Google AdWords Keyword Research – The Beginner’s Guide To Success With Your Google AdWords Campaigns.
What is keyword research?
It all begins with words typed into a search box.
Keyword Research with Google AdWords is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.
It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated; with keyword research you can predict shifts in demand, respond to changing market conditions, and produce the products, services, and content that web searchers are actively seeking. In the history of marketing, there has never been such a low barrier to entry in understanding the motivations of consumers in virtually any niche
Keyword research is a practice used by search engine optimisation professionals to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search. Search engine optimisation professionals research keywords in order to achieve better rankings in search engines.
What is a long tail keyword?
Good reasons to target long tail keywords: Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling. You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.
Long tail keywords and ranking
It is much easier to rank for long tail keywords than for more common keywords. Another benefit for focussing on long tail keywords is that, although these keywords are used less in search, the visitor that finds your website using them is more likely to buy your service or product.
The longer and more specific the search terms are, the higher the chances of conversion are. I am currently looking for a cottage in France to spend our next summer vacation. I started my search with the term ‘vacation France’. I quickly discovered I wanted to go to the Dordogne, and preferred a house in the countryside. My search still continues, but now I use terms like [vacation house countryside Dordogne]. A long tail keyword. Using this keyword, I found new sites, which more closely resembled my vacation wishes. Chances for me to book my vacation largely increased.
What is a keyword SEO?
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site. Keywords are one of the main elements of SEO basics.
In other words, you need to know how people are looking for the products, services or information that you offer, in order to make it easy for them to find you—otherwise, they’ll land on one of the many other pages in the Google results. Implementing keyword SEO will help your site rank above your competitors.
This is why developing a list of keywords is one of the first and most important steps in any search engine optimisation initiative. Keywords and SEO are directly connected when it comes to running a winning search marketing campaign. Because keywords are foundational for all your other SEO efforts, it’s well worth the time and investment to ensure your SEO keywords are highly relevant to your audience and effectively organised for action.
What is the Google keyword planner?
Keyword Planner or Keyword Tool is a free AdWords tool for new or experienced advertisers that’s like a workshop for building new Search Network campaigns or expanding existing ones. The Keyword Planner is a part of the Google Adwords advertising platform. It allows users to research and analyse lists of keywords for use in pay-per-click campaigns. The keyword planner is designed as a paid search tool but its data is nonetheless extremely useful for SEOs.
How do I use Google keyword planner?
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.
For example, let’s say you run a Sydney-based business selling locally-made and sourced maple syrup across the country. The AdWords Keyword Tool can help you identify terms, phrases, and words potential customers are searching for related to your business that you may not have thought of before. You may be bidding against the phrase “handmade syrup” and “locally sourced syrup,” but the AdWords Keyword Tool might uncover related and frequently-searched terms like “breakfast condiment,” “handcrafted syrup,” etc.
Once you understand the basics of using the AdWords Keyword Tool, there are several strategies you can adopt to help take your campaign to the next level. Check out these tips on how to use the Keyword Planner to help your ad find its way to a potential customer’s search the moment they want what you offer.
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:
- 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.
- 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 strategise your campaign timing.
- 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. (Note: this is only available if you’ve joined your Google Analytics account to your AdWords account.)
- Organic Average Position: Shows how pages from your website rank in regular, unpaid searches compared to pages from other websites. (Note: this is only available if you’ve joined your Google Analytics account to your AdWords account.)
- 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.
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.
Use Quality Keywords Over a Quantity of Keywords
If you’re struggling to think outside the box for keywords, or to find ones that are relevant to your business, the Keyword Planner can help you discover new terms and phrases potential customers are using to search for businesses like yours. The tool allows you to view Google-recommended keywords generated by:
- Keyword: Type in words or phrases relevant to your business or website to get new ideas or longer-form keywords you may not have considered before.
- Landing Page: Enter a specific page on your site (or any site), and the tool will read the page and generate relevant keywords.
- Product Category: Select which product categories best describe your business to discover popular keywords frequently searched within your industry. This could help you identify keywords that you might not have realized potential customers are using to search for businesses like yours.
When analysing the suggestions the tool gives you, keep in mind that if a keyword has high search volume, there might also be a lot of competition for it, raising its suggested bid. Try to choose keywords that are realistic for your campaign, and that won’t absorb the majority of your budget.
Target Your Ads to Your Geographic Audience
Effective targeting can be especially useful to business with a smaller marketing budget. The Keyword Planner’s targeting filters allow you to customize where your ads show up based on language or location. This may be particularly useful if, for example, your business has a physical storefront, and you’re therefore hoping to reach more people searching around your location.
While a keyword may have a high search volume nationally or across other wide areas, the target filter can help you determine whether it’s a popular and relevant term in your local area. Back to our Sydney-based maple syrup business example, you can set your target filters to whatever specificity — whether that’s within your city (Sydney), state (NSW), country (Australia) and beyond.
Your results in the keyword planner tool will show the average monthly search volume, search trends, suggested bid, etc., for Sydney, NSW, or whatever you’ve set as your geographic area.
These filters will also let you design your campaigns around different languages. If you find that your company is popular with both English and Spanish speakers, using the AdWords keyword tool helps you find the most relevant keywords in each language, so you can create separate ad groups to reach both audiences.
Prepare for What Your Competitors Are Paying
The competition level for keyword choices can substantially inflate their costs. Based on how many other people are bidding on it, a particular keyword’s competition level is ranked low, medium, or high. High competition keywords cost more per average bid, and using them may make it more difficult — and expensive — for your ad to gain a top-level viewing position.
Using the AdWords keyword tool can help you find effective keywords that fit your budget by showing you what other advertisers are paying for keywords. The tool’s suggested bid column shows the average amount being spent to rank in a top level position for a particular keyword. You can see which of your desired keywords are within reach of your budget, and build your campaign around them to improve your chances of being seen by potential customers.
While the suggested bid feature provides a good estimation of general costs, Google’s first page bid estimate tool provides an estimate of how much it will cost to rank on the first results page based on the Quality Score of your keywords and current competition for them.To view the estimated first page bid metric for your keywords, follow these steps:
- Visit the Keywords tab and click the Columns button
- Select Modify columns from the drop-down menu
- In the “Attributes” drop-down menu, add Est. first page bid, and click Save
- You can do the same to view your estimated top of page bid (add Est. top page bid and Save)
If the first page bid estimate is very high, it may mean that your keyword’s Quality Score is poor. You can click the Help bubble next to your keyword to find more details.
Analyse Your Plan to Help Make the Most of Your Budget
As you discover keywords that are viable options, click the button to the right of the column to add them to your keyword plan. This will temporarily store your potential keywords. Once the keywords are in your plan, you can set a daily budget, bid maximum and location to receive a detailed forecast about the potential for the keywords that you’ve chosen.
Once you have a list of 10-20 keywords for your group, clicking on the Review Forecasts button will display the estimated clicks, impressions, average position, and average conversion rate for your potential keywords so you can analyse whether they’re realistic for your budget range. Use your findings to add and delete keywords until you have a refined list that will help make the most of your budget.
The AdWords Keyword Planner is a useful tool to lay the groundwork for a successful PPC campaign. No matter your budget or company size, this tool can help you customize your keywords for more efficiency. Keep these strategies for how to use the Keyword Planner tool in mind to help your online marketing campaign succeed.
Try the free keyword tool over at Wordstream. It’s a huge help when you’re getting started!
I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? Drop me a note in the comments section below and let me know! How is your Keyword research right now?
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