Tips for using Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the best keywords for your brand.
Everyone knows that any successful SEO or content strategy is built on a foundation of targeted keywords.
Keyword research is just as critical as market research. If you aren’t aware of what your customers are searching for, how will you know what content to develop in order to meet their needs?
Fortunately, there is a wide selection of keywords tools available that make this task an easy one, Google’s Keyword Planner being one of the more popular choices. And even though the Keyword Planner does form part of AdWords, you don’t need to be running any AdWords campaigns in order to utilize it.
Keywords you should be working with in 2018
Before you dive into a keyword research session, it’s important to know what types of keywords you should be working with.
As Google has updated their algorithms, marketers have had to change their approach to keyword research too. Websites that can provide users with the most useful and relevant content that is also linked to particular keywords will have a better chance of appearing in search results than sites that simply feature one or two relevant keywords in their general website copy.
It’s these types of changes to Google’s algorithms that have made long-tail keywords so important. Competition is simply too fierce and brands need to think more strategically about what their customers need and how that relates back to search terms and copy.
So with this in mind, how should you go about searching for the most relevant long-tail keywords?
Using Keyword Planner to research long-tail keywords
Below are the steps that you would follow to get long-tail keyword suggestions using Google’s Keyword Planner:
- Start with a seed list. A seed list contains basic keywords that are most relevant to your brand that you will plug into Google’s keyword planner. For example, if you happen to be a florist, ‘flowers’ would be a seed keyword.
- Insert your keywords. Login to Google AdWords and navigate to Tools > Keyword Planner. Now click on the tab labeled ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.’ You can now add your keywords and select the relevant targeting such as Country. Click on Get Ideas once you’re done.
- Browse ideas. You will now be presented with two tabs: Ad Group Ideas and Keyword Ideas. The Ad Group Ideas will give you several different categories relating to your seed keyword, with each category containing a number of long-tail keywords for you to consider. You, of course, want to select keywords that have a low to medium competition but a decent number of monthly searches. You may want to download these keyword lists to make it easier to sift through the various options.
- Develop your content or campaigns. Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of keywords, you can use it to optimize your online profiles and website, use them to develop content and social media posts or you can use them in your first AdWords campaign.
Bonus Keyword Planner Tips
Below are some additional expert tips to help you make the most of Google’s Keyword Planner tool:
- Compare keyword volume changes. If you are considering developing content around events, newsworthy topics or seasonal keywords, it helps to compare keyword volume changes throughout the year to see when these types of topics are more popular and would have the biggest impact.
- Focus on intent. Intent is an incredibly important factor when selecting keywords and developing content. You need to ask yourself what problem a user is trying to solve or what question they’re trying to answer by typing that specific search term into Google. This will ensure that you’re developing the most relevant content and campaigns possible.
- Keep an eye on your competitors. While the Keyword Planner tool is great for researching keywords for your own site, you can also use it for competitor research. By inserting a website instead of keywords into the tool, you will be able to generate a list of keywords that Google associates with that particular website. This will give you the opportunity to identify any gaps that your site could potentially fill in terms of campaigns or content.
- Don’t forget about negative keywords. If you will be using the Keyword Planner tool to run AdWords campaigns, you can really decrease your ad spend by telling Google which keywords you don’t want your brand to show up for. Adding negative keywords might take some additional time and effort but it will definitely make a difference to your spend at the end of the day.
- Take a look at mobile trends too. By taking the time to look at which keywords are more popular amongst users searching on a mobile device, you will gain a much better understanding of user intent. For example, someone searching for a coffee shop from their mobile device is probably in the area and wants something right away. What this means is that you will know which keywords have a greater likelihood of being used on a mobile device so that you can allocate more budget accordingly.
Overall, this free keyword planning tool is a must for any brand that’s serious about SEO, AdWords campaigns and creating content that converts. You can always choose to use Google’s Keyword Planner tool in conjunction with other tools to develop a more comprehensive strategy, but if you’re just getting started, this one tool is great.