New Google Keyword Planner: top tips on what you need to know | DMA

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New Google Keyword Planner: top tips on what you need to know

If you have recently tried to use Google’s Keyword Tool you will have discovered you are now redirected to Google Adwords and their Keyword Planner. Confused? Then here are some tips on what you need to know about the latest changes when performing your keyword research for SEO and PPC.

Google has retired its free Keyword Tool and replaced it with Keyword Planner, which incorporates both the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator, but don’t panic, you can still perform keyword research for free.

Firstly, you will need an Adwords account and although you don’t have to use it for PPC, it is necessary to access the free SEO tools.

Once signed in to Adwords, select the Tools & Analysis Tab and choose Keyword Planner where you will see there are three options:

1. Search for keyword and ad group ideas
Here, you can enter up to 50 keywords, as well as a target website or one product category to find keywords and keyword ideas. This then displays search volume, competition and the average CPC. You are also able to target results by country, language and negative keywords.

2. Enter or upload keywords to see how they perform
This option lets you either enter up to 1,000 keywords manually or up to 10,000 via a CSV upload. You then need to choose the option “Get search volume” to give you Ad Group Ideas or Search Volumes. You can also see estimates of what a campaign would cost on those keywords. Furthermore, you can also retrieve keyword data for via CSV just like the old Keyword Tool which is handy for reports.

3. Multiply keyword lists
This allows you to enter several lists of keywords as long as the combined total is not more than 1,000. The keywords can be entered manually or via a CSV file and again you can find local search volumes for specific towns and regions which is a handy feature.

Other changes
Unlike Google’s Keyword Tool, the Keyword Planner doesn’t let you specifically target mobile devices, such as tablets and mobile phones. It currently targets all devices but Google has stated that it is planning to add this feature to Traffic Estimator at some point in the future.

There is no type match data any more, such as broad, phrase and exact match, Keyword Planner will show the same stats whatever you use. ‘Closely Related’ search terms is another feature that has disappeared, although Google has again said this will be back in the coming weeks.

Local monthly searches and global monthly searches are now combined to give an average monthly search volume, but this is compensated for by the fact that you can now get data for an entire country, or individual cities and regions within a country.When it comes to which option to use, if you have fewer than 50 keywords, then option 1 is probably better. If you have more than 50 keywords then option 2 or 3 are more user-friendly.

Getting used to the new tool will take a little time, but with some testing to see which suits your needs best, you can quickly learn your way around.Keyword Planner now directly links keyword research with traffic estimates and costs leading onto campaigns, which definitely has advantages for setting up PPC campaigns.

By DMA guest blogger, Lynsey Sweales, CEO of SocialB and DMA Social Media Council member

This blog first first appeared on SocialB

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