Whether you are just starting out in AdWords or you are looking for ways to improve your account, Google’s Keyword Planner might be just the tool you need.
For the uninitiated, the Keyword Planner is a marvelous tool in AdWords that helps you to find new keywords. Its power lies in the fact that you are able to find keywords that are both high-quality and diverse in a very short period of time. Not only that, but it also gives you the metrics you need to evaluate the likelihood of success for those keywords, including historical traffic traffics for those keywords, average monthly searches, competition, and suggested bids.
With the keyword planner, you don’t have to wonder if the keyword you are using is actually one that will bring in traffic. It actually tells you! Sometimes certain keywords sound great, but then the data shows that no one uses that search term. You want to spend your time, energy and resources on good keywords that will actually get you the traffic and leads you want.
How To Use It
Here’s how to start using the Keyword Planner.
- Go to the “Tools” tab at the top of your AdWords campaign; on the drop-down menu, select “Keyword Planner”.
- You will see several options – click on the first one, “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category”.
- Enter a keyword you want to test – that’s strictly all you need to start browsing keyword options.
- But, you can also enter your business website URL, the category of your product or service, and the area you want to target. We highly recommend putting in your general area so that the data you receive is limited to the location you want to target. (For example, there may be 100,000 searches for “movers near me” in North America, but are there any at all in just the small town of Shawnee, Oklahoma?)
Once you enter your data and hit “Get Ideas”, the results you receive will first list the data for the particular search term you entered. Below that, the Keyword Planner lists similar ideas based on your keyword and, if applicable, your website and the product/service category you entered on the first page.
Exactly what data does the Keyword Planner provide? First off, it provides you the number of monthly searches in your target area. This metric is not just a prediction of future searches, but also the actual historical data for that keyword – the average number of times it has been searched in your area per month for the past twelve months. Next, the planner lists the the level of competition for that keyword (i.e. High, Medium, Low), and a suggested bid. Finally, it provides you a button to “add” the keyword to your personal saved keywords list at the right side of the page.
For sake of example, let’s say you have a remodeling business in New York City. You want to test the keyword “remodeling services near me”, so you enter in this search term, enter your website, enter your location as “New York City” and search. After all, if our remodelers only serve New York City, getting search results for the whole world won’t help you to determine the Google search patterns in your particular area.
The results? In New York City, the keyword “kitchen remodeling near me” gets an average of 880 monthly searches, the competition is High, and the suggested bid is $7.82. Good one. The amount of traffic on the keyword is solid. I add it to my ad group on the right and then scroll through the “similar” keywords below, where Google suggests potentially similar keywords to the one you entered.
The first word I see is “kitchen design”. It has 368,000 average monthly searches, the competition is High, and the suggested bid is very low – only $1.92. However, I definitely do not want to add this word. Why? For my example remodeling business, my goal is to get people to pick up the phone, call my business, and pay me to remodel their kitchen or bathroom. Thus, it is critical for me to target people who are ready to buy and aren’t merely doing research.
It’s unclear what someone who searches “kitchen design” is exactly looking for. Are they a prospective customer ready to pay for a kitchen remodeler? Perhaps they want an interior decorator instead. Or perhaps they are a teenager daydreaming about the future kitchen she won’t be able to afford for another 30 years. I have no way to tell if these people are ready to buy.
If I’m a small business, I don’t have a huge advertising budget and can’t afford to waste money on searches that aren’t directly relevant to my business. So I pass over words like this one, instead opting for more focused, specific keywords that are more likely to become immediate leads.
Hmm, here’s another keyword: “kitchen remodeling nyc”. There are 110 average monthly searches, with Medium competition and a suggested bid of $13.75. Not bad. With medium or low competition, I might be able to fly below the radar of all the competition and get more of the leads my competitors are missing.
It’s a great search term, because it is more clear that the person searching is likely to be a prospective customer ready to hire someone. Even though it’s a bit more expensive than “kitchen design”, it’s worth it to me. If I gross $15,000 for the average kitchen remodel, $13 or even $30 is worth it to me for a possible new customer. The more certainty the word gives you, the advertiser, the more desirable a keyword it is.
Tips & Tricks
One neat feature of the Keyword Planner is that you can create different ad groups on the right side of the page. As you find more and more quality keywords, you can add the keywords to your respective ad groups, based on the keyword.
Say you have one ad group for “NYC” keywords and one ad group for “Local” keywords. As you find more and more keywords you can sort them into their respective categories. “Kitchen remodeling NYC”, “home remodel service in New York City” and “best bathroom remodelers in NYC” all go into the “NYC” ad group. Meanwhile, “Local remodeling contractors”, “local kitchen remodelers” and “local home remodeling near me” go into the “Local” ad group. Or you can organize your keywords differently – perhaps “Bathroom” ad groups and “Kitchen” ad groups. It just depends on what your needs are and how your business is structured.
In the end, the Keyword Planner gives you enormous freedom to choose what keywords you want to target, how specific or broad you want those keywords to be, and how you want to structure your campaigns, all while optimizing your chances of spending your advertising budget on the highest quality keywords possible. Ultimately, the Keyword Planner helps you to get more leads and more customers to make your business a success.
Here at Rothman PPC, our highly trained specialists have collectively spent thousands of hours mastering the Keyword Planner – and used it to help hundreds of small businesses build top-of-the-line, highly successful Google AdWords campaigns. We do this all day, every day. We would absolutely love to partner with you to make your business a success, for a fraction of the price. Get in touch today!