Keyword research may not be the most fun part of your digital marketing strategy, but it plays an important role in your SEO content marketing efforts, and it’s also invaluable to your PPC strategy. Luckily, there’s Google Keyword Planner, a free tool that can transform your keyword research efforts and, ultimately, your SEO results. Below is our guide to what this powerful keyword planning tool is and how you can use it in your digital marketing strategy.
What is Google Keyword Planner?
Google Keyword Planner is a powerful keyword research tool that is offered as part of the Google AdWords advertising platform. With this tool, users can generate new lists of keywords and analyze existing keyword lists to better understand search volume and trend data on Google.
Though this keyword planner is offered as part of AdWords, its value goes beyond just your PPC campaigns. While the keyword research tool is certainly valuable for helping you make smarter PPC ad decisions when it comes to target keywords, it is also an important part of your keyword research for search engine optimization efforts in general.
Google Keyword Planner is by no means the only keyword research tool that you should use to generate new lists of keywords. However, if you are currently using other tools as part of your SEO keyword research strategy, you can still use Google’s keyword planner to help you better make strategic decisions about which keywords to target in your pay-per-click ad campaigns or which keyword phrases to focus on in your SEO content efforts.
How to Use Google Keyword Planner: A Quick Guide
Now that you know why Google Keyword Planner is essential to generating a list of SEO keywords for your business, let’s talk about how to use it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the most SEO value out of this valuable keyword planning tool from Google:
1. Access Google Keyword Planner.
The first thing that you’ll need to do before you start using this powerful keyword planner is to access the tool from your Google AdWords account. If you do not yet have an account on AdWords, it’s easy to get started. Just visit the welcome page and follow the prompts to set up an account.
Once you are logged into your AdWords account, you can access the keyword planner by clicking on the wrench in the top tool bar and looking under the “Planning” section. Then, click on Keyword Planner.
2. Choose a tool.
After you have accessed the keyword planner, you will see a number of different tools that you can use to start your keyword research. Here are the options that you will see when you first open up keyword planner:
Let’s talk about the tools that you can use under “Find new keywords and get search volume data,” so that you understand how to use each:
Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.
This is the main keyword planning tool that you will use to generate new keywords for your SEO content and PPC ad campaigns. This tool helps you generate a list of keywords based on an initial keyword or keyword lists, landing page URL, or product category. The resulting keyword list will also show you search volume and trends for each keyword.
Here’s what this tool looks like:
To get the most out of this tool, you will need to think carefully about how you fill in each field. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using the tool:
- Make sure that you are not entering broad industry terms into the “your product or service” field. This will bring back a list of keywords that are highly competitive. Instead, aim for keywords that help describe your niche market.
- Using the “your landing page” field can help you return some new and relevant keywords based on your site’s home page or a certain product page.
- With “your product category,” you can often identify industry keywords that you might have missed when initially compiling your keyword lists.
After filling in these important fields, you will then need to enter your targeting options, which include the country, language, and search engine that you will be marketing on. Your final option is to choose “negative keywords,” which are keywords that you do not want to target. You also have the option to filter out certain keywords and always include certain keywords in your results.
Once you have filled in this information, you simply click on “Get Ideas,” and the planning tool will deliver your keyword results.
Get search volume data and trends.
This is another helpful tool that you can access in Google Keyword Planner. With this tool, you can upload a keyword list and then get the search volume and trend data for these keywords. Though the “search for new keywords” planning tool will deliver this information alongside the list of keywords, you may need to use the “Get search volume data” tool if you already have a list of keywords from another keyword planning tool.
Here's what the tool looks like:
Notice that you have the option to copy and paste the keywords into the field or you can upload your list of keywords as a CSV, TSV, or text file. Like the previous tool, you can also target based on country and language as well as include negative keywords that you don’t want to target.
Once you’ve filled in the necessary information, you then click on “Get search volume,” and you’ll be able to look at search volume and trend data for your list of keywords.
Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords.
The final tool that you have access to allows you generate new combinations of terms based on a keyword list that you provide. The tool basically mashes the groups of keywords together to find every combination that exists. Not every keyword phrase will be relevant (or even make sense), but this can be a really helpful tool for finding new ways to talk about your products.
This can be an especially helpful tool for ecommerce brands because it provides every possible combination of keywords that a consumer might use to look up certain products. Using the tool is simple. All you have to do is enter your lists of keywords and then click on “Get search volume” to see what new combinations the tool has produced.
3. Take a look at the keywords results page.
After you have used any of the keyword planning tools above, you will be taken to the Keyword Results Page. The results dashboard looks something like this:
Let’s break down what everything on the page tells you so that you can better understand how to interpret and use the results:
The bar graph at the top of the page shows the average monthly searches for the keywords. Using the dropdown menu on the top left side of the bar graph allows you to look at different trends such as mobile trends, breakdown by device, or breakdown by location. These charts can be a great visual guide to understanding different aspects of your keyword list.
Below the bar graph, you’ll see a tab with keyword ideas. These are brand new keywords based on the information you have input into the Google Keyword Planner. This chart also shows you the average monthly searches for each keyword as well as the competition level, suggested big, and ad impression share. You can save the keywords or ad groups by clicking “add to your plan.”
Now that you know what Google Keyword Planner is and how to use it, you can start getting more value out of this powerful free tool. By looking at keyword search volume and trend data, you can take the guess work out of developing keyword lists. Ultimately, using a tool like Google’s keyword planner will help you generate more relevant and effective keywords for your search engine optimization efforts and PPC advertising campaigns.
If you are not getting the results you want from your search engine optimization efforts, it may be time to take a new approach to keyword research. Trust the search engine marketing experts at SevenAtoms to help you get your keyword planning back on track. Find out to how our team can help you get better results from your SEO and PPC advertising efforts. Contact us today.