It has been far too long since I posted anything useful on this blog, things has just been a little too hectic juggling time between family, work and leisure. If you haven’t already heard, Google are phasing out the much loved Google Keyword Tool in the coming months and encouraging the search community to use the swanky new Keyword Planner Tool. This blog post will cover some tips on how to use the new tool.

Background

On May 20th, Google announced the launch of the new Keyword Planner which combines the Keyword Tool and Traffic estimator in to one. As part of the launch of the new tool, Google also released a document outlining the main differences between the old and new tool. If you use the Google Keyword Tool as much as I do, you would have noticed that Google recently included a notification prompting users that the tool will be unavailable in the coming months and encouraging the use of Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Tool phasing out

This news has been covered in these major publication, if you are interested to read more about it:

Logging In to Keyword Planner

In order to use the keyword planner tool, you need to have a valid Google Adwords account. Unlike the old tool, if you do not have a valid account, you will not be able to get access to it. As we all know, being logged in in the old tool gives you significantly more data, so just use the same login details.

Logging in to Keyword Planner

Here’s the URL to get access to the tool: http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner

Introducing Keyword Planner

This is what see when you have successfully logged in:

Intro to Keyword Planner

There are 3 options to choose from.

There are a some differences between the Keyword Tool vs Keyword Planner. You can read more about here. I’ll summarise a few key differences, taken from the article:

  • With Keyword Tool, we showed you statistics for broad match by default with the ability to get statistics for other match types, like phrase and exact match. With Keyword Planner, you’ll get historical statistics only for exact match.
  • Average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with Keyword Tool. That’s because we’ll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices
  • Local and global monthly search volume column has been rolled into one

Not sure if I agree with these, it almost feels like we have less granular data and control. Anyways, let’s walk through the tool in more details and see how we would use it for keyword research.

1. Search for Keyword and Adgroup Ideas

This is essentially the same as the Google Keyword Tool, it just looks different. You still have majority of the settings and options here with the exception of device targeting which is missing from the Keyword Planner because everything is incorporated into a single data point as an average. So, the standard keyword research process that you are used to will still apply. Enter a few seed keywords into search box, select your targeting options and you will be presented with a list of keyword ideas. Or if you choose to enter a specific URL and get Google to return keyword ideas, that works the same as well.

Here’s an example of me researching about “shoes” and “sneakers”:

Generate keyword ideas

And here’s an example searching using a specific URL:

Keyword ideas from URL

If you ever need to swap between the different types of searches or use the other options that Keyword Planner has to offer, just click on the “Modify Search” button:

Change options & features

Where is Exact Match?

Changing different match types in the new tool is not as intuitive and obvious compared to the old Google Keyword Tool. Here’s where you change the keyword match types:

Change match types

It is also important to note that changing match types does not update the search volume data in the interface nor in the file exports. Here’s proof:

Exact match export

Broad match export

Maybe it is a bug, please let me know in the comments if you experience a different behaviour.

Downloading Keyword Ideas

There is a cool feature when you download the keyword ideas. Introducing “Segment statistics by month”, this is really awesome:

09-segment-stats

The opportunities are endless, now that you have the historical search volume data in CSV. You can use excel, slice and dice the data and gather some actionable insights.

Keyword export & excel chart

2. Enter or Upload Keywords to See How They Perform

This is a new feature that wasn’t in the Google Keyword Tool. One that I am extremely excited about since Google revoked access to the Google Adwords API last year to avoid abuse. I was gutted that they revoked my access which meant that I couldn’t use Seogadget’s Google Adwords API Extension for Excel. It was really painful having to manually use search and export in batches via the tool just to gather search volume data.

There are 2 options for you to choose, you can either enter a list of keywords in the match types and get search volume data and traffic estimates OR upload your keyword list via a CSV file.

11-two-options

Testing option 1 with a list of 5,314 keywords quickly displays an error which limits the number of keywords to a thousand at a time – Fair enough!

1,000 limit

Testing option 2 with a list of 5,314 keywords in a CSV file, formatted according to Google’s instructions here. Upload the CSV and hit “Get Search Volume”.

Upload keyword list

BOOM! Search volume data for all 5,314 keywords. Having this upload functionality alone will be a massive time saver even without the Google Adwords API access – thank you Google gods =).

What this means is that you can now, gather all your keyword ideas from Uber Suggest, YouTube keyword tool, Soovle and the likes. Merge all your keyword ideas into a master CSV file and upload the file to Keyword Planner to gather data and intelligence.

3. Multiply Keyword Lists

This is also a massive time saver when it comes to keyword research and certainly a great feature of the Keyword Planner tool. Say for example, you have a real estate client that services multiple states and cities in Australia. Rather than using excel to concatenate keywords together, you can use this feature to automatically multiply keywords and get search volume data all at once. For example:

Keyword Multiplier

Keyword Multiplier Results

You can add up to 3 multipliers, so get creative!

Up to 3 multipliers

Conclusion

Overall, I think the Keyword Planner tool is great and is definitely a massive time saver when it comes to keyword research. It is a shame that the data provided is less granular than the Google Keyword Tool, particularly not being able to distinguish desktop vs mobile search volume. I guess with the launch of enhanced PPC campaigns, Google will want everything to be consistent. I hope you found this post useful. As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions below.