Google Keyword Planner

In late May, Google announced the release of their newest Adwords tool, Keyword Planner.  Keyword Planner essentially combines the existing Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator into one environment.  Perhaps the news that caught the attention of most SEO professionals was not the creation of this new Adwords tool, but rather the resulting elimination of the Keyword Tool so many SEO pros rely on for keyword research.

Having developed and refined a keyword research process that relied heavily on the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, I was initially frustrated by the news of Keyword Tool’s sunsetting; however, after playing around with Keyword Planner I am excited about some of the new features and the positive change these features can bring to my keyword research process.

Please keep in mind that when using Keyword Planner you need to select the “Get historical stats” option rather than “Get estimates” when researching keywords.

Uploading Large Keyword Lists

Keyword Planner allows a user to upload a CSV file of keywords.  During my initial testing of the Keyword Planner tool, I was able to upload a CSV file of over 600 keywords and download the corresponding search volumes.  I recommend adding an “Ad group” column to your CSV file to help organize your keywords.  I typically assign an ad group to similar keywords to represent which section of the website they will be targeted on.  When your file is uploaded, the keywords will automatically be sorted into the ad groups you have specified.

Export Month-by-Month Search Volume

One great feature of keyword tool is the option to export the month-by-month search volume for any keyword over the past year.  When exporting the keywords you have added to your keyword plan, be sure to select the segment by month option.

Tip: This information can be used to find keywords that appear to be experiencing an upward trend in search volume, or to understand the seasonality of your target keywords.

Multiply Keyword Lists

The “Multiply Keyword Lists” option can save a lot of time when researching keywords with common variations of adjectives or locations.  Rather than using a tool such as Merge Words or building custom formulas in Excel to concatenate columns of keywords, you can put multiple keyword lists into Keyword Planner and the tool will automatically provide search volumes of all combinations of keywords.

Tip: Select the greyed out X immediately following the second keyword list to add a third keyword list.

I would love to hear about your thoughts on the new Keyword Planner and how you plan on incorporating the new features into your keyword research process.

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