20
Apr

Google’s keyword tools was the first thing SEO professionals used to visit when researching the keywords for SEO as it was reliable, free and it was Google’s tool. But in late August, 2013 Google took it out and its place was taken by Google’s Keyword Planner tool which was a combination of Keyword tool and Traffic Estimator.

This change by Google shaked the SEO community as there was no way to find closely related terms, no local or global monthly searches, no phrase or broad search, hus the exact match data was available, nor any way to let you target specific mobile devices. All the historical data was provided based on exact match only and it targets all devices by default (According to their official page they say they are working on setting bid adjustment for mobile devices). But when some of these features were removed, for sure did Google added somethings to improve it like filtering locations which means you can view the search volume on a local basis, “multiple keyword list” which lets you search on combination of words and dividing your keywords into ad groups. (Now there are a lot of other things in Keyword Planner tool added that we will be working on as we start doing our keyword research)

How to access it

To use the Keywords planner tool you need to have a google account. Login into your google account and access Google Adwords. If Google keyword planner doesn’t open up, you can find it under “Tools” -> “Keyword Planner”.

How to use it

On the Keyword Planner tool you are presented with 4 choices:

Keyword Planner options

  1. Search for new keywords and ad group ideas

    • Choose this option if you just want to perform regular keyword research for SEO or ad group based on a particular keyword, landing page or a category.

  2. Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups

    • Upload your keyword file or enter a list of keywords and get the average monthly search, competition, keyword cost just for those keywords. Related keywords won’t show up in the results.

  3. Get traffic estimates for the list of keywords

    • Upload your keyword file or enter a list of keywords and get the daily traffic estimates for those keywords.

  4. multiply keywords to get new keyword ideas

    • You can enter two lists of keywords here and google will come up with all possible combinations of keywords from that list.

Since we are focusing on using Keyword Planner tool for SEO, we will need to choose the first option. The other options are more related when we are focusing on paid advertisements. So we choose “Search for new keywords and ad group ideas” and you will have these options to refine your search:

search term

  • Your product or service – enter your product or service which will be the keyword and you get the results based on that entered term/terms

  • Your landing page – enter a website or a webpage and you get the results based on the keywords that are related to that page.

  • Your product category – choose or type in your product category and you get results based on all the keywords related to that category.

it also gives you some options to refine the results

  • Targeting based on

    • Location – you can choose a particular country or can further narrow it down to a state or a city and your search results will be based on that.

    • Language – choose a language if you want search results based on any specific language

    • Search partners – choose if you want to get results based on just “google” as search engine or want to include results from other search engines too.

    • Negative keywords (keywords that should not be displayed in the result) – any keywords entered here will not be displayed in your results

  • Option to customize the search based on

    • search volume, suggested bid, competition

    • related keyword terms, adult result terms, keywords already added to account

    • Include/exclude keywords with specific terms.

 

Once your data is entered click “Get Ideas”. The result will be displayed in two tabs “Ad group ideas” and “keyword ideas”. By default “Ad group ideas” will be selected as Keyword planner tool focuses more on pay-per-click campaign. SO you will need to go to “Keyword ideas” as we are focusing on using the tool for SEO.

 Keyword Idea Tab

Understanding your results

Based on the filters that you applied, the results of your keyword are displayed. As you can see the “Global monthly search” and “Local month search” is replaced by “Avg. Monthly Search”. In the same column right before the average monthly search value is displayed there is a graph icon. Move you mouse over it and it shows a historical data for the search volume of that keyword over the period of twelve months. This gives you an idea of the trends based on months or season.

historical data graph for the keyord

On the right side of your results table you can see “Targeting” and “Customize your search” panels, you can use them and refine your search again if you are not satisfied with the shown results.

 

It is important to know that by default the results shown are based on “broad match”. If you want to get the results based on the “exact match” of your keyword, you can do this by going to the right side of the page towards “Your plan” section. You can see a pencil icon, click it and change the “Add keywords as” option from “Broad match” to “Exact match”.

keyword match type

Once you change it will ask you if you want to apply the same to change to you previously saved keywords in your plan, but remember that it is for your keywords saved to your PPC campaign. Once you change your keywords match, the next search you perform will be in that keyword match (for example, if you choose “add keywords as” option to “exact match” it will show future results for “exact match” until you go and change it.)

 

Saving your results

You can download all results by clicking on the “Download” button on the top of the grid. It will ask you for the format to download it into and choose “Excel CSV”. This will be easy to do if you are just searching for one set of keywords. But if you are entering your keywords in separate goes, then you would have to download them every time you search and then merge them on your computer. So there is an easier option, instead of downloading them click “Add All” button right next to “download” and add all the keywords on to one plan. If you just want few keywords from the search result you can click on the “ >> ” icon on the last column of the search results and that will add the keywords individually to you plan.

 Download/delete adwords plan

Once you have your desired keywords on the plan, from the right side you can download your plan. Once you have all your keywords you can delete the plan as well.

 Download google adwords plan

Conclusion

Though Google Keyword Planner has replaced Google keyword tool it is a step closer to getting more refined keywords results and does a good job helping SEO professionals in their keyword research.

We would like to know if you use Google Keyword Planner for your SEO or do you use some other tools?

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