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The PeC Review: Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool Lets You See What Spiders See

Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool can help ecommerce merchants find pertinent keywords specific to a given URL, potentially improving search-engine-optimization and pay-per-click-advertising campaigns.

Four Stars Using URLs from your AdWords account, the Search Based Keyword Tool (SKTool) “displays a list of relevant user queries that have occurred on (and on other Google search properties, such as with some frequency over the past year,” explained Google in its description of the tool. Users can find these suggestions under the “Keyword” tab in their AdWords account or at the SKTool pages. SKTool doesn’t just offer keyword suggestions, but also provides indications regarding keyword pricing, monthly searches, competition, and ad share.

Each week, “The PeC Review” looks at products or services that could help an online merchant. Our goal is to both rate and identify those products. This week, I examined SKTool, awarding it four out of a possible five stars for providing comprehensive keyword assistance.

More Than Just a List of Keywords

SKTool offers users more than just a list of keyword suggestions. Rather it provides seven nuggets of information to help the ecommerce marketer find new keywords or optimize the ones they currently bid for in their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Specifically, SKTool offers:

  1. Keywords. SKTool identifies keywords relevant to your URL that potential customers have been searching for in the past year. The tool also provides a quick link to Google’s Insights for Search to help you map trends, identifying when a keyword is hot.
  2. Monthly Search Averages. Knowing how many search queries a keyword receives each month lets marketers budget and plan for campaigns.
  3. Competition Data. Using a relative scale, SKTool shows a user approximately how much competition he’ll face for a keyword. Personally, I would prefer to see actual data not just a relative representation, but it is helpful. Also, when you see this competition scale on screen, it is represented by a green bar wherein more shading equals more competition. But if you export the information, this scale is converted to numbers between zero and ten—still a relative scale.
  4. Suggested Bid Price. The SKTool also offers advice about how much you should bid for a particular keyword on AdWords. While I would be tempted to inflate these numbers were I in Google’s shoes, the SKTool seems to offer a sound recommendation about what to bid if you want your ad to consistently show up in one of the top three spots.
  5. Ad Share. Based on worldwide search query behavior, the SKTool displays the percentage of time your website appeared first in a search query. While this data makes we feel very competitive, it also provides a great way to see how much of the total available market your campaign is capturing. If you know your conversion rates, you can calculate the likely outcome of a new AdWords campaign.
  6. Search Share. Similar to Ad Share, this point shows how well your site performs organically.
  7. Where the Keyword Came From. Under the heading “Extracted from webpage,” the SKTool shows you what specific URL it derived a keyword suggestion from.

Summing Up

Google’s SKTool provides useful information to help ecommerce merchants make better choices for their PPC campaigns, and if does it well. Even if you use several PPC providers this data can help you make better choices about what words to buy and how much to bid.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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