As of August 27, 2013 Google Keyword Tool was officially retired and replaced with Adwords Keyword Planner. This change has been anticipated since May 20th, 2013 when Adwords Keyword Planner was launched by Google.
The keyword tool was one of the oldest and likely the most used and useful tools (apart from Google Search) offered by Google. Many online marketers were dreading the eventual demise of the easy to use keyword tool, as the keyword tool represents the cornerstone of niche research.
As you will see below Adwords Keyword planner can be used for keyword research, similar to the one we were used to. However, although free to use, one has to have an Adwords account to use this program. As well, some functionalities are missing, such as:
- It has no match type data for search volume. It only provides the search volume for exact match queries. Before, you could get broad, exact and phrase match results
- It does not offer device targeting but lumps all the results in one. Before, you could get separate statistics for desktops, tablets and mobile devices)
- It fails to offer comparison of global versus local searches
- Most importantly, it fails to offer filtering by closely related search terms. In response to numerous complaints regarding this important function, Google promises to bring it back in coming weeks or months.
Old Keyword Tool
Previous to the replacement, when you clicked on the “keyword tool” link in the search you arrived at easy to use interface
Previous Keyword Tool Interface
When you searched ideas for keywords you entered the term in the “Word or Phrase” box and you would find your keywords. The image below shows the search for the keywords “weight loss diets”. When you wanted only closely related searches you ticked off “Only show related searches” box and you were able to narrow the search.
On the left hand side you had the option to select broad, exact or phrase match search volumes. You also were able to see the results of global and local searches.
Today, when you clicks on the “keyword tool” link in the search, you get a page that tells you that Keyword Planner has replaced Keyword Tool.
Although the Keyword Planner seems cumbersome and confusing, it is possible to use it for keyword research in a similar vein as the old keyword tool. We just need to get used to it.
How To Use Keyword Planner For Keyword Research (Basics)
To reach the Keyword Planner today, you need to search for “Google Keyword Planner” or “Google Adwords Keyword Planner”
The search will bring you to the Adwords account log in page. If you want to use the Keyword Planner you will have to sign in to a Google Adwords account. Most internet marketers already have a Google Adwords account and if you do not have one you will need to sign up for it. It is free to sign up for even if you are not interested in Adwords per say. To sign up, follow this link to Google Adwords. Once you create your account the Adwords log in page will become available to you.
1. Sign into your Adwords account
2. After signing in you will access Google Adwords Dashboard. In the dashboard click on “Tools and Analysis” (red circle) on the navigation bar and a drop-down menu will give you some choices.
Google Adwords Dashboard
3. On the drop down menu select Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner Access
4. After clicking on the Keyword Planner option you will be taken to a page where you will be able to select a few options. Select “Search for keyword and ad group ideas
5. A new page will open and there, all you have to do for your initial keyword research is to enter your keyword in the box under the label “Your product or services”. In this instance I selected “weight loss diets” keyword phrase. Then, click the blue button “Get Ideas”. It is possible that by default your country will be entered in the “Targeting Area”. In the image below it shows United States. All you need to do is to click on the pencil icon and change to the country you want to target. If you want global results, enter “All Locations”.
6. On your results page you will have two choices. Adword Group Ideas and Keyword Ideas. By default you will arrive on the Adword Group ideas page. Click the Keyword Ideas tab to locate your keyword research.
7. Depending on your keywords you will get up to 800 (plus one – the keyword you input) results. You also have the option to download your results.
8. You can refine your search by comparing the keywords you chose. In the example below, I have selected a few keywords I wanted to explore further. This is a bit more difficult in the planner than it used to be in the keyword tool. But it is doable. In the top box of the results of the planner type in a few keywords that you like. Separate them with a coma. For this example I have used:
weight loss tips, weight loss diets, weight loss diet, healthy weight loss diets, healthy weight loss, weight loss program
Comparing Keywords In Keyword Planner
In the results you will see volumes and valuec of CPC. Essentially you are told which keyword is more likely end in sale. So you can optimize your site with higher value keywords. The volume that you see is exact match volume and anything above 1000 is an very good volume. In this case from the point of view of profitability it is better to optimize your blog or website for the keyword phrase “weight loss program” (CPC $3.51) than “weight loss diet” (CPC $0.48).
Lastly, I was able to find a video on youtube that shows how to use keyword planner for keyword research. It is not very long.
I must say that I am not very enamored with this new interface. The old keyword tool was so simple to use and to navigate. If Google did not want us to use it for “free” without signing up for Adwords account, they could have easily changed that.
In any case, if you really hate to use this new dashboard or you are opposed to signing up for yet another Google product, you could explore the offer by Wordtracker who are offering a free Keyword Tool for all.
Hope the article was successful at showing you how to use Keyword Planner for keyword research and as well removed some mystery from this new (or refurbished) tool. How do you feel about this change. I would love to hear, let me know.