A Guide to Google’s New Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

Google's Keyword Planner

No amount of automation, bid rules, strategy, or setting manipulation can fix a pay-per-click marketing campaign if you simply haven't chosen the right keywords. But how do you know what the right keywords are?

Keyword research and selection starts in the mind. Try to think about the product from the consumer's point of view and identify a user's intent based on the terms they may search. This process allows you to draw up a set of keywords that identify potential customers and determine where they are in the research and purchase funnel.

This exhaustive process will yield a list of relevant keywords, but relevant is not necessarily good enough. The cost, level of traffic, and competition level of a keyword must also be considered. After hours of product and market research, there may be hundreds of super relevant long tail keywords that you could never dream up. In the past, people conducting keyword research and selection would consult two separate tools provided by Google to solve some of these mysteries.

The Keyword Tool is used to discover new opportunities. Users input a small keyword list, and the field below populates with new related keyword ideas with basic impression and competition level data. Settings are available to whittle down to the keywords that work best for you, and there is also an Ad Group Ideas (beta) feature that groups the terms.

However, to find more detailed information on the potential cost and traffic of a given set of keywords, users need to copy their new list from the Keyword Tool, and paste them into the Traffic Estimator. Now that the keyword list is loaded, users enter a max cost per click (CPC) and a daily budget. The field below will then populate with Google's estimate for Daily Clicks, Impressions, Average Position, Daily Cost, Click Through Rate and CPC.

Keyword Planner
This two tool approach was a massive pain for users, and even Google admitted that users found this approach to be, "cumbersome." In response to user complaints, Google has launched a new, all-inclusive "Keyword Planner." Keyword Planner takes the functions of both the Keyword Tool and the Traffic Estimator and melds them into one seamless interface.

Getting set up on Keyword Planner and conducting keyword research and selection is now as easy as following these five steps:

Step 1:
Choose your input method.

Choose your input method

Step 2:
Once you have chosen your method and have loaded your keywords, you are entered into the main dashboard of the tool. This page closely resembles the functionality of the old Keyword Tool, but with quite a makeover. It has a sleek set up and users will find it much easier to use. Select your ad group ideas or keyword ideas, and they will be added to the right side of the tool, under "Your plan."

Your Plan

Step 3:
Click "Review Estimates." This next page mirrors the old Traffic Estimator. Choose a CPC bid you are comfortable with, and a realistic daily budget. Click, Impression, Average Position, Cost, CTR, and CPC data will then populate for the keywords you selected just moments ago.

Review Estimates

Step 4:
Select any keywords you want and get rid of the ones you don't.

Keyword Editing

Step 5:
Click Save to Account or download your new keywords.

The Keyword Planner is long overdue and anyone who has been waiting for a new, streamlined, approach to effectively conduct keyword research and selection will be thankful it has finally arrived.

Have any questions or comments about the new Keyword Planner tool? Comment below or tweet @BFMweb.

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Comments on this post

  1. Hey there.
    Think about the product from the consumer’s point of view and identify a user’s intent based on the terms they may search. This process allows you to draw up a set of keywords that identify potential customers and determine where they are in the research and purchase funnel.

  2. Rick Nelson said:

    Thank you so much
    Ive never really understood how the keyword tool worked till now

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