How to Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool for Domain Names

If you want to buy keyword-rich domain names with the objective of ranking the domain name at the top of the results for a search, you’ll first want to determine if there is enough search volume and interest to justify purchasing the domain name.

In this how-to video, you’ll learn exactly how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to determine search volume and advertising interest before you make a domain name purchase.

Interview (13:22): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Sponsors | Read Transcript

Your DomainSherpa Interview

Playback Speed:
This interview is promoted through a media partnership with

If you like this program, please thank Michael on Twitter (click here – opens in new window)

Mentioned in this interview:

Your DomainSherpa Interview, Audio Only

Download Domain Name Interview in MP3

Note: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Or, listen on iTunes or in your favorite podcast app (here are the feeds).

Or, grab a feed for your podcast app, listen via Stitcher or listen on iTunes.

Michael Cyger

Michael Cyger: How to Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool for Domain NamesMichael Cyger is an entrepreneur, businessman, investor, speaker and author. He is also the publisher of

[More Information: DomainSherpa bio | Linkedin bio]

Follow This Domainer on TwitterFollow Michael Cyger on Twitter
Follow This Domainer on TwitterFollow DomainSherpa on Twitter

DomainSherpa Advertisers

Please visit the advertisers that support DomainSherpa and make our shows possible.
Watch Ad

Show Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

Download/Read the Domain Name Interview Transcript in PDF FormatHow to Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool for Domain Names Interview Transcript in PDF Format (Right-click to Save As…) [View in Google Docs]

Watch the full video at:

If you want to buy keyword rich domain names with the objective to rank the domain name at the top of the results for a search, you will first want to determine if there is enough search volume and interest my users to justify purchasing the domain name. In this video, I will show you how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to determine search volume and advertising interest. Stay tuned.

Three messages before today’s interview educates and motivates you.

First, if you’re a domain name investor, don’t you have unique legal needs that require domain name technical know-how and industry experience? That’s why you need David Weslow of Wiley Rein. Go search for David Weslow on DomainSherpa, watch his interview and you can see for yourself that he can clearly explain issues, can help you with buy/sell agreements, deal with website content issues and UDRP actions, and even help you write your website terms and conditions. David Weslow is the lawyer to call for Internet legal issues. See for yourself at

Second, if you have questions about domain names, where should you go to ask them? The answer is Not only is DN Forum the largest domain name forum in the world, but it’s the best. You can learn about domain names and the industry, buy and sell domain names, talk about domain name news, and meet other domainers just like yourself. Register for a free DN Forum account and begin advancing your skills and knowledge today. And when you do signup, send me a friend request so we can connect.

Finally, whenever I’m thinking of buying or selling a domain name, the first place I go is Their service provides quick and comprehensive information about the valuation and the critical factors that you need to know about — like other extensions that are reserved, recent sales, search volume and cost-per-click rates on search engines. And if you haven’t tried their lead generator service for domains you want to sell, you’re missing one of the most powerful tools around. Those are the reasons I pay for the service. Give it a try.

Here’s your program.

Michael Cyger: In this video, I am going to show you how to determine if domain names you are thinking of buying are good, keyword rich domain names. There are two factors involved in determining the value of a generic, keyword rich domain name. They include search volume, and you can do search volume by either local, United States, or you can pick a country; and two, the average cost per click advertisers are currently paying for that search phrase.

For example, you may be looking at buying a keyword rich domain name, but it may not have any search volume associated with it; thereby making it just a brandable domain name. Brandable, of course, meaning that it has no searches or type-in traffic prior to a company using it for their brand; for their website. Good examples are Google, which was derived from a word – Googl, which is the number one followed by one hundred zeros, or Ebay. It meant nothing before the company used it to brand their company, marketplace, product, or whatever it is.

You may have a good amount of search volume. Maybe something like thirty thousand searches per month. And it may be a product-related domain name, but there may not be enough interest in advertisers paying to advertise with that keyword phrase. So, what we are going to do is help you figure out the ins and outs of search volume and advertiser interest. In this interview, I am going to show you how to navigate these factors. We will also look at and determine the search volume by geography and by platform. So, whether somebody is on a desktop or a mobile platform; and how that factors into the equation. So let’s get started.

The first thing you will want to do is go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. So, go to your browser, type in ‘Google Adwords Keyword Tool’, and the first result will be You can go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and you can begin to use it immediately from this location without signing in; and you can see that I am using an incognito window in Chrome that I am not signed in for. And I would enter the search phrase, like ‘Domain Names’, and I could make various selections. But every time I do a search, I am going to have to type in this annoying CAPTCHA code. So, what I suggest instead is to sign into your Google account. If you do not have a Google account, I suggest you sing up for a free Gmail account, and then visit the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. I also suggest that you sign up for an Adwords account, which is going to identify you as an advertiser.

So, there are two reasons why I want you to do this. One, I want you to sign in, or I suggest you sign in, with your Google account and it is going to remove the CAPTCHA codes because Google then knows that you are a real person. Secondly, if you sign up for an Adwords account, not that you need to spend any money – you do not even need to enter a credit card, I do not believe -, but what it allows you to then do is tell Google: “Hey, I might advertise, so I want you to show me what the average cost per click is on this phrase.”

