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Learn how to use the Keyword Planner tool effectively to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign on Google. Make the most of your experience when using the AdWords keyword tool.

The Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool is a useful resource for building strong keyword lists and helping to get your PPC campaign off to a running start. A free-to-use feature within AdWords, its tools for generating keyword ideas and bid estimations can help you plan your marketing strategy. By using the AdWords Keyword Tool, you can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even combine keyword lists to create new ones. It can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use in your campaigns.

  1. Use Basic Filtering to Refine Your Audience & Budget

When you start using the Keyword Planner, you’ll be given four options:

  • Search for new keywords: Allows you to type in a phrase, website, or category to generate new ideas.
  • Multiple keyword lists: Combines two separate lists that you’ll input to create new keyword combinations.
  • Get search volume and trends: Shows the historical trending and search volume data of keywords.
  • Get click and cost performance forecasts: Gives you performance projections for your keyword lists based on average bids and your budget.

When you input keywords into any of these options, you’ll get a list or report which you can then filter based on a variety of elements:

  • TARGETING
  • Location: Gives search volume data and trends based on a specified geographic location or range.
  • Language: Gives search volume data and trends for a specific language. This could be especially useful if you have multiple language versions or pages of your site (for example, English and Spanish).
  • Search Network: Determines where the provided data comes from. The default data source is from Google; however, you may also choose Google and Google Search Partners.
  • Negative Keywords: Filter out any words or phrases that you don’t want to see in your results. For instance, if you don’t want to target anything with the words “cheap” or “free,” this is where you enter those restrictions.
  • DATE RANGE
  • Lets you enter a specific date range so you can see average monthly searches for that time period. You can also compare two different date ranges. This could be especially useful in determining if certain keywords perform better during different times of year, to help you strategize your campaign timing.
  • KEYWORD FILTERS
  • Average Monthly Searches: Filters keywords based on average monthly searches for selected dates. Keywords with extremely high search volume (generally 10,000+ average monthly searches) are more difficult to compete for, with a higher suggested bid. If you’re just starting your campaign, focusing on keywords with mid-level search volume may help you avoid spending too much of your budget on too few keywords.
  • Suggested Bid: Allows you to see keyword options that could help you stay in better control of your budget. Your suggested bid is calculated by taking into account the cost-per-click (CPC) that other advertisers are paying for keywords with the same location and Search Network settings you’ve selected.
  • Ad Impression Share: The number of times people will see your ad, divided by the total number of searches that matched your keyword exactly in the last month for your targeted location and network.
  • Organic Impression Share: The percentage of times a page from your website showed up in a regular, unpaid web search for a keyword.
  • Organic Average Position: Shows how pages from your website rank in regular, unpaid searches compared to pages from other websites.
  • Competition: Lets you filter keywords by how difficult it will be to receive a top position with them. You can filter by high, medium, and low difficulty. For small businesses, it’s generally recommended to filter for medium to low difficulty, as these tend to have a lower suggested bid, so you can make more of your budget.
  • KEYWORD OPTIONS
  • Lets you further narrow your research to show only ideas that are closely related to your search terms or content, keywords that are already in your plan, and more.

While the purpose of filters is to whittle down your keyword list or report, remember not to set too many restrictions. Consider starting general, using just one or no filters to start, and testing out the filters to make sure you aren’t overlooking any opportunities. As you become more familiar with keywords in your industry and the filtering options available, you’ll start to find what filter options work for you.

Now that you have the basics on how to use the Keyword Planner, it’s time to explore some strategies for making the most of it.

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