A complete guide to advertising with Google AdWords Part 2- Google Adwords Keyword Planner

A complete guide to advertising with Google AdWords Part 2: Google Adwords Keyword Planner

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Giving a whole new meaning to the clichéd phrase ‘bigger and better’, Google rolled out Adwords keyword planner which vows to provide its users with an integrated work flow. You no longer have to go through the cumbersome process of using both Google tools – the keywords tool and the traffic estimator – to plan out your search engine campaign, as the keyword planner contains the combined functionality of both.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

The Keyword Planner – What, How, and why

What are keywords?
So, what exactly are keywords? And why are they mentioned in articles related to search engine optimization so frequently?
Well, keywords are basically a set of words that users type in search engine bars in order to search for certain things. For instant, if an internet user is trying to search for art colleges in Houston, he might type ‘art schools Houston’ or ‘best art schools Houston’, and so on.  This would then help search engines to locate websites that offer the information they’re looking for, by matching the keywords typed in by the users, to the keywords mentioned in the website. Hence, search engines would show a list of websites that match the keywords users are looking for.

The basic aim of targeting keywords is not merely attracting people, but attracting the right kind of people. So what are the factors involved in choosing the right keywords?

  • Being specific.
    If you had a business which offered boots, which of these keywords would be more specific towards the products your business offers? ‘Brown boots’ or ‘pleather preservation chemicals’?
    Obviously the former. Therefore, an important lesson here is that when you’re searching for the right keywords to target, make sure you choose the ones that are more specific to the services you’re offering than others.
  • Repeating keywords is not a sin, as long as it’s done sensibly.

    Repeating keywords does not mean using ‘brown boots’ and ‘brown boots online’. This is because both of these keywords will bring up similar results. However, if one was to use the keywords ‘brown boots comparison’ and ‘brown boots reviews’ then he would find varied results. Therefore, it is not essential to just use varied keywords (brown boots, pleather tan), but repeated keywords can also be used just till their meaning is slightly varied.

  • Keeping location-based searches in mind.

    Another factor to keep in mind while searching for optimized keywords is, that several times internet users may mention their location, in order to further narrow down the search – such as ‘brown boots Houston’. Therefore, if you’re operating in a single geo location, then make sure you target location based keywords as well, since visitors of other locations are not going to be of much help to you.

  • Higher traffic and lower competition.

    It’s a no brainer, that in order to target the right keywords you need to go for ones that offer low competition. This is because low competition keywords are easy to beat and high competition keywords require a lot of extra effort that includes high authority and reputable backlinks, authority pages, etc. So if you’re just starting out, then focus on the low competition keywords. Similarly, high traffic keywords should be chosen because the main purpose of targeting keywords in increasing traffic. And high traffic keywords mean lots of visitors for your website.

After you’ve created a list of relevant keywords you need to incorporate them in the content you upload on your website. This is because once a visitor searches for the keyword you’ve targeted, Google search will rank your website high on the list of websites for him to choose from. This will ensure more clicks on your website.

So, where does Google Adword Keyword Planner come in all this?
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is basically the starting point of keyword research. It provides you with suggested keywords that are relevant to your business, estimated search volume and the cost of running paid campaigns for these keywords. Basically, a go-to tool for all entrepreneurs and marketers. All you need to do in exchange for this plethora of services is that you enter in a keyword, multiple keywords or even just your website address, and Google with come up with not only a list of keywords but also simple metrics that will help you determine how fierce the competition revolving around a specific keyword is along with how many people search for that particular term globally and locally. Since, SEO strategies and keyword research thrives on competition, this information can prove to be very vital.

What is a Google Adwords Keyword Planner?
Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Traffic estimator had both been in the market for over 10 years before Google decided to introduce the keyword planner. But, what exactly is a Keyword Planner? This newest tool from Google is a-dream-come true for PPC account owners as it assists the advertisers in getting through the whole process of creating ad campaigns with minimum amount of hassle.  Its distinct features include an interface that’s targeted at advertisers as opposed to the Google Keyword Tool that served a more general purpose.

Workings of the Google Adwords Keyword Planner:
Before you get started you need to make sure that you have a Google account because the first step towards using the Keyword Planner is logging in.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

Logging in to Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Once you’ve successfully logged into the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, you’ll be presented with 4 options.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

  • Option 1: Search for new keyword and ad group ideas
    This option provides you with a normal keyword research tool where the search results are shown based on the keywords you enter. Since the main purpose of Google is to encourage you to advertise beyond using just keywords, it goes an extra mile by showing you suggested adgroups based on your keyword along with other advertising information.
  • Option 2: Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups

    This option allows you to enter an existing list of keywords or even a file containing those keywords, so that you can get an idea of how popular they are. Along with providing you with search volume statistics, it also allows you to group together your keywords into ad groups.

  • Option 3: Get traffic estimates for a list of keywords

    Once you’ve made a list of keywords you wish to target, you can enter the list in this option and get details (click and cost estimates) regarding the ads you can run.

  • Option 4: Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas

    By clicking on this option, you can save a lot of time and unrequired hassle as you can manually multiply two or more lists of the keywords you plan on targeting. And it doesn’t just end here, but also extends towards giving you traffic estimates and historical statistics for that new list.

Option 1: Search for a new keyword and ad group ideas

  • Step 1 – Select the Search for a new keyword and ad group ideas option. Upon selecting this option, the search engine will expand.

    Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

  • Step 2 – Enter one or more of the following. In this section you’ll come across several boxes.

    Your product or services: Enter the words or phrases that you want to research. They should describe the products or services you’re advertising.

    Your landing page: Enter either the URL of your entire website or a certain page you’re planning on advertising. Google will find relevant keywords after reviewing this URL. However, if you’re just planning to research keywords, you can leave this box blank.