So what I am going to do right here is I am going to find keywords and I am going to type in the phrase ‘Domain Name’. So, let’s say I wanted to advertise Domain Sherpa on Google and try and get click-throughs by buying pay-per-click advertising, and I want to look at ‘Domain Name’ and I want to look at ‘Domain Names’. I am going to type in both in there and I am going to just hit the search button. What it is going to do is it is going to tell me how many searches happen for those phrases. And in this case, it tells me that Domain Name and Domain Names both have high competition. Local monthly searches are five hundred and fifty thousand. So, more people search for the phrase ‘Domain Name’ than ‘Domain Names’. And it also tells me what the approximate cost per click is.

Now, when you sign in and do this, your columns are not going to be the same as mine. And what you need to do is come over here to the Columns, and you can select All Columns or just select the ones that you want. I like to have the Competition because I like to see is there a lot of competition in buying this keyword phrase. I do not do Global Monthly Searches. Let’s say I am selling a widget in the United States – and I know most of my customers are going to come from the United States because it has a high price point and people outside the country are not going to want to pay for shipping. So, Global shows me all of the search volume across the whole world, but I am only interested in the United States. So, if you run a blog that reaches the entire world, you may want to click Global Monthly. Local Monthly is only the option that you select up here for your Advanced Options. And me signing in from the United States, my default is the United States. I can select other countries, exclude countries, and include additional countries.

Add Shared Search Network if you want your advertising to go across other websites that are in the network. And so, you can play around with those and you can read the information about those different options. But basically, it tells me that there is 1.5 Global Monthly Searches on Google per month for Domain Name, and there is about one million for the phrase ‘Domain Names’.

Now, what this is is Broad Search; and you can look up what these terms mean. Broad means the sum of the search volumes for the keyword related grammatical forms, synonyms, and related words. So, they look at a broad match for the keyword phrases that I put in. Exact match is the search volume for that specific keyword and close variants. So, if you know your keyword phrases for the website that you are trying to drive traffic for; and I know that I want Domain Name. I do not want Domain Names. I do not want any additional words attached to those. What I am going to do up here is deselect Broad, select Exact, and select Search again.

And now you can see that there are much fewer searches within the United States for these phrases – eighteen thousand for Domain Name in the United States. And I can see that, across the Google Search Network, which is blogs that may be displaying pay-per-click advertising, how-to pages on Ehow, let’s say, about Domain Names, and things like that, you can see that it is a few magnitudes higher. And the cost per click is an amazing $18.77. So, if registrars like GoDaddy are paying for ads at the top of search results when you go and you type in ‘Domain Name’, you can see exactly how much they are paying. On average, and are paying eighteen dollars per click. And it is an average. Sometimes they pay more; sometimes they pay less. Actually, the ads that are less relevant are probably down lower on the page and they have a higher cost-per-click because they are less relevant. So Google wants to reward those that are displaying advertisements that are relevant to people’s search so that people like the Google experience.

Okay. So, let’s say that you are not in the United States, or let’s say that you are targeting Japan and you want to grow you Japanese portfolio of domain names, or let’s say that you are thinking about launching a new gTLD for Japan and you want to see how much search volume there is in Japan, you can select Japan instead, click Search, scroll down, and you can see there is very little search volume. Three hundred and twenty across the network and two hundred and sixty exact match searches for that word in Japan. Now, Japan might be different because it is not an English-speaking nation. So, let’s say we wanted to go to the United Kingdom and take a look. We could do a search in the UK and see that it is a 9,900 exact match searches in the UK per month on Google for the phrase ‘Domain Name’.

Now, I do not know exactly. I have heard that Google serves about eighty percent of the search queries across the world. I am not sure if that is eighty percent in the United States or eighty percent in the UK. You might want to look at sub-factors related to that. There may be a bigger search engine in a certain country than Google; in which case, Google is only going to share with you the percentage of search volume that they are producing. They only have insights into the ninety-nine hundred searches that happened in whatever month they are showing us here. They do not know about all of their competitors in that area.

Another thing that you may want to take a look at is if you are buying domain names that you know are going to be used on mobile platforms. You can come down here to the ‘Show IDs and Statistics For’, and you can say All Mobile Devices. So let’s say that you are coming out with a business and you are thinking about buying a domain name in the mobile space and you want that domain name only for mobile purchases. You can see the exact phrase ‘Domain Name’ is searched eight hundred and eighty times from mobile platforms in the United Kingdom per month.

And that allows you to make a better educated decision about how much you are willing to spend on the domain. And I do recommend that you check out the Rosener Equation. Andrew Rosener was good enough to come on the Domain Sherpa Show and show his equation for how to value premium generic domain names. And you can come on here and you can read exactly how it is computed. We show you some examples of using the Rosener Equation. We have revisited part of the Rosener Equation, so you will want to watch the video and then also watch the update; and we will have those linked from the articles. But that is your overview for the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, and I hope it is helpful.

Thanks for watching.

Watch the full video at:

More About…


Leave a Reply

Comments must be respectful and constructive. Read our comment policy.


