One thing that attracts many entrepreneurial minds to the SEO industry is its dynamic design.
Strategies constantly change based on each client’s focus and line of business, preventing the proverbial cookie-cutter practices.
This is especially true when approaching keyword research.
There are many keyword research tools available, and each requires a unique creative focus to produce the best search opportunities.
For this article, I will be examining one tool from Internet Mothership that is sometimes sidelined for SEO due to its ad-based focus: Google Keyword Planner.
Here, you’ll find nine Keyword Planner research tips that can help you target more profitable terms in organic and paid campaigns.
1. Choose low volume, high rewarding keywords
First and foremost, you want to know which products, services, and keywords are generating the most profit.
With this information, you can create a list of keywords to launch your first plan of attack.
In general, I focus on quality over quantity, which usually means low volume over high volume.
For example, one of our clients is an environmental consulting firm, so getting someone to convert an organic piece of content into a “SWPPP Plan” could result in that company thousands of dollars in a single sale.
As you can see, competition for search for many of these keywords is low, and volumes are growing for many relevant keywords in that space.
Due to growing environmental concerns, keywords like this will continue to grow and make money for the organic grabber.
Bonus tip: If you are looking for more accurate keyword sizes, use another keyword planner such as smrash Or create a high bid using a keyword’s max. CPC to better understand total volume and monthly impressions.
2. Sort keywords by intent
Next, compile a list of keywords for each campaign and sort them by intent.
Unfortunately, Google Keyword Planner does not provide any filters for intent, such as commercial, informational, or navigational purposes.
However, we can extract commercial intent from other keyword phrases by filtering keywords by bid at the top of the page in ascending or descending order.
For example, pages with top-of-the-page bids usually have a highly competitive commercial intent and imply relatively good conversion rates if advertisers are willing to bid high on those terms.
LinkedIn content marketing is a highly sought-after term that has a lot of competition based on this research.
However, you can flip through this list in ascending order to discover keyword terms with the most informational intent.
Using our previous example of “SWPPP Plans,” we find the informational keywords with low bids in ascending order.
Bonus tip: Using phrases like “buy”, “coupon”, “sale”, etc. will help you separate keywords by business purpose.
On the other hand, phrases like “best practices,” “highest,” and question phrases will indicate the informative intent.
3. Take keyword ideas from competitors
In fact, when you sign into Keyword Planner, it offers options to search for keywords using a seed keyword or a competitor website.
Google will provide a list of all the keywords that this website is ranking for, and you can filter the keywords by brand name to get a good list of keywords that the website is ranking for.
Bonus tip: Click on the average organic position in custom columns To see where this site ranks for specific keywords to generate ideas for success.
4. Skyscraper content using page-specific keywords
You may notice that Google Keyword Planner provides an overview of your competitor’s website keywords and content for the page in the image above.
If you are looking for top or middle content topics and keywords that are driving traffic to your website, you can use any of your favorite competitor research tools to find out which pages are driving website traffic.
Of course, you can also manually enter any webpage your competitor beats and discover other keyword ideas and variations.
For example, using Semrush, I’ve found that this article on alternative search engines attracts Search Engine Journal’s highest annual traffic.
I can see the most relevant keywords driving traffic to this web page by copying and pasting the link into the keyword planner.
You can also bid on those keywords if you’re so inclined, whether you’re doing alternative search engine marketing or a cool piece of content.
Bonus tipBy doing keyword research page by page, you can discover other variations of keywords that Google ranks for that page that you otherwise would not have included in your content.
5. Satisfy the intent with keyword questions
Informational content answers as many user questions as possible.
This provides many benefits for SEO and content strategy, including:
- Sort rich snippet searches and answer box.
- Satisfy the user’s intent.
- Outperform the competition by keeping the user’s attention longer and getting more clicks.
- Ranking for more keywords than a broad keyword term.
Fortunately, Google Keyword Planner provides easy filters for entering question phrases such as “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” to help create excellent content that satisfies user intent and educates users.
Bonus tip: Audience answer is a free tool that provides user FAQs in an easy-to-visual format to help you answer as many questions as possible.
In addition, the Google Answers box and commonly searched results at the bottom provide good indications of the questions users are searching for.
6. Filter by location
Another great feature of Google Keyword Planner is the ability to filter ads and impression quotas to specific sites.
Google even allows you to filter keyword search volumes down to the city level.
In addition, you can access search volume data by state or region to see where most of your traffic and customers come from in the Google Forecast tab.
For example, below, I looked up the search volume for “SWPPP Plans”.
With this data, you can create site-specific landing pages for SWPPP plans for California, Texas, Florida, etc.
Bonus tip: Filtering searches by location also provides a good basis for how much reach of local ads on Facebook and other networks you will get.
For example, if most of your searches are region specific, this can help you avoid wasteful spending across all advertising platforms.
7. Optimize keywords by device
In addition to the site and the goal, optimizing web pages for different devices is also very important.
I’ve created an ad campaign targeting Roof Repair in the Dallas metro area in the example below.
Not surprisingly, most of these searches happen on mobile devices and are more likely to be conducted as “near me” searches.
Based on this guide, optimizing mobile landing pages, including click-to-call CTAs, organizing a strong brand presence in local directories, and optimizing your Google Business (formerly Google My Business) profile with clear contact information will drive maximum conversions for most ad campaigns.
Bonus tip: Recognizing which device users are searching for products allows you to target users on those devices through retargeting campaigns based on ads across social media and other websites.
8. Search for keywords in groups
This strategy is mostly used by advertisers, but it provides a rich source of information for SEOs and content marketers.
By searching for keywords in an aggregated view, instead of displaying keywords, Google organizes keywords directly for you by category.
For example, with the initial phrase “homemade kombucha” and “best kombucha,” you can see how many keywords and topic ideas were generated with two simple keywords.
By grouping these keywords by category, you can create page-specific content for each group, using each keyword in the group to help optimize your content.
Bonus tip: If you notice it at the top, Google offers relevant keyword and topic ideas to expand your marketing efforts further.
9. For ads – remember to bid on branded keywords
Finally, one conversion strategy for advertisers is if you run out of keyword ideas, consider bidding on branded keywords and redirecting user searches to your website.
You can really use this strategy if you sell branded products on your website, such as Nike shoes, if you sell clothing, or if you want to get more clicks for your branded keywords.
There are many advantages to bidding on branded keywords, including:
- master More SERP properties.
- Lower costs (of the actual brand).
- Higher CTRs (especially if it’s your brand).
- Get more data About user intent and on-page metrics.
- Build exposure for your brand.
Bonus tipYou can also bid on competitors’ keywords to be competitive. Although this strategy is not foolproof, sometimes it is a good way to steal traffic and clicks from competitors.
However, this plan can always backfire, and your competitor can do the same to you.
Google Keyword Planner is free to use with a Google Ads account and gives users most of the tools needed to get started with keyword research and launch a multi-faceted digital campaign.
Furthermore, what Keyword Planner lacks in functionality it can make up for in third-party tools and a bit of creativity.
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Featured image: Nikolay Klimenko/Shutterstock