Regular readers will know how important keywords are for driving free traffic from the search engines.
For a long time the free Google Keyword Tool has been one of the best ways of finding keywords and narrowing down how popular they are.

You can simply type in one of your most important keywords and the tool will suggest many new words and phrases that you can add to your list.

This has always been one of the most useful keyword tools available...and now it has just got better. Much better!

Previously users would just see simple graphical images showing how popular a keyword or keyword phrase was.


This was quite useful, but without real searcher numbers it was impossible to prioritise a keyword list based on popularity.

From this month forward the graphical images have become real numbers!



You can now see how many people are actually searching for a particular word or phrase each month and also an average number of monthly searches over a twelve month period.

You can identify the actual words and phrases which are searched for most frequently and still compare these words with the most competitive phrases. The best phrases have a high number of searches and low competition.

I find the numbers are most useful if you select 'Exact' in the dropdown menu in the top right corner of the results field.

This tells you the search numbers for the exact word or phrase. For example, if someone searches for 'red shoes' that is the exact search phrase. The results don't include search phrases with additional words such as 'red training shoes' or 'red shoes photos'. If you want to find every phrase that includes the words 'red shoes' select 'Broad' search.

This change alone is a big step forward...but it gets better!

If you select "Show All" in the "Show Columns to be Displayed" drop down menu you will see a lot more detail.


In this view you will also see the average price advertisers are paying for Google Adwords click throughs i.e. what they pay everytime their ads are clicked. This is known as CPC (cost per click). This information was one of Google's most closely guarded secrets. Now its available to the world for free.

You also can see search trends over the last 12 months which will help you plan seasonal marketing e.g. focus on seasonal keywords when they are searched for most frequently.

This is really, really useful information for online marketers. It will enable keyword lists to be built around the number of people on the internet actually searching for that term.

A good tool has just become a great tool. Thanks Google :-)