10 Responses to “How to Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool for Domain Names”

  1. Steve says:


    Why does Valueate/estibot Value a site much much lower than the formula you discuss? I am getting a $40,000 value from your formula and $410 value from Valuate.

    1. Hi Steve,

      Great question, and one that comes up often.

      If I were to go ask 4 Realtors for the value of a waterfront house that recently sold for $1 million without them having to review comps or walk through the house, I’d have four answers (or likely ranges) that vary greatly. I’d suspect they would be off by more than $100,000; maybe $200,000-300,000 or more.

      Now, if I asked those 4 Realtors to walk the house, view the craftsmanship, see the backyard, view updates, talk to the family about why they loved living in the house, etc. they’re estimates might come a bit closer to a “true value.”

      Finally, if I ask them to review the comparable sales in the market that have happened in the past 12 months, they’re likely to all come within $100,000 of each other; maybe as close as $40,000.

      And if I then told each of the 4 Realtors that the house could not be added to, rebuilt or modified due to building codes, it would likely affect the property value…maybe by 10-30% or more, since any potential buyer would be wary of such encumbrances.

      Now, let’s transfer this analogy to domain names.

      Both domain name valuation options have some information that both helps and hinders a true valuation.

      The Rosener Equation only uses three pieces of data: exact match US search volume per month, advertiser cost per click information on Google, a valuation period, and a reduction factor based on search engine click-through. That works really well as an order of magnitude valuation for high search volume, highly competitive and advertised keywords and phrases. It doesn’t work well for brandables or speciality domains. It doesn’t work well if no one is buying advertising on Google for that word/phrase. uses many more factors. It takes into account search volume from more than just Google, advertising statistics from more than Google, prior sales of the same or similar domain names, other extensions that are reserved (and if reserved by the same or different registrants), and many other factors that I’m not privy to.

      Both valuation methods are data points. They don’t work for every type of domain name (i.e., notable, brandables) as explained in this video.

      ** The key to valuing a domain name – in my opinion – is a convergence of data. **

      If I have 4 Realtors come and value a house and they’re all within $10,000 of each other, then I’d say there’s a market price that I can trust.

      Similarly, if I can use The Rosener Equation,, and a few of my broker friends ( and they’re all within a close range, then I’d say we have a market price that I can trust too. If they’re not, then I have to select which data points I trust more than others and set my asking price accordingly.

      Remember, brandables are a different animal that no two brokers or systems will value the same way. Most domain names sell for five figures. Who would have thought would sell for $1 million? There’s likely only one company in the world that would have paid that much for it.

      I hope that helps. If not, please ask a follow-on question.


  2. NEIL says:


    Is it possible for a domain that in Google AdWords Keyword Tool to have 277 million searches/month, and in real life z e r o click?

    Thank you. Best regards, Neil

    1. Hi Neil,

      Anything’s possible, but I’m not sure what exactly you mean. Are you referring to:
      a) broad match searches per month
      b) exact match searches per month

      I’ve explained the difference in the video and showed that exact match is what you want.

      I seriously doubt that the keywords in an exact match domain name have 277 million searches per month and zero clicks.

      If you want to email me the screenshot, I’ll provide more detailed answers. It’s hard to discuss in general terms. My email is michael at domainsherpa dot com.


      1. NEIL says:


        Thank You for your work, heart and soul.
        I will send you the screenshot for another domain that I have just registered.
        Broad (global) match searches: 618 million
        Exact: 368,000
        Phrase: 68 million
        Kind regards, Neil

  3. Boluji says:

    The article is interesting and nice one, very good for average domainers; I love it. I will want you to talk more on two or more words brandable domains i..e. the domain that does not have any search but good for business like my domains.

    How do one get traffic for brandable domains?

    1. Tom says:


      SEO, PPC or buy traffic through zero-click platforms.

      If there’s no type-ins for a brandable domain, how else are you going to get traffic?


  4. Joe says:

    Interesting Post.

    I use this as you write keyword pra find better better the more users to buy and register domain name TLDs.

    But what I just found these days is that sales of domain names and Sedo Afterrnic sell domain names for $ 10,000 only to have 210,000 users in global and local keyword tool. Google Adwords.

    But some of my ter over 50 Million Global and Local users and lead to the sale price only $ 1000, not understanding anything, why?

    A lot of money with few users and others a $ 9,000 less taking more than 50 million users globally and locally, cuendo my domain names have ujna old 4 years and which to sell for the amount greater only have two years old and few users Keyword search tool, Google Adwords.



  5. There appears to be a problem downloading the .mp3 audio file, when I try to play on the website it says “file not found” and the audio download does not work either. The video seems to be fine, I am going to watch it instead.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise, keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Sorry about that. I forgot to upload the MP3. It’s now on the site, and you can download the MP3 if you still have a need.

      Thanks for letting me know of the error.


Domaining magazine site recommended by
Copyright © 2010-2024 DomainSherpa. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.
About  |  Advertising  |  Affiliate Links  |  Disclaimer  |  Disclosures  |  Privacy  |  Terms  |  Contact Us