Google Instant for Keyword Research

by Nick Supapol May 29th, 2014 

google-instant-is-annoying

Google Instant…annoying?

Wrong!

Annoying is being stuck in the drive-thru line, behind a minivan sporting one of those ridiculous family car stickers – and they're taking forever.

Of course they only pull up 2 feet after getting their food, because how would they be able to yell back at the cashier when they're done inventorying each item? And top it off, you're still waiting to order because you can't pull forward enough to reach the mic. Now, that's annoying.

Google Instant on the other hand, is helpful.

In addition to being funny, puzzling and sometimes even scary, it's an incredibly useful resource when starting your keyword research.

Suppose you are a Travel Agency putting together a search campaign for Mexico vacations.

If you plug your head terms into the search bar, you will instantly discover common long-tail searches:

mexico-vacations

You're officially on your way to finding keyword opportunities – not to mention you might have also found some strong Ad Group candidates.

Smack that space bar and see what Google Instant recommends next:

mexico-vacation-deals

Not so annoying now, is it?

There are a few directions you could take next. One option is to take cues from Google Instant to find long-tail keywords:

mexico-vacation-instant-cues

Or, you can walk through the alphabet. Let's see what happens if we add an 'a' after our head term, 'Mexico vacations':

mexico-vacations-a

Amazing!

Let's see what 'b' has in store for us:

mexico-vacations-b

Beautiful!

Come on 'c', show us what you've got:

mexico-vacations-c

C…aptivating!?

Uh oh, maybe I'm starting to sound annoying. Let's shift gears.

Google Instant doesn't only help with revealing popular search terms. It can also be used to mine for negatives.

mexico-negative-k

mexico-negative-d

mexico-negative-g

Probably want to add a few of those to your negative keyword list!

Obviously, this is just the start and you should evolve your research further. Using Google's Keyword Planner or third party research tools will provide a much more thorough list, complete with search volume and competition.

See also: Ubersuggest

Nick Supapol

Nick Supapol is Paid Search Strategy Lead (and consistently ranked #1 ping-pong player) at Search Engine People, specializing in Travel, Consumer Goods and Business-to-Business.

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