Before diving in to explore how to use Google AdWords to help you with your SEO project, let’s first clarify that Google AdWords itself is not an SEO tool and does not directly influence search engine rankings.

Now that this often voiced misconception is out of the way, let’s explore how Google AdWords can help you with your SEO project.

Google AdWords Explained

AdWords helps your website gain exposure in search results (via Google Search Ads) for keywords for which your website might not rank organically. When you run ads with Google AdWords always make sure that you are tracking conversions of actions that are important to you, such as sales and email sign-ups.

If this is what you’re doing, this blog post will help you find out how to use the insights gained form Google AdWords to help with your search engine optimization.

If you are not currently tracking conversions, please set this up first, and return to this blog post once your Google AdWords account has successfully tracked a few conversions.

For more insight into SEO, read my 200 SEO Ranking Factors – The Complete List (2018).

Finding Conversion-Driving Keywords

Your website has successfully tracked conversions and matched them with your AdWords ads? Awesome. Let’s explore how you can use these insights for SEO.

Step 1: In your AdWords account, head over to the Keywords tab

Step 2: Click on the Conversions column to sort your conversions in descending order by clicking on it.

If you do not see a Conversion column, here’s how you can add it:

  • Step 2.1: Click on Columns and select Modify columns…
  • Step 2.2: Click on Conversions
  • Step 2.3: Add Conversions to your column list by clicking on   >>
  • Step 2.4: Click Apply

Step 3: Download the keywords that are involved in conversions

Finding Keywords Converting Users Entered

If you’d like to know what keywords your converting website visitors entered into Google Search before they saw and clicked on your ad to arrive on your website, the Search Terms Report can help. You will notice, however, that people type a very broad range of keywords into search, so often you will only see a “1” under impressions and clicks. That’s quite normal. This report helps you to get a “feel” for what keywords users are using. This is not the kind of list you should implement 1:1 on your website.

This list does, however, help identify what kind of keywords are most commonly searched and help you with finding synonyms and even with your LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing).

So, let’s see how to access that list:

Step 1: In your AdWords account, head over to the Keywords tab

Step 2: Click on the Search Terms tab

Step 3: Click the Conversions column to sort your conversions in descending order by clicking on it.

If you do not see a Conversion column, here’s how you can add it:

  • Step 3.1: Click on Columns and select Modify columns…
  • Step 3.2: Click on Conversions
  • Step 3.3: Add Conversions to your column list by clicking on   >>
  • Step 3.4: Click Apply

Step 4: Download the keywords that are involved in conversions

Finding Popular Keywords

Now that you know what keywords are currently doing well for your business, let’s explore what other popular keywords your AdWords campaigns and website might be missing.

Step 1: In your AdWords account, head over to the Tools tab

Step 2: Select the Keyword Planner 

Step 3: Click the option Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category

Step 4: Enter whatever best suits your needs

Step 5: Analyze the output

Now that you know how to find additional keywords, have fun analyzing the keywords, and improving your webpages. If you require any help with this, feel free to reach out.