keyword research for one of my website where I used to publish information and updates about the services offered by Indian Railways, my offerings included every kind of rich and text media that I collected, studied, modified and worked upon according to my own needs. But the most important of them all was the ‘keyword’ in my domain name and proper use of them in ‘text’ articles and information that was retrievable in text from by both ‘search engine’ spiders and humans.
Inside view of a Statcounter Traffic Report
I was blissfully unaware about Google Analytics at that time and was using some other free and paid services available for the tracking of my webpages and analyzing them. One such service was Statcounter‘s free account. Though there were few limitations like I can not keep log for more than 500 entries and once they are deleted can not use them for analysis on long term basis. Only numbers were available but no the actual data. There were few advantages though that it tracked my webpages live and was able to see the activity on my pages almost in real time (Google Analytics still doesn’t offer it). Though it was not very useful for the long term keyword research and knowing/understanding the keyword trends.
Still today Statcounter doesn’t offer more than 500 log entries for free accounts and Google Analytics doesn’t offer live traffic analysis of the webpages, but there are few things that make Google Analytics slightly more useful a service compared to Statcounter. It is a good idea to keep record of the keywords that send you some traffic 3 weeks ago, 3 moths ago as well as 3 years ago as it offers great insights into the trends. Google Analytics wins here and of course the service is free. You also may integrate it with your Google Adwords account if you want to use SEM services offered by google in future.
Now back to the case we were talking about on SEO and usefulness of long term analysis of the keyword trends that may help you sustain your search engine rank for long time. My domain was placed on the first page of the google for keywords like ‘indian railways’, ‘indiarail’, ‘indian railways ticket booking’, etc. At that time I didn’t even aware about the Search Engine Optimization and SEM and never knew that such thins exists that can help me boost my rankings in Search Engines. I also was unaware about my placement in the search results until I started using Google Adsense and earned a bit because of that Indian Railways website.
That was the first time when I realized the power of better search engine rankings and how it can be useful to professional bloggers and small webmasters. After that I started studying about Search Engine Optimization in particular and Search Engines in general to utilize its power for running professional websites. It is very important to understand how major search engines like Google and Yahoo works and operates in order to understand Search Engine Optimization and ranking better in search results.
In my previous post about Google Analytics we discussed how we can create an account with Google Analytics and can add tracking code to our website. Once we have tracking code in our website we start receiving data from the website and it is stored in our Google Analytics account for the future reference and analysis. There is lot of information stored in google analytics account and many of them are not even needed by small website owners or bloggers. Detailed analysis like screen resolutions and operating systems and setting up different goals or linking your Analytics account with your Google Adwords Account are for experts users and we are not concerned with it right now.
Now once you are logged into your Analytics account you find all your website profiles that you have created are listed there with data linked to them like Visits, Average Time on Site, Bounce Rate, Completed Goals, etc. Click on the website profile that you want to analyse for the keyword Research, you need to click on the ‘view report’ link for the default monthly view of the profile. A visual description is shown here in the image below for the better clarity of the topic in hand.
Screenshot Analytics Settings - Google Analytics
Once you click on this view report link you are presented with lot of visual information, charts, graphs and figures that may overload your sense, but don’t worry as they are pretty simple to understand. Follow this blog with screenshots and it would be very easy for you to under stand how you can use Google Analytics to find good keywords that are already in your site and can optimize them for the better search engine results and rankings.
How do your blog is discovered by various users on internet who use search engines like Goolge and Yahoo to find things and information they want on Internet? It is through the “keywords” that you have in your blog and blogposts and at various places and in meta data of your small website or blog. This keywords are of two kinds, meta keywords targeted basically towards the search engines to tell them what the blog or website is all about and are mostly invisible on page itself from the eyes of regular visitors but can be seen by viewing the source of the page. And there are keywords on your actual content that you use on your website or blog.
For instance a Dog related websites in India should concentrate on two keywords more than any other “Dog” and “India”, and they are (those websites serving content related to Dogs in India) more ‘discoverable’ by users of search engines if they use these keywords properly on their pages. Excessive use of same keyword on a page or on various similar pages may bring search engine bans on some particular pages by de-indexing it or on whole of the domain. This is due to ‘keyword stuffing’ that should be avoided by webmasters for better performance of their websites in Search Engines and to achieve good search rankings.
Google Analytics Access
How do we manage this? There are various tools available for the purpose but the easiest to use is Google Analytics. There are many other advantages related to Google Analytics apart from basic keyword research and we are going to discuss about them at length in near future but our basic goal toady is to understand how Google Analytics is used for the ‘keyword analysis’ on some particular page or on whole of your website domain.
First of all you need to create a Google Account (If you are using Gmail for a while you don’t need to create it as you already have it) to get started with Google Analytics. After you have created a google account you need to login to your Google Analytics account to get started with all the SEO work and keyword research you are going to do using it. Once you are logged into your google account and click on the Access Analytics button you are prompted to sign up for google analytics account with a screen similar to the one shown in this picture: