With the elimination of the Google Keyword Tool, a new tool was introduced by the search engine giant –Google Keyword Planner. This news in its early stages made many SEO specialists and webmasters worried but within a few days, everyone embraced it, not that they had any choice if they want to use only Google’s tools. Keyword research is considered to be the foundation of any online marketing strategy and everyone agrees with it and Google Keyword Planner seems to be a good and comprehensive tool. Let’s see how you can use it in three simple steps:
We assume that you already have an account on Google AdWords, if not you can always make one for free. Once you’re logged into your AdWords’ account, move on to “Tools and Analysis” and scroll down to find the “Keyword Planner”. Next you’ll see a page giving you four options of:
- Searching for new keyword and any ad group ideas
- Getting search volume for a list of keywords or grouping them into ad groups
- Getting traffic estimates for a list of keywords
- Getting new keyword ideas through multiple keywords lists
Your cue would be the first one as it can provide quite a lot of information on searched keywords as well as any related ones (obviously other options can also be useful). Let’s see how it works.
After clicking on the first option, you get some more options for targeting and customizing your search. You can search by entering a specific term or a keyword, by mentioning your landing page’s link, by selecting the category under which your website/product falls or utilize all of the options.
Filtering for targeting is done by selecting a specific country, language, search engine (obviously Google) and negative keywords (if there are any). Keyword-specific filters include the competition level (low, medium and high), the average monthly searches, suggested bid and the ad impression share.
On the other hand, you also get options related to keywords which include whether the ideas should be broadly related or closely, show adult ideas, hide/show keywords in your account and/or plan. Lastly, you also have the option to include or exclude any terms you want.
Once you’re done with these settings – all you have to do is to click on the “Get ideas” button and the page will reload with the keywords ideas depending upon the settings and filters you’ve set.
Once you’re on the page with the keywords ideas. On the left you’ll see the customization options you added that you can alter, on the right, you’ll see your plans and the main page consists the keywords for you in two different tabs. The first view of keywords is the ‘Ad group ideas’ and the alternative view of the results is the ‘Keyword ideas’. The former contains different groups of ideas, containing singular terms once you click on them, whereas the latter one displays info for each separate keyword.
Hovering your mouse on the little graph icon in front of the keywords show you the trend of monthly searches for those terms in the last 12 months. You could now either download these keywords as a CSV or add them to ‘Your Plan’.
The Keyword Planner itself is pretty self-explanatory and easy to use. You can also find a lot of help and FAQS from Google, which could make the overall keyword research process easier. Your next task is to use the selected keywords on your website, in your blog posts, social media updates and so on in order to get effective results. What type of keywords should you select is also an important topic but we’re leaving it for another day, another post.