    Your product category: Enter in a category that’s relevant to your website or the specific page you’re advertising. Leave this box blank if you can’t find a category that matches closely to your keywords. Google will use this information to further narrow down a whole list of potential keywords to ones that are closely related to the keywords you’ve chosen.

    Targeting: This option helps you to set up several targeting options to customize your keyword research.

    • Location – Specify certain countries you’re interested in targeting, or you can even select all countries.
    • Languages – Enter in the languages you’re interested in.
    • Google – You have two options to choose from.
      Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO
      1: Selecting Google will restrict your keyword research to the Google search engine only.
      2: Selecting the second option will broaden your keyword research as it will encompass all Google search partner sites.
    • Negative Keywords – Enter in the keywords you want to exclude from this research. If there are no particular keywords you wish to exclude then leave this box blank.

    Customizing your search:

    Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

    It consists of 3 options:

    • Keyword Filters – You can filter your keywords based on historical searches.
      Average monthly searches: Through this option you can find keywords that have a certain search volume. 
      Suggested Bid: This option allows you to find keywords of a certain value.
      Ad Impression Share: This option helps you identify the amount of impressions (ads) and clicks your keywords will receive.
    • Keyword Options – You can restrict your search by turning any of these options if you feel the need.
      Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO
    • IncludeExclude – You can add or remove keywords from your account.
  • Step 3 – Click Get Ideas.
    Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO
    I searched for ‘used cars’, and these are the potential keyword ideas and ad group ideas that came up.  Since our main focus is keywords in this part of the series, we’ll discuss potential ad group ideas later.
  • Step 4 – If you want to add a keyword idea or an ad group to the plan (your keyword optimization plan works as a storage space for the keywords you want to target therefore you can add keywords to your plan while looking for more relevant keywords – what to do with the plan once you’ve made it is mentioned in the next step), click the double arrow » shown. If you’re uncertain about which keywords to add, use the historical statistics option given in the table as it will assist you in deciding which keywords should be added to your plan.
    Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO
    Note 1 – Historical statistics are statistics such as search volume that help you in defining your preferred keywords for new or existing campaigns. 
    Note 2 – How to read the results table?
                   The average monthly searches is the amount of searches internet users do for that particular month. That is the keyword ‘used for sale’ is searched at an average of 170 times monthly. Competition is how competitive a keyword is , and basically describes how many websites already show in the top results when a user search for that particular keyword on Google. If you’re just starting out on Google Adwords, then you should go for low competition keywords as competing for the higher competition ones  requires you to have a higher page rank , authority backlinks and references, etc. Suggested bids are calculated by the CPC (cost per click) that advertisers are paying for that particular keyword. However, the location and search settings that you initially select come into account for all these options. Ad impression share is the number of impressions you’ve received divided by the total number of searches for the location and network you’re targeting that matched the keyword exactly in the last calendar month.
  • Step 5 – Click Get Estimates and review plan once you’ve built your plan. It will open up a new window where a graph will be displayed which displays a range of options – click per day, impressions per day, cost per day, and ad position.
    Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO
    Note – At this point, you might be a bit confused about the whole purpose of a Keyword Plan. Well, after you’ve added your desired keywords to the plan, the next step involves setting up a keyword bid along with a daily budget for the keywords and keyword groupings you’ve chosen.
    The volume of keywords as well as the CPC bid (cost per click) depends greatly upon several factors – your bid, budget, location, etc. – hence, it is vital that you customize the estimates by providing Google with all this required information.
    Still confused? Well let’s discuss an example then.
    Let’s say for instance you type in a bid of $50 and your daily budget of $1000. So, based on these settings, Keyword Planner will provide you with a detailed estimate of clicks daily, impressions per day, ad position and cost per day as shown above.


Option 2: Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups

  • Step 1 – Click Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups.

    Note – Ad groups are basically how you organize your preferred keywords, ads and bids. It is important in showing people the ads they’re likely to take interest in.
    Each and every campaign of yours is made of one or more than one ad groups. Therefore, you can put all the keywords in one group, and once they get matched with your search terms, they will then trigger the ads you’ve selected for that theme. So you can either add keywords to existing ad groups, or create different ad groups with different ad themes where you can add keywords according to the theme.
    For example, if you’re an event manager then you can have a different ad group for party management, and business events management, with different themed ads and keywords for each of them.

  • Step 2 – Option 1 allows you to enter the keywords of your choice.  Option 2 allows you to upload a file which has keywords.
     Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO
  • Click Get Search Volume. It will take you to another window which has historical statistics related to the keywords you entered. Historical search statistics include competition data and monthly search data. If you want to group these keywords into ad groups, click the ad groups option.

    Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

Option 3: Get traffic estimates for a list of keywords

You can get click and cost estimates, that is the traffic estimates, by entering keywords in this option.

Option 4: Multiply keyword lists

This option assists you in combining 2 or more keyword combinations into lists.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner, keywords, SEO

For example, there can be 2 lists – one containing countries, and the other containing cars. Google will combine both the lists to create new keywords.
Once you’re done with that, click Get Estimates to get traffic estimates and Get Search Volume to get historical statistics for these new keywords.


For an SEO campaign to be successful, keywords have to be chosen with utmost care. However, with tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool, you can easily choose the right keywords that will drive huge amounts of traffic to your website and will help you climb the success ladder.

Yet, while keywords have a lot of significance, ad groups also play an important part in optimizing your website and turning your business into a successful empire

Confused about Ad Groups and their increasing significance in the digital marketing world? Read the next part in this series to find out pretty much everything you need to know about ad groups, as well as writing compelling ads that get clicks and setting up your first campaign

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