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Keyword research is the basic foundation of organic search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertisement campaigns.
Think of it this way: you will have to base your paid advertisements and content strategy on the keywords that users are typing to find businesses similar to yours on Google.
As a part of its paid ads ecosystem, Google has a powerful tool called Google Keyword Planner (formerly known as Google Keyword Tool).
If you are just getting started with keyword planning, you may want to go for free keyword research tools to do the job. Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that can provide keyword ideas to drive organic traffic to your page or ad campaigns.
What is Google Keyword Planner – an introduction
Google has created the Google Keyword Planner to enable advertisers to make their campaigns better. This tool also provides valuable data like bid estimates, search volume, keyword difficulty, etc.
How to access Google Keyword Planner
To get started, you need a Google Ads account. After logging in, select ‘Tools & Settings’ on top of your screen. Select ‘Planning’ and then select ‘Google Keyword Planner.
Time to get started!
Google Keyword Planner gives you two options – ‘Discover New Keywords’ and ‘Get Search Volume and Forecasts’.
The first option, ‘Discover New Keywords’, allows you to find keyword opportunities available on Google.
Suppose you are in the organic beauty products industry. You may want to search for keyword opportunities related to search terms like ‘organic beauty products’ rather than ‘beauty products’, which is very broad, or ‘organic beauty products for brides’, which is very narrow.
The tool also allows you to filter and sort keywords based on average monthly searches, competitions, and top-of-the-page bids (low range/high range).
You may start with a domain or a specific web page and check the keywords your competitors are using.
Pro tip: Rather than searching for the root domain, try putting the main internal pages of a competitor’s website to find out keyword opportunities in your industry.
The second option, ‘Get Search Volume and Forecasts’, as the name suggests, allows you to access keyword volume and other vital data like estimated cost, click-through rate (CTR), and the average cost per click (CPC).
For instance, if you select ‘Get Search Volume and Forecasts’ for the keyword string ‘organic beauty products’, you can see the cost to place an ad for the keyword string and its probable CTR. This is more relevant for people searching for keywords for paid advertisement campaigns.
Pro tip: The number of clicks mentioned by this tool is not the estimated organic traffic that you can generate for these keywords. These forecasts are for PPC campaigns.
Types of keywords
There are four types of keywords on the Google Keyword Planner platform:
Broad match: This gives maximum reach and, at times, may have minimum relevance. This is the default category of keywords chosen by Google to show your ads to a maximum number of people.
Example: Broad match keywords – Men’s Shirts
- Summer shirts for men
- Stylish men’s shirts
- Shirts and pants combo for men
Phrase match: This keyword type lies in between broad match type and exact match type. This category has a medium reach but also provides medium relevance in return. In this case, ads will be shown to users searching for keywords that include the meaning of your keywords.
Example: Phrase match keyword – Men’s Shirts
- Black shirts for men
- Men’s shirts near me
- Summer shirts for men
Exact match: The exact match keywords are expected to have minimum reach and maximum relevance. In this case, ads are shown to people who have the same meaning as your keywords.
Example: Exact match keyword – Men’s Shirts
- Men’s Shirts
- Shirts for Men
Negative keywords: This keyword type is used to increase the relevance of the traffic being generated from your ads. For instance, if you sell men’s shirts but do not have checked shirts, you can include ‘checked shirts’ in the list of negative keywords.
Once you have the list of keywords that you want to place your ads on, it is essential to list the negative keywords before starting your ad campaign.
Pro tip: You can use ‘Filters’ to experiment and find keywords that have the potential to drive profits for your business.
All in all, the Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to get started with keyword planning. It helps you know your customers better, what they are searching and how you can reach them using the Google Ads platform. Your advertisements will get more prominence which will be beneficial for your business.