Useful Tips for Using the New Google Keyword Planner

Laura Ginn

The Google Keyword Planner is a replacement for the old Keyword Tool. Google says the new tool is an improvement on the old one and although you may not agree, you are going to have to get used to it because it is here to stay. There are many differences between the two tools. For one thing you need an AdWords account to be able to use it, but since this is free, it isn’t really a massive problem. So how can you make the best use of the Keyword Planner tool for your SEO campaign?

The Importance of Keywords

Identifying the right keywords is the basis for any SEO campaign. Unless you know what keywords to target, you are essentially boxing in the dark, flailing around with very little chance of striking it lucky. Because the new Keyword Planner is an amalgam of the old Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator, it should be able to help you identify the most effective keywords.

Generate Keyword Ideas

Once you have logged in to your Adwords account and opened up the Keyword Planner, select ‘Search for Keyword and Ad Group Ideas’ and enter a general keyword for your particular niche. If for example you sell pet products you could start off with ‘pet food’. This would give you some starting themes.

The Keyword Planner tool will generate a list of recommended keywords based on your term, along with other useful data including:

  • Average CPC
  • Search Volume
  • Competition

This data will help you gain a better understanding of what people are searching for and, more importantly, how many people are searching for particular terms. You can even target specific geographical locations if appropriate—this would be useful if you were creating travel related content. For example, if the Keyword Planner suggests that ‘casual dining bistro Perth’ has a decent search volume, it could be worth targeting this in a page devoted to restaurants in Perth.

Keyword Comparisons

Use the data provided by the Keyword Planner to help you decide which of the suggested keywords are likely to generate the most value for money. It is easy to assume that the keyword with the highest number of searches is the best one, but it might not be. You might enjoy better results if you use a lower volume keyword because people searching for this are more likely to be interested in buying a particular product.

Analyse Competitor Sites

The Keyword Planner can be used to analyse competitor websites. To do this, type the URL of the website you are interested in examining into the ‘Your Landing Page’ field and ask Google’s Keyword Planner to give you some ideas. The results returned will give you a good idea of which search terms your competitor is focussing on in their SEO campaign, and therefore which search terms you should also consider important.

Although the Keyword Planner is still relatively new and people will undoubtedly take a while to get used to the differences, it should improve over time.