2. On Page SEO for Beginners
Article #2.3

Using Google Keyword Planner for Keyword Research

Google keyword planner is a free keyword tool to provide an insight into the keyword database of Google. As we all know, million of searches are answered and assisted by Google Search Engine, that crawls all digital content available and indexes them contextually and according to schemas and protocols. 
Keyword Planner tool is the perfect way to plan your Google AdWord Campaign and SEO. While everybody accepts this tool for planning AdWord campaign, its relevance in SEO has been underrated. 

Let us clarify our objective before we start understanding how this tool works. Our objective is to discover relevant search terms entered on Google which can generate traffic/conversion, so that your SEO strategies can be crafted best.
Keyword Planner has a suite of features that can help you identify your existing keyword’s popularity, create hundreds of keyword combinations in mere seconds, filtering out your results, discovering keyword opportunities and a lot more. In short- it’s your Treasure Chest!

Let's begin.
You first need to create your account and sign in with Google Adword Keyword Planner tool.

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Don’t worry this is a small process, you just need to put in some basic information and you can get your account created.
After your account has been created you will be redirected to the following window:

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After you get this window, you need to click on Tools. This will give you four options to choose from:
      Finding new keywords:

  1. Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.
  2. Multiply keyword lists to get new ideas.

    Plan your budget and get insights for keywords:
     
  3. Get search volume data and trends.
  4. Get click and cost performance forecasts.

Let’s go through each of them:

Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category:

In order to perform any keyword related research with keyword planner you need to specify some search terms or website or select any specific industry. Google has a vast collection of keyword, so huge that its quite possible it may not understand you well if you write generic keywords, for example if you own a a Car Renting business and your website is CarOnRent.com then the keyword you should enter is car on rent or rent cars, or renting cars and not cars, or you can simple use your website, and if mentioned you can select your business category. This way you would direct google to drill down and figure out better matching keywords.
When you click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”, you get the following window:

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Let’s go through each section one by one:
Enter one or more of the following:

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You need to enter at least one of these information to proceed further, though it’s better if you can provide as many as possible.

  • Your product or service: This is where you need to enter keyword or list of keywords. Avoid long tail keywords or long phrases, be short and precise at exactly what you want to found for.
  • Your Landing Page: You can enter your website or specific landing page if you have any, google will crawl generate relevant results for you with respect to this if mentioned.
  • Your product category: Google asks for this, so that it can scan its internal database of keywords for different industries to come up with keywords that you might have missed. Choose wisely for the category of your page.

Targeting, customizing, and filtering your results

Targeting

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  • All Locations: By selecting a location we indicate that our targeted searches need to originate from defined particular location. This is optional, and you can select multiple locations, locations you select may be cities, towns, regions, territories, country or any other geographic detail, by default google will consider your research worldwide. 
  • Language: As stated for Location, you target your research for a particular language or languages. You may select multiple languages and Google will show you search terms used in searches where preferred language was the one you specify. Google considers all language as your search criteria as default. If again if you are targeting Spain as the country, you would want to select the language as “Spanish”.
  • Search Engines: Here you will see two options, Google Search and Google Search Networks, Google search means you want to research upon keywords entered at Google Search and Google Search Network Websites include Google search sites and non-Google search sites (like AOL) that partner with Google to show relevant search results.
  • Negative Keywords: Negative keywords help you specify certain terms you want to omit in keywords you wish to optimize. For example you write reviews on mobile handsets, and do no sell or buy them, then essentially, “cheap”, “buy”, “sell” are your negative keywords. 

Customize your search: 
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These filters are primarily used for Tailoring an AdWord Campaign, as they help you regulate CTR and Spend on your campaigns. Still, lets take a quick look at them.

Keyword Filter: It provides you with a set of filters for your keyword research.

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  • Average monthly sales- Let’s say, you are not interested in keywords which have less than 1500 monthly searches, you can write 1500 in the box there.
  • Suggested bid- The same thing can be done with the suggested bids options. This is basically a measurement of commercial intent.
  • Ad Impression share- This allows you to limit out the or limit in amount of impression share your demographics are carrying out.
  • Competition- You can select that the competitive level of the keywords you want to target.

Keywords options- This option can be used to customize how you want to see your results. You can choose to click on broadly related ideas. This will enable the results to show that are broadly related to your chosen product. If suppose, you choose your product name as used cars, then it will display results with keywords containing cars, cars for use etc. Similarly you can choose to hide certain keywords from your account and plan.

Keywords to include- 

 

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Here you can choose for including certain keywords from showing up in the results. As you can see in the image that if you need to exclude certain keywords, you can add them in the negative keywords list.

Why would you include keywords? 
At times you may want to target out keywords that contain certain term and want to target them out, this will allow you to get keyword list in which each keyword will contain the specified include term.
After you are done with entering all the details, click on the “Save” button and then finally on “Get Ideas” and get ready for some magic!

Understanding the result page-

After doing this, the following window will appear:
Now this the part where your analyzing power has to come in. To ease out your problem, let’s break the section into simpler and smaller fragments and then understand.


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On the left hand side (highlighted with purple), you will see the specifications you entered on the previous window, i.e.- Targeting, Customizing your search and Keyword filters. 
On the result section, there are two options: 

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There are AdGroups and there are keyword Ideas. As the name suggests, AdGroups are contextually grouped together keywords, essentially it’s google’s attempt to give you a broader view, and divide/categorize your keyword list in bigger groups whose title will suggest you what all types of keywords are included in it. 

