If you are a webmaster, you have probably heard of Google Webmaster Tools and you know what the console does. You may have used it a few times to access important data about your website and then used that data to improve your website's rankings. There is no shortage of tutorials that explain how to use Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) for its intended purpose. However, this is not going to be another one of these tutorials.

Here, the focus will be on how to use Google Webmaster Tools as a keyword research tool.

Why would anyone use a non-keyword research tool for keyword research? The answer is, because standard keyword research tools have two fatal flaws. They give you keywords that may look good but that are also the exact same ones everyone else is using, including your competition. The second flaw is even more subtle. When you use a standard keyword tool, you are the one deciding what search results pages you think you want to dominate. When you use Google Webmaster Tools as a keyword tool, you are letting Google tell you which ones it wants you to dominate. You see, Google is not only wiser than you, it also wants you to succeed. If you've been viewing Google as an adversary, it is time to begin viewing it as an ally and this method will show you how.

For this method to work, you must have a running website that's already a few months old. The older it is, the better.

Step 1:
Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account, click on the Search Traffic down pointing arrow on the left sidebar and choose Search Queries from the dropdown. A table with the top keywords that your website ranks for will appear along with data under headings such as Impressions, Clicks, CTR and Avg Position. It's an interesting table but not what we are looking for.

Google Webmasters Search Analytics KeyWords
Google Webmaster Tools

Step 2:
Find the keywords that you rank for on the second page of search results and beyond. To do this, click on the Avg Position column so that the data is sorted in ascending order. In other words, the numbers should be increasing as you scroll down. Set the number of rows to 500 since the default setting which only shows 25 rows is not very convenient.

Scroll down until you see average positions of higher than 10. A position of 11, for example, means a page of your website that can be found at the top row of the second page of the search engine results for the keyword in the first column. The vast majority of keywords that your website ranks for will typically be higher than 10 which, in terms of SEO, means lower. Don't let this confuse you.

Google Webmasters Search Analytics Ranking
Google Webmaster Tools Ranking

Step 3:
Inspect the keywords with an average position of higher than 10 and copy the ones that look promising on a notepad. Put the promising keywords into your Google Keyword Planner and find their search volume. Look for search volumes of higher than 100 and test the competition of these keywords. Look for competitions of less than 30,000 as they are very easy to dominate.

Another quick way to check for competition of a particular keyword is to go to Google and enter “allintitle: ” for example: “allintitle: small white dog breeds”

allintitle Search
Using 'allintitle' Search Query

This query tells us how many pages are indexed on Google that have all keywords contain in the title of a page. It is a very good approximation of seeing the competition for a particular keyword. In our demonstration we see that Google has 742 results with all those keywords in title, which means that there is really not a lot of competition and we could be ranking for this keyword easily. Normally we should focus on keywords that have less than 20,000 results (the lower the better).

SEO keywords with a high search volume and low competition are golden nugget keywords. When used wisely, they will help you to getting targeted traffic to your site and make you money. They are also keywords that keyword tools, no matter how sophisticated, will not give you after having entered some core keyword. It is not the fault of the keyword tools or your own fault, but of how Google organizes its data. Your analytics data is off limits to the scouring mechanism of keyword tools. For this reason we created RankTrackr, which can help you to grow your search engine optimization campaigns more effectively by monitoring and analysing the rankings and improvements on your websites and keywords. Without this ability we’d never know if what we’re doing, day in and day out, is actually working.

The important thing to keep in mind is that golden nugget SEO keywords constitute the holy grail of a niche. No-one wants you to dominate on them. So you should pay attention because they are the easiest and most profitable ones to put on the first page of the search results.