PPC | May 30, 2014
What Pulled Pork Can Teach us About Google’s Keyword Planner Tool
Late last year, Google replaced its Keyword Tool with the new Keyword Planner.
There’s plenty to dislike about the tool – the fact that you need to register and that it prioritises paid advertising, for example – but there’s also much to be gained from it.
Let’s take a look at what we can learn from Google’s Keyword Planner Tool – through the tasty lens of pulled pork.
It gives you insight into seasonality
While the old tool only presented average search information from the previous month, the new Planner helps us to understand far more about the seasonality of search volume. It tells us the month-by-month search habits over the last year for a specific keyword.
As you can see, a search for ‘pulled pork’ tells us how the term fluctuated between the summer and winter months. This cheap, comfort food is most popular during January when most of us are too poor to eat out and snuggling under a blanket watching re-runs of Mad Men:
This information can be used to inform seasonal content campaigns and understand more about the behaviour of your target audiences at different times of year.
It lets you compare trends against previous years
By clicking on the ‘date range’ section, you can compare how specific keywords have behaved over a period of two years. Analysing the search term ‘pulled pork’ show us that this slow-cooked foodie favourite may well have crossed into the mainstream and peaked in popularity.
But then the hipsters among you knew that already. Maybe kale is now where it’s at.
Coupled with a little specialised industry knowledge, Google’s Keyword Planner can help us to identify some of next year’s search behaviour and create content to capitalise on future trends.
It helps you analyse local markets
One of the major flaws of Google’s Keyword Tool was that its ‘global’ and ‘local’ search results were very ambiguous.
Happily, Keyword Planner allows you to go into much greater detail. Monthly searches are displayed in one column, but you can target specific areas and cities in the sidebar on the left.
If your brand is planning to provide pulled pork to the good people of Cardiff (and good luck being better than Hang Fire Smokehouse), Google Keyword Planner means that you can see how many people are searching for that keyword in the local area.
It gives a better understanding of cost-per-click
Unlike the old Keyword Tool, Keyword Planner tells you upfront what you’d expect to pay for any PPC ads with every search result. So if you’re looking to launch a paid campaign to launch your particularly pleasant pulled pork, you can get an estimation of how much that’d set you back.
What’s more, Google claims that this data is more ‘accurate’ than you’d find in the old tool, which was approximated.
Local paid advertising is now much easier to control (more on that in a bit), as you can adjust bids depending on the location of the person viewing the ad to ensure optimum value for money.
It identifies content that works
Want to create content that’s relevant? Of course you do. The new Keyword Planner is a great way to identify niche content ideas and understand what people are looking for online.
With a little prompting, the friendly tool tells us some of the niche, potentially lucrative longtail phrases that customers are searching for.
The ‘include/exclude’ tab to the left of the page is a great way to generate the most relevant searches. To find great content ideas, all you need to do is search for your key term and use the include/exclude tab to filter exactly what you want.
For great longtail ideas, you simply can’t ignore The Big 5: who, what, why, when, how. In this instance, ‘how’ is, predictably, the big winner and comes up with some decent content ideas:
A quick look at Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool shows us the competitiveness of these terms. Don’t be fooled by the ‘competition’ tab in the Keyword Planner, which shows us how competitive the search term is in AdWords – not how tough it is to rank organically.
You can then decide which of these terms are worth pursuing. If yours is a strong brand with high domain authority, you might want to create content to compete with the big boys.
If not, you’ll find it wise to pick your fights and optimise for less competitive keywords. Although these are lower in volume, they can still generate relevant, potentially lucrative content.
Search by landing page
Not only can you search by keywords, you can also search for more general content inspiration by URL.
To do this, we used the URL of one of Cardiff’s (and the UK’s) finest pulled pork purveyors: Hang Fire Smokehouse to find some great relevant content ideas.
This is perfect for seeing which keywords and ad group ideas Google thinks are relevant for your competitors – as well as generating ideas similar to brands that you’re influenced by.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m a little hungry.
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