In 2016, Google replaced their Keyword Tool with the Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is a combination of the old Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator. This is the new tool to use for SEOs and online search marketers, showing not only average search volumes based on exact, broad, or phrase match, but also how much each keyword would cost as a PPC or CPC campaign.
- Go to the Keyword Planner Tool (Make sure you are logged into Google AdWords using your WSM account). You now have four options to choose from:
- "Search for new keyword and ad group ideas"
- "Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups"
- "Get traffic estimates for a list of keywords"
- "Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas"
*** For SEO purposes we will only be using the first option to search for keywords and ad group ideas ***
2. Once you have selected “Search for keyword and ad group ideas” the scenery will start to become a bit more familiar in comparison to the old Keyword Tool.
- Within the first box, you will place any keyword ideas you have and Google will create both a keyword ideas list and ad groups that are relevant to your keywords.
- Within the second box you can place the URL for a site you want to get keyword ideas for and the keyword planner will automatically generate keywords and ad group ideas for you based on what it sees on the site - you do not need to use this feature unless you are truly not able to come up with any keyword ideas on your own.
- In the third box you can select a product category to get more general keyword ideas within a certain category such as “Finance”. This is a good tool to use to generate ideas in relation to a specific category that you are not familiar with or when you need to target a specific audience.
*** In the new "Targeting" section you are able to choose how you want to filter your keyword search results by: ***
- Country (United States)
- Language (English)
- Search Engine (Google)
- What words to ignore in results (Negative Keywords)
3. It is important to target the country or state the client does business in unless they are a global organization, or if you need to be more specific, to target the area that you want to collect research for.
- If a client wants their rankings to be localized to their place of business, then target their city or state (ex: San Diego automotive retailer, Tuscon aftermarket car parts, etc).
- If the client is an eCommerce site with a brick and mortar location in a city, you can search how often people are searching for keywords within that city and surrounding areas, allowing you to target specific demographics that could boost sales and brand awareness within that community.
- You can also customize your search by filtering keywords that are searched more often or less than "X" amount of times per month, as well as keywords that cost more than "X" amount of money to generate a campaign around through further customization, but you will not need to go this far for our clients - we usually only do basic homepage SEO.
- You can also hide keywords using the negative keyword target to make sure that results are relevant to the topic area you are researching. Placing "jacket" as a negative keyword will prevent “leather jacket” showing up in your keyword ideas list when you are searching for “leather shoe” as your targeted keyword since both queries have "leather" in them.
4. Once you have searched your keywords, you will receive ad group ideas and keyword ideas.
- The ad groups are expandable and will show you similar keywords to what you have searched.
- The keyword ideas will show both your exact matches to what you searched, and a generated keyword list sorted by relevance - This is the list you will want to use.
- You can change your settings from broad to exact using the pencil logo in the top right corner of the results. Always change your results settings to exact for more accurate results.
5. Look at the "Keyword Ideas" tab and sort the results by competition and start with "Low" competition keywords with low search numbers (click the header twice).
- Anything under 100 is a good place to start.
- Keywords that have hundreds or thousands of searches a month will be impossible to rank for since we do not do SEO and social media campaigns for clients.
6. When you see keywords that you like and can be applied to the page you are optimizing, add them to your "plan" by...
- clicking on the double arrow logo, underneath the "Add to plan" column
- continue to look through the results until you reach the end
7. Once you have all of the keywords you are interested in clicked into your plan...
- click the download button within the "Your plan" column on the right side (the download button is a downwards arrow over a straight line).
8. Once you have the metrics for all of your keywords, you can now download your results to Excel.
- If you choose to segment statistics by month, your spreadsheet will reflect how often each keyword was searched per month for the last year. This is a good tool to use to analyze search volume patterns for keywords you may be planning to implement into a campaign or website to ensure they are being searched regularly and are not experiencing a spike that will die down soon.
9. Once you download your keyword research, it will look like a large block of data, especially if you have segmented your statistics.
10. All you need to keep is the actual keyword column, the search volume column, and the competition column.
11. Highlight all of your column and go to Data>Filter and sort the document by search volume.
12. Once you have done this, you can look at which keywords have a reasonable search volume and competition level, and select your final 3-5 keywords from here to implement into your content and to base your meta information on.