Use Google’s Keyword tool to sell more books

When promoting our books, getting to the top of the first search engine page is important. Stats show that page 1 gets 95% of all search traffic, that 61% of all traffic go to the top three spots, and that 33-40% head right to the No. 1 listing. Attaining those coveted spots requires search engine optimization, or the placement of keywords on your website, blog and social media posts promoting the book. So just how do you figure out which keywords are best, then?

The Google Keyword Planner tool is an extremely useful tool. As Google is the most widely used search engine, focusing your efforts there will yield maximum results. In addition, people who use other search engines, such as Bing, tend to follow the same habits and make the same word choices as Google users.

Anyone can utilize the Google Keyword Planner tool for free. You do have to sign up for a Google AdWords account, however but do not need to actually place AdWords on any of your pages. As a side note, there’s no need to buy expensive ads; only 10% of people using a search engine ever go to paid ads.

Once you’ve registered, go to the Keyword Planner link above and click “Start Using Keyword Planner.” Next, in the drop down menu near the top let of the page, click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”

You then can enter the product or service your offer, the URL for your website’s landing (home) page, or your product category. Any of the three are useful, though I prefer entering the product or service I offer, if only because it tends to give you a wider range of keywords to choose from.

What comes up next is a set of search terms and keywords with their accompanying average monthly searches during the previous 12 months. Words with the highest average monthly searches ought to be incorporated into the text of your website, blog and social media posts.

Another piece of info provided is the level of competition for each keyword or search term. If you were to take out an ad, this gives a rough estimate of how many other websites use that wording. This is useful to know as you might be able to find a niche that you can specialize in when the competition is low but the search engine results are high.

There also are a number of ways to customize Keyword Planner searches. You can use geotargeting that allows you to determine which keywords are most used in specific counties or language. You also can use filters to block keywords that don’t reach a specific threshold of monthly searches. If you don’t do any of this, you’ll simply see what Americans are searching for using the English language.

Make a list of the keywords that best apply to your website, blog and social media promos. Remember that when adding these keywords, you want your text to sound natural. You’ll probably need to write several drafts to do so, but it’s better to put in the hard work now to get the keywords in then to quickly write something (even if it reads well) that lacks them.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.