5 Things to Know About the Keyword Planner Tool

The first thing to know about the keyword planner tool is that it is now much, much better than it was.

Its output is clearer, its features are better thought-through and it integrates more neatly with your existing activity.

There’s a lot more than I have covered here (so if you haven’t played with it recently, do so) but these are my five highlights….


1) It’s an excellent source of ideas for topics and ad grouping

Recently (and for the first time in the new interface) Google introduced a ‘grouped ideas’ tab which groups keyword ideas into suggested categories.

Rather than having a single mass of keyword ideas to wade through, this category list gives you a massive head start in finding new ad groups or campaigns to add.

The suggested categories are (mostly) high quality… and only appear if they have keywords with enough volume to qualify.

2) Competitor sites

You probably know that you can input your URL to have the tool scan your site for keyword ideas… but an extra good tip is to put your competitors’ URLs into the tool.

Let your competitors do the work and get Google to summarise it for you… *lights cigar…*

3) The estimates are not great – but have improved

On the whole, the numbers provided by the keyword planner are over-pessimistic (volume is usually higher than predicted and CPCs lower) – but they do seem to have improved over time.

With the latest update, the stats are much more nicely presented in your ‘keyword plan’, charts and all…

The new ‘competition indexed value’ metric is also a more useful gauge of competitiveness than the simple ‘low’ / ‘medium’ / ‘high’ rating.

It gives a score out of 100 (100 being most competitive) “determined by the number of ad slots filled divided by the total number of ad slots available.”


4) Helpful filter options

You can now apply a range of useful filters to the keyword suggestions which – like the ‘grouped keywords’ option – addresses the unmanageable mass of keywords that meets you by default. \

The option to exclude keywords you already use is a particularly welcome addition.

5) It’s the best keyword planning tool available

…and the recent improvements make it the clear number one. Others worth a mention are:
  • Ubersuggest (it’s over commercialised, and mines much less deeply than it used to since changing hands a couple of years ago… but it’s still worth a try)
  • Answer the Public (interesting data presentation. Designed for finding content topics but makes for a good search volume tool)
  • Keywords Everywhere (Chrome plugin, scans the current page and lists keyword suggestions)

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