The Google AdWords keyword tool is a free tool website owners can use to help optimize their website. It provides a vast amount of information. If you’re seeking top page ranking with the search engines, researching your competition, or planning your content, the Google AdWords keyword tool can help. Let’s explore some tips and strategies to use it more effectively.

#1 Have a Goal in Mind

It’s very easy to become sidetracked with all of the information the Google AdWords keyword tool provides. You might start on the site looking for content ideas and end up creating a PPC ad. Before you hit the page, have a goal in mind. What are you looking for? Why are you looking for it and what is your ultimate goal?

Possible goals might include:

  • Searching for new business niche ideas
  • Researching your competition
  • Brainstorming content ideas
  • Creating navigation structure for your site
  • Product development research

#2 Understand the Possibilities

There are many different data points that the Google AdWords keyword tool provides. Understand all of them and you’ll be clearer about your goals and your search results. For example, do you know what your keyword matching options are? Google offers the following options:

1. Broad match: keyword
Allows your ad to show on similar phrases and relevant variations
(The broad match modifier may also be used to further refine your broad keyword matches: +keyword.)

2. Phrase match: “keyword”
Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase

3. Exact match: [keyword]
Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively

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4. Negative match: -keyword
Ensures your ad doesn’t show for any search that includes that term

This is just the beginning of the type of data Google provides. Spend some time, once you’ve established your goal, learning the relevant data points that will help you succeed.

#3 Organize Your Search, and Your Results

Downloading and printing all of your results can be a huge waste of paper. If the information isn’t properly organized you might look at it five days from now and not know what you’re looking at. Consider creating a spreadsheet to track your information. Label the spreadsheet page by date, goal, and results. Consider also printing the spreadsheets so you can look at them side by side. You might three-hole punch them and keep them in a binder for easy reference too.

Finally, take advantage of the shortcuts. For example, if you’re creating AdSense ads there are batch processes you can take advantage of that save tremendous time. The Google AdWords keyword tool is an extremely useful tool. Know your purpose, understand the data, and make sure you’re organized for optimal success.