A Simple Guide to Using the New Google Keyword Planner for SEO Research
Have you done any keyword research yourself? If you have, you might have used Google’s free Keyword Research tool in the past.
Well, sad to say, that tool is being put out to pasture.
What to do instead?
Use Google’s new Keyword Planner tool for your keyword research.
In the video below, I walk you through using the Keyword Planner for SEO research and point out the major differences between the Keyword Planner and the old Keyword Research tool.
Have you logged into the Google AdWords Keyword Tool only to find that it’s now something called the Keyword Planner?
If so, this video is for you. We’re going to walk through the differences on the Keyword Tool versus the new Keyword Planner and how to use it for keyword research, for your SEO campaigns. So let’s take a look.
Here I am logged into my Google AdWords account which is totally free. If you don’t have one, feel free to head to AdWords.Google.com and sign up with an existing Gmail or Google Apps for business account or create a new one.
So if you’ve done this before, you might be familiar with heading to Tools and Analysis and then trying to go to the Keyword Tool. When you do that, you might get redirected to this new Keyword Planner which looks a little confusing. If you want to go back to the existing Keyword Tool while the option is available to you, if you get this yellow banner up here, you can hit Go Back and you can go back to the possibly already familiar to you Keyword Tool to use for your SEO keyword research.
But right now, I just want to walk through using the Keyword Planner because Google is going to be retiring the Keyword Tool in a few months, if it hasn’t already on your account. So let’s walk through how to use the Keyword Planner for your SEO keyword research.
So it looks a lot different from the Keyword Tool just right off the bat. So I know it can be a little disorienting. We are not trying to use this for a paid AdWords campaign and that’s what this tool is primarily used for, to plan paid search campaigns. So we’re going to try and focus in on just what we need to do.
So right here, what would you like to do? We would like to search for keyword and ad group ideas. Then here this screen is a little bit more familiar if you’re used to the keyword tool. If you have keyword ideas here, you can just start to type them here.
So let’s say I want to research something about press releases. I want to write about press releases. So unlike the old tool, when we type in multiple keywords here, let’s start typing “press releases”. Instead of separating them out by line, you can actually just do a comma. So if I want to write “press releases,” “press release writing,” “how to write a press release,” “where to send a press release,” you get the idea. You can go on and on just like you did with the old Keyword Tool.
So from there, we’re going to go in here. Check all this. This is the country that I want to target. That’s good. Google, that’s the search network. That’s definitely what we’re trying to do since we’re researching keywords to rank in Google.
Then everything else you can pretty much leave default. You would customize the stuff if you were actually planning an AdWords campaign but we’re just looking for SEO keyword research. So we’re going to go ahead and just hit Get Ideas.
So here we are. We’re launched into a screen that’s almost familiar but it’s not quite. Google has already grouped these into ad group ideas because again, they’re primarily using this tool to help you shape a paid AdWords campaign. So we’re going to skip the ad group ideas and head to keyword ideas.
Then here, this chart definitely is starting to look familiar to you if you already have experience with the old Keyword Tool. It’s a little bit more of a similar look. Up here on the top are all of the phrases we specifically typed in and then down the bottom are all the ideas that Google has generated for us. So a couple of key differences here. Over on the left, you see that you no longer have the option to select what kind of match type that you want for your results.
In the old Keyword Tool, you might have chosen exact match for your SEO keyword research which is something I always recommend doing and do with my own clients. Here, that’s the only result you’re going to get. You don’t get the option to choose broad or phrase here with your research. Google is automatically giving you an exact match result here.
Other key difference, if you are comparing this data to data that you’ve gotten from the Keyword Tool, this planner is going to give you either the same or slightly higher results and one of the reasons for that is that in the old Keyword Tool, you had to specify whether you wanted to get data for searches just on desktops or mobile. You weren’t able to combine the two and the planner here is giving you data for across all devices. So you might see data that’s slightly higher.
You’re going to see that average monthly searches is the only column here. There used to be a global and a local. Right now, average monthly searches is that old local column. Basically this is just giving you the average monthly search data for that country that you selected in the beginning.
Competition column is about the same thing. Again this is based on competition for bidding on AdWords, so not something that you have to necessarily pay that much attention to when you’re doing your SEO keyword research.
Then of course the average cost per click, not something we have to look at for our keyword research for SEO purposes. So if you are signed in, if you scroll down, you can see that you have 1 to 30 of 392 keywords. So you can view more by adjusting here, if you want to view them on the screen. If you want to download them, you’re going to click this little down arrow, download ideas. You can choose which way you would like to do that. If we’re doing the SEO keyword research, we’re probably going to select this Excel CSV down there.
So if you have more ideas, if you want to go back into it, you can do this modified search up here and again you can just add more here. In this screen, we can do line by line for keyword ideas unlike in the previous screen where we had to separate them out by commas. If you would instead like to research or get ideas off of a page on your website that you have, you’re going to want to clear this part out and then just type in your specific website page here.
So that’s pretty much it for the new AdWords Keyword Planner in terms of using it for SEO research. It’s kind of similar, a little bit different. The main things that are different is that it’s only providing you with exact match data, so they kind of have streamlined that step for you. The second biggest thing is that the data that you’re getting is not just desktop or mobile-specific. It’s across all devices.
So hopefully this has helped you learn how to use the Keyword Planner to research your keywords for SEO. If you like this video, please give us a like or share this on Facebook and if you would like to receive more tips like these, hop on over to LizLockard.com and get on the newsletter where I share advice like this and other tips that you just don’t see on my blog. So hop to it and keyword research away!
The new Keyword Planner tool is much more focused on creating a simpler experience for paying Google Adwords customers, but the planner is still a fine tool to use for your own DIY search engine optimization work.
What do you think?
In the comments below, let me know if you found this walk-through useful or if you have any questions on using the new tool.