Find Keyword Synonyms and Search Volume

Part 2 of How to Do Keyword Research Tutorial

By Persuasionworks Team

In Part One of this keyword research tutorial, you identified the broad keywords at the top of your market. Now we'll use Google to find "search engine proven synonyms" to build your theme on a strong foundation.

Search engine proven synonyms are not the same as thesaurus synonyms. They are what the search engines consider to be synonyms based on current usage by websites in their databases.

If a large number of websites use two keywords together in their content, the search engines will consider the keywords to be closely related based on this high level of co-occurrence. For example, Google currently considers some of the synonyms of travel to be vacation, map, and airfare.

This shows how search engines determine what a keyword “means” by how web pages use it in relation to other words. The meaning is created by the context in which the word is used.

Finding synonyms of your top-level keyword will allow you to create the beginnings of a theme made up of multiple terms that are highly relevant to your top-level keyword. This is how you show the search engines that you have high relevance to the topics you want to rank well on.

How to Find Keyword Synonyms

To find search engine proven synonyms, go to and search on:


Place the ~ (tilde symbol) before your main keyword. For example: ~travel

Words in bold in the search engine results are the synonyms. For example: hotels, flights, map. Look for single words, not phrases or plurals. Ignore any words that are too broad or not relevant to your market.

Use a spreadsheet to note the top-level keyword and synonyms. Microsoft Excel or a Google Docs spreadsheet both work well.

Search for More Search Engine Proven Synonyms

Do a new keyword synonym search on (~keyword) for the first new synonym you found in Step 2. For example: ~vacation.

Add any relevant new synonyms to your spreadsheet. For example: rental, beach, tourism.

Repeat this process for the remaining synonyms you found and insert into the spreadsheet.

Find Search Volume for Each Keyword

Use the Google Keyword Planner to find out how many times your keywords are searched. This is an important factor when you decide on the keywords to include in your website structure.

You want to make sure that your site's primary “parent theme” and silos have plenty of searches. Building parent themes and silos into your site structure are discussed in another series of articles.

How to Find Search Volumes

Go to the Google Keyword Planner and search the first keyword on your list. For example: travel

You want to use the Exact Match type. This will give you the most accurate search numbers, because it only counts searches for the exact word or phrase shown in the results.

Find the number of searches on the keyword in the “Global Monthly Search Volume” column. For example, travel has 368,000 searches. Note the number of searches on your spreadsheet.

Repeat this process for each keyword on your list.

Part 1: How to Do Keyword Research > Part 2: Keyword Synonyms >
Part 3: Keyword Competing Pages > Part 4: Keyword Analysis.