Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
One of the most common keyword tools among bloggers is that of Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool is actually part of Google Ads that lets advertisers create strategies and create ads for the Google platform. So, why is it useful for bloggers?
For one thing, Keyword Planner is free to use. It collects all of the search data that people use for any given topic. Then, it’ll display the average number of searches per month that the term generates from people using Google.
That’s only part of it as Google also provides further insight to help advertisers determine if the phrase is worth using and how much it will cost them per click.
For bloggers, all of this information can be suited to help you find great ideas for content and ways to boost your income from AdSense.
Let me explain.
What Keyword Planner Does for a Blogger
There are actually a lot of turning cogs in the machine that is Google Ads. You can dive pretty deep into each element to perhaps give you further insight. But today, I’m going to give you a breakdown of the things you need to know as a blogger.
And yes, I’ve tested these things out myself and have seen some very interesting results. In fact, Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most accessed websites on my computer.
Using Keywords or Websites?
The first option for Keyword Planner is being able to search by specific keyword or phrase, or to scan through any particular website. This is useful as it gives you a chance to spy on the competition and see what words they are using in their own content.
You can choose to use the entire site or just the URL of the post itself. In any case, you’ll be able to see what Google sees when it comes to search phrases.
Of course, you can also scan your own content to see if there is anything you could do to improve. For example, open two tabs for Keyword Planner and compare the list of ideas between your article and another that is ranking higher. What can you add to make yours stand out more to readers?
Just remember that Google is looking for helpful and unique content. Add your own perspective to the topic and write something original. The last thing you want to do is rehash the same information that is readily available through search.
Average Monthly Search Volume
As with all keyword tools, you’ll see the average monthly search volume for any given entry. However, these results are more shown as a range between highs and lows.
For example, the term, “free SEO keyword generator” has a range of 100 to 1,000 searches per month. That’s quite a gap.
The reason is that searches vary from one month to another. It may be super popular in July but may have no searches in August. In order to give a decent portrayal of a popular term, Google uses a 10% differential.
So, a keyword’s high of 1 million searches will display a low of 100,000 (10% of 1 million). This can help slim down on accidentally jumping on a dying trend, which I’ll go over in a moment.
In any case, the search volume gives you an idea of popular terms people are looking for in Google. The higher the range, the more popular the search term. Then, all you’d have to do is fine-tune your content for search intent.
Additional Ideas for Content
Like other tools, Keyword Planner also has a section for ideas. These are other phrases you can write about or simply topics you can add to the piece you’re already creating.
For instance, let’s say I was writing an article about fun “Halloween decorations.” One of the ideas on the list is “Halloween decoration stores.” I could easily add a section and highlight the best online stores to buy those decorations.
In fact, it might even open the door to adding affiliate links to make more money from commissions.
My point is that this keyword planning tool can give you a slew of content ideas for free. And out of all the tools I’ve used, I’d have to say that I’ve benefitted the most directly from Google’s data.
Especially when it comes to writing reviews. Keyword Planner has been a great benefit to some of my best pieces of content.
Low and High Bid Range for AdSense
AdSense for content is what most bloggers will have on their websites. Well, at least those using the AdSense platform. According to Google, you receive 68% of the revenue from Google that is recognized as a viable click or display.
When looking at the data in Keyword Planner, you’ll see two columns for the bid range. This is the low and high for average bids on those keywords advertisers pay when creating ads. So, it’s not completely relevant for bloggers.
Or, is it?
As these are the bids going into the Ads system, they are also the base amounts for what is paid through AdSense. If someone is looking for that specific information, there is a high likelihood that he or she will see those ads on your blog.
Especially if you’re lucky enough to enable “Contextual Ads” through AdSense.
Theoretically, you could make 68% of the bid in between these two numbers if someone clicks those ads. Of course, this is just a very rough ballpark figure. There are a lot of variables at play, so, it’s not a guarantee.
However, these amounts can give you a pretty good idea as to what keywords are going to be the best to use if you’re looking to make more money with AdSense.
In my case, I’ve noticed a considerable difference in AdSense when focusing on high-value keyphrases from advertisers based on their bids.
Identifying Trends in Search
By default, Keyword Planner uses a 12-month average for the search volume. And although some searches are evergreen (meaning they rarely fluctuate), some may be seasonal or trending.
This means the numbers you see aren’t necessarily the most accurate.
Luckily, you can adjust the results according to certain months. Feel free to adjust the sample data to ensure you’re not trying to write about a topic that is on the backend of a trend.
Sure, Google Trends is an awesome platform for content ideas. But you can find so much more using Keyword Planner to identify them. For one thing, you get a far larger sampling of ideas than you would with Trends.
Personally, I’ll take a look at one to three months at a time. This also depends on the topic I want to cover. Some things are going to be relatively level throughout the year.
But for seasonal content, trending products, brands, or anything else that can change quickly, it’s better to see where the trends are and if you’re wasting your time with an article.
It’s not always perfect, but it’s a good place to start.
The Ability to Export to CSV or Google Sheets
When coming up with a list of keyphrases to use, a lot of people like the idea of exporting them to a spreadsheet. This way, you can create your own content strategies and record your own data based on performance.
Keyword Planner lets you export the words into a CSV file or send them directly to your Google Sheets.
For example, let’s say that I send my list of keywords to Google Sheets. From there, I can decide which to use to write an article. At which point, I would keep track of things like:
- Word count of the post.
- Weekly traffic to determine what content performs better for an audience.
- AdSense income to monitor the success of the piece from an advertising perspective.
- A 6-month report from Search Console, including the article’s current position.
I could add all kinds of elements to the sheet depending on what I need for this particular strategy. You might laugh, but recording various points of data can help you provide the best content that works for your specific audience.
Remember, Keyword Planner Shows Averages
When it comes to any keyword tool, the best you can hope for is an accurate portrayal of searches. Because the Internet is so fluid, there is no such thing as an absolute guarantee X number of people will search for Y information.
On top of this, you still need to rank in the top positions to truly benefit from those number of searches. If you’re not providing the best information possible for that specific search, it doesn’t matter what kind of volume it shows in Keyword Planner.
As you can see, there are a lot of things moving when it comes to gaining traffic from Google.
Even if you wrote a 5,000-word article centered around the most popular search term, you could still get 0 visitors to your site by not offering something of value.
Yes, knowing what people are searching for is vastly important. Certain keyword tools can help you find those topics. But it still comes down to you to deliver something meaningful for the searcher.
I once had a client who assumed that just because he used a popular search term that writing a 300-word article would show up on the first page of Google as soon as he hit the publish button. There are several things at fault with this belief:
- It can take four to six months for a blog post to gain traction on Google.
- Not all sites are crawled in real-time. In fact, my blog is crawled every three days or so.
- Writing 300 words is a bit shallow for the topic he was covering.
- Before you hit the top pages, your article needs to be the best answer for that search term.
My point is that Keyword Planner can help you get started with the ingredients, but you’ll still have to cook the meal.
What Is Your Favorite Keyword Planner Tool?
Although I still use Keyword Planner an awful lot, one of my favorite tools is Rank Tracker. That’s probably because it connects to your Google accounts to provide the most accurate information tailored to your website.
In any case, the best keyword tool is the one that works best for you. And given how so many of them have free versions and trials, it just takes a bit of your time to figure out which one that is.
How do you start researching the topic you want to cover?
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