An Introduction to Keyword Planner

keyword-plannerWhat’s the first step to implementing a strong Web strategy for your business? The answer is keyword research. The keywords your prospects use when searching online give you amazing insights into what they’re thinking – and how you can help them.

How do you get started? Google alone processes billions of searches every day, so you need the right tool to execute research methodically. Ideally, you need to understand three factors about a particular keyword phrase before you create a strategy around it:

  • The level of traffic it generates – whether users really search for a given phrase.
  • How competitive it is – whether other sites in your niche consider it worthwhile.
  • The amount it might cost to build a pay-per-click strategy around it on AdWords.

Luckily, Google has developed a single tool, Keyword Planner, that is fully integrated into the AdWords advertising platform. Keyword Planner not only provides a snapshot of current keyword performance, but also allows you to monitor historical trends.

Getting Around in Google Keyword Planner

When you access Keyword Planner, you’ll be asked to log in with your AdWords account. Afterwards, you’ll have three main options:

Search for New Keywords

If you’re completely new to keyword research, this is the place to start. By using a phrase, your home page, or even your business category as a seed, you get keyword suggestions from Google. Additional options let you target specific regions, languages, and more. Other settings found on this block, like filters and keyword options, should be left for later.

Get Search Volume Data and Trends

If you have keyword ideas and you want to see how they’re performing, begin here. You can manually enter keywords or use a CSV file to enter hundreds or even thousands. With the default options, you’ll be presented with historical search trends for the last 12 months. Rising search volume is often a good sign, but remember that some keywords are seasonal.


Multiply Keyword Lists to Get New Keywords

If you have lots of keywords to work with already, this option combines them automatically, giving you various permutations made from two separate lists. For example, your first keyword list might consist of all your different services, while the second might be a list of the towns and cities where you have customers. This would let you generate “geo-targeted” keyword phrases in just seconds.

With help from Google Keyword Planner, you’ll be able to verify that an audience is waiting for new Web content structured around your keywords. Once you’ve done your research, you’ll also find the Get Click and Cost Performance options here – the gateway to crafting your pay-per-click strategy.

You’re all ready to use Keyword Planner, so get started today!