Keyword Research Tips – Use Google Adwords To Find Related Keywords

Keyword Research Tips – Use Google Adwords To Find Related Keywords

Posted by on Jan 15, 2012 in SEO

Keyword Research Tips – Use Google Adwords To Find Related Keywords

Keyword research is critical for building the blueprint of your site and it’s critical that you choose the keywords that have some demand and not too much supply if you want to get good traffic to your site.

But how to do that is often explained very differently and also very confusingly.

So let’s simplify this is as much as possible.

I’ll be using the SBI’s Brainstormer (the alternative is Wordtracker) and Google Adwords to show you how to build a keyword list in 4 easy steps.

1.    Determine your main theme (site concept) keyword

What is the key 😉 keyword of your site? What is the crux of the information you want to share?

This keyword is typically a one or two word keyword (rarely three word).

It can be:
–    tennis, golf
–    barcelona, london
–    digital photography, home theater
–    horror movies, birthday cakes
–    vegan food, baby food recipes
–    herbal remedies, acne
–    home decorating, cleaning tips
–    etc.

2.    Select good keywords from the initial vertical Brainstorm of your main keyword

Let’s choose the example of digital photography. A vertical Brainstorm – sorted by demand – looks like this:

Keyword research

Your goal now is to start building the blueprint of your main site. You’re going to build a small foundation on which you will add more related keywords later.

In my opinion, it’s good to start building your site around one main theme so that when search engines first find your site they know exactly what it is about.

SO what are good keywords?

Based on SBI Brainstormer numbers, I typically select Tier 2 keywords with demand over 1000 and supply below 1000 and Tier 3 keywords with demand over 300 and supply below 500.

This is of course just guidelines – and not rules. Use common sense to deviate from these numbers…

3.    Find related (seed) keywords with Google Adwords

You will need to add more keywords to your blueprint, but as I mentioned before, once you start building your site, start with keywords derived from your main (initial) vertical Brainstorm. (Step 1)

What you need to do now is to find keywords that are tightly related to your main theme.

Login to Google Adwords and go to Keyword Tool (under Tools and Analysis):

Google adwords keyword research tool

Enter your main keyword, uncheck “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” (that is basically a vertical brainstorm if you check the box), Locations should be set to All.

Do a search and something like this will show:


As you can see, the search results start with keywords that include digital photography – which is what you already have from your initial vertical brainstorm in the Brainstormer.

We need to find other related keywords. This is very easy to do – under “Exclude terms” enter your main keyword and click the “+” button.

Exclude keywords in Adwords tool

You will now remove your main keyword from results and see only other related terms. By default, these keywords are sorted by Relevance.

Keywords sorted by relevance

That’s good because we want to see the most relevant keywords to our main keyword based on what Google believes is the most relevant.

I selected some of the keywords that would make the most sense regarding my topic – although all keywords here are good.

Related keywords

You need to go down through this list and write down (in Notepad) ALL keywords that make sense when it comes to the main site concept of your site.

So for example, if you want to teach about digital photography on your site, you’ll want to use the keywords I selected but not keywords like canon cameras or fine art photos or camera.

Find at least 5 to 10 main keywords. If there are much more, choose just the  5-10 most relevant now.

4.    Do vertical Brainstorms on ALL related keywords and complete the blueprint

Now you need to do vertical Brainstorm (in SBI Brainstormer again) on ALL these 5-10 related seed words that you found and select good keywords based on demand and supply numbers.

Once you have this full list of keywords, fill in your basic blueprint by adding more T2 and more T3 keywords / pages.

For example, I did vertical brainstorms on photography tutorial, photography course, learning photography, photo classes and camera lessons.

(Since MKL holds only 1000 keywords, you’ll may have to delete some keywords after each brainstorm so that you make space for more – typically I delete all keywords with demand lower than 200 and supply higher than 3000.)

After applying the filter of demand over 300 and supply below 1000 I got 20 more keywords that are tightly related to my main keyword / theme.

Keyword research in SBI Brainstormer

If I repeat the process with other keywords from the previous step in Google Adwords, I can build a list of hundreds more related keywords.

Now it’s just a matter of common sense and logic how you’ll position them in the blueprint.


While there’s a lot of text above to explain the process (almost 800 words) it really boils down to 4 simple steps:

1.    Determine your main keyword

2.    Do a vertical Brainstorm, select good keywords and build your initial T1-T2-T3 blueprint

3.    Find related keywords with Google Adwords by researching your main keyword and excluding it from results

4.    Select most relevant keywords from the list, do vertical Brainstorms on them, select good keywords and expand your blueprint

Ok, maybe there are more than 4 steps 😉 but generally it comes down to 4 main tasks you’ll be doing.

You may be wondering – what about my T1 keyword? I’ve explained before how you should optimize the homepage

It rarely is more simple than this – but sometimes there’s a topic like Anguilla where almost all keywords in the blueprint are based on this main seed word…

One more exception to this method – in case your main keyword is very broad –like tennis

If you research tennis in Google Adwords keyword tool and exclude tennis from results, you’ll get very few related keywords.

In that case it’s better to enter A FEW two word keywords for the initial search like tennis instruction, tennis lessons, tennis tips, tennis serve and so on.

Experiment and see what works best for your particular case. What’s important is that you know how to use Google Adwords for keyword research and how it can show you tons of related keywords if you use it correctly.

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    1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this tutorial. I was searching for “find related keywords for main keyword” and I’ve found this article. It explains everything 😉


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