Before getting to how to find keywords through this result page, let’s see what does some specific terms on this result page (which are significant for you) means:

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  • Keyword (by relevance): This is a list of keywords that Google thinks is relevant to the keyword/product name you entered. You have an entire list of keyword suggestions here.
  • Average monthly searches: This column shows the average of searches of that particular keyword in a month. For example- best used cars is searched for an average of 27000 times in a month.
  • Competition: It reflects whether that particular keyword has high, medium or low competition (in terms of its advertisers).
  • Suggested bid: This is used by advertisers to project a possible spend for planning a campaign at the keyword.  As the name suggests, it is a Suggested Bid, the actual CPC/CPM/CPV may differ.
  • Graph icon: By clicking on this icon, you get a graph which denotes the search trends of that keyword over the last 12 months.

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However, you are just concerned more with the average monthly searches figures.
If you look closely, this graph will point you out what duration over an year is this keyword searched out the most, and what months least.
Now after understanding these terms, let us start with understanding how to take keywords from this page.
This will enable you to understand and plan the SEO beforehand.
You now have two options from where you can search for your keywords- Ad group and keyword suggestions. Let’s get to them one by one

By clicking on Ad group ideas, you get the following result:

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The highlighted list is the list of suggested Adgroups by Google. Here you can find some amazing ideas for niche markets and keywords.

Here you see that after every keyword suggestion, you have some number written besides it. So basically these are the keyword categories and the number besides them denote how many keywords are in there which are related to that category.

If you like a particular category, you can click on that, and select a keyword that you think is useful or relevant.

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Now, once you have got an idea of keywords through Ad group, you can click on Keyword ideas:
When you click on the “Keyword ideas” tab, the following tab appears:

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When you click on keyword ideas, you will get a list of keyword suggestions, (along with the average monthly searches of the respective keywords) which are relevant with the term you entered previously. You can choose as many as you want!
You can even see the search trends of each keyword over the last 12 months by clicking on the graph icon that appears to the right of the number of average monthly searches.

Exporting data: Downloading the keywords; the end task:

Google lets you easily export the data you just researched. This can be done in 2 ways: 

  • You can either download the entire list of keywords that you think are relevant to you, or
  • You can select particular keywords/keyword phrases and make a custom list and copy the same in an excel sheet.

Multiply keyword lists to get new ideas:


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Google is great at math. This is another example of it. 

This feature lets you add a list of different keywords, then it applies all sorts of Permutations and Combinations, mashes up both the lists and comes out with hundreds of keywords suggestions by combining both the lists. Sounds cool, right?
This feature is very useful for the e-commerce sites for doing their keyword research as through this they can get an idea of all the ways customers use to search for their products.

Let’s see how to use this feature:
Targeting section is the same as it was for the first section
You need to enter the Country’s Name, Language and the Search Engine
In the both the lists, you can enter the keywords of your choice, whose combinations you want.

Start with list 1:
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 Then proceed on to the next list:
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If you want to add another list, click on “X” mark besides the second list:
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After you are done adding your keywords in the lists, click on Get search volume to get your results

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When you click on the Get search volume option, you will get the result page in the same way like you got for the first section, i.e. When you were searching for new keywords

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The text highlighted in yellow shows the list that you had entered on your own.

The box in red shows the keyword suggestions by Google which are obtained as a result of mashing up of both the lists.
Exporting the keywords can be done in the same way as it was done for searching for new keywords.

 

 Get search volume data and trends:

This feature is effective when you have your own list of keywords and you just want to know their search volume. 


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You can manually enter the keywords or can even upload your file of keywords by clicking on the choose file option.
Once you are done with entering the keywords, or uploading a file, you can click on “Get search volume, and get the result page.
 

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The text highlighted in yellow is showing the set of keywords that you had put in and the text highlighted in pink is showing the average monthly searches or the search trends for those respective keywords. For example- Blue jeans has an average monthly search of 90,500 (you can also see it search trends for the last year by clicking on the icon).

Now that we know how to use the Google Keyword tool for Keyword Research, let’s decide if we actually want to use this tool or not by walking through its Pro’s and Con’s. 

Pro’s:

  • It lets you filter: This tool allows you to customize your results according to the way you want it to show, thus enabling you to exclude unnecessary and non useful results.
  • Not just local, but hyper local search: This tool gives you the users an option to view keyword volume on a hyper-local basis. You can now drill down through a local area in a more specific area, and find out the keyword volume for that area.
  • Multiple list blessing: This is a simple blessing in disguise. It allows you to generate options by mixing and matching two lists.
  • It’s free free free! - The best part is that it provides all these features at free of cost.


Con’s:

  • No device targeting: The results for both searches for mobile devices and desktops are merged now. You can’t see their results individually.
  • Broad, phrase or exact match feature has been removed: Now only the option of Exact match has been left.
  • Google adwords account is compulsory: An Adwords account is mandatory if you need access to the keyword tool.
  • Confusing user interface: A lot of people have reported trouble in dealing with the tool.

Now we know the pros and cons as well as how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Google Keyword Planner Tool is anyday a great tool to use to get keyword suggestions for your business. 

As of now, we have an insight of how Google keyword planner is used, I hope it is very much clear to you. But if you still have any query, write down your comments below.

 

Comments

It’s actually a great and useful piece of info.
I’m happy that you just shared this useful info
with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

by Jewel Rahman on : Fri, 10/02/2015 - 14:28

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