I’ve often found that Google’s AdWords Tool seems to provide surprisingly limited results in terms of discovering high volume search words and phrases but i’ve never been quite able to put my finger on what’s going wrong. Now I know.

Rand Fishkin brings us the wisdom: As you can see, there’s ~50% of the terms not shown in the suggestion list, which is fairly substantive and could lead to some serious missed targeting opportunities.

Running discovery-focused searches in AdWords may not show you all the valuable/high-volume keyword phrases connected to a word/phrase. 

There are a few ways to address this challenge:

1. If you have the budget, my top recommendation is to buy a few, very broad keywords in AdWords, send them to a relevant landing page on your site, but realize you probably will lose money on the campaign. The goal isn’t conversions, but rather to learn by watching the keyword terms/phrases for which you get impressions. This is also great conversion-testing if you have the budget to invest, but even a week or two of data can be highly valuable for future keyword targeting.

Read it all.