If you are willing to pay, there’s no shortage of keyword tools that help you estimate your keyword demand—the number of searches made for a particular search keyword each month. But skinflints blanch at the thought of paying for anything, so we need to find free ways to estimate keyword demand.
In Chapter 7 of Search Engine Marketing, Inc., Bill Hunt and I explain how you can forecast your search marketing success, but we posted this page because the best method can change each time search engines update their keyword tools. Here you go, step by step.
First, head to the Google Keyword Tool. It’s free. Once you get there, enter your keyword, being careful to choose the correct country and language for your search campaign.
Google will respond with the approximate number of searches for that keyword for a broad match, but you should change to the match type you’ll use in your campaign Here, we chose exact match:
Google shows two different monthly searches (its name for keyword demand), one for global volumes (worldwide) and one for just the country markets you specified, which is the one you should use.
But you want more than that. You don’t want to settle for knowing just Google’s keyword demand—you want to know the demand across all the search engines if you are running an organic search campaign, and across all the search engines in your paid search campaign.
For organic search, you can determine total keyword demand by dividing Google’s number by the percentage of Google’s market share within the target country. For example, if Google has a 64% share of U.S. searches, then you divide 4,400 by 0.64, which produces a U.S. keyword demand across all search engines of 6,875 for “digital video camera.”
For paid search, it’s a trickier. Suppose you want to run a paid campaign across Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. In that case, you’d take that overall monthly total (6,875) and multiply it by the combined shares of the three engines. So, if Google has a 64% share, Yahoo! has a 14% share, and Bing a 16% share, then you’d multiply by 0.94 (0.64 + 0.14 + 0.16), yielding 6,463 monthly searches where you might get exposure for your ad.
Want more tips to raise your Internet marketing success? Check out Search Engine Marketing, Inc., which contains a complete step-by-step program for successful search marketing for your business. For more ways to improve your overall Internet marketing, take a look at Do It Wrong Quickly, an indispensable guide to the new ways of marketing on the cheap.