When Google started releasing a new tool called the Keyword Planner, it was met with both happy and unhappy faces.  Here at Digital State Marketing, we’ve been working with the updated AdWords tool for a few weeks now and can see why it received such an indifferent welcome.

Let’s go back to the beginning and talk through what the keyword tool did. It provided a mechanism to see how many people searched for certain keyterms on Google. It could also help provide extra keyterm ideas which advertisers may not have thought of. SEO enthusiasts loved it as was simply one of the best research tools available and to top it off, the data came from the source – Google. Granted, everyone in the industry knew not to take the figures for gospel, however, the results certainly gave online advertisers an idea of the market and what keyterms to try in their campaigns – whether in PPC or organic advertising.

Google designed the new keyword planner around the premise to make it ‘better’ for AdWords users. After all, the tool is located and designed for PPC and with so much of Googles profit coming from this advertising medium, it’s no wonder Google remain determined to make the program as easy to use as possible.

In the past, anyone could access the keyword tool. You didn’t even need an AdWords account. Having said that, it’s extremely easy to set an account up and with no billing information required – technically, it is still a free tool which anyone can access.
The tool keeps with its predecessors idea of being a keyword research tool. It still provides suggestions on other keyterms not previously thought of and it still gives an idea of the volume of search for those keyterms. However, the ultimate difference users find difficult to work with is that rather than the old tool which could provide volume statistics on various phrase match types, the new tool can only provide results for exact match. The old tool was also able to include volume stats for terms closely related to the original search term. With so many search advertisers focusing on volumes of traffic, searching for broad match and including closely related terms provided high volumes of figures. You can imagine how this has impacted users who relied on this data both from an SEO and PPC perspective. For PPC users, data showing only exact match figures now makes it difficult to see how phrase or broad match type keyterms will work in their campaigns.
Going back to the notion that the keyword planner was designed for AdWords users, there are two things which do indeed help. The first is the fact the traffic estimator tool and keyword tool have been combined and it’s easy to click between and incorporate the two. The second is the fact it is far easier to use the knowledge gained in the tool and add any approved keyterms to existing ad groups and campaigns.  For these two reasons alone, it moves our judgement of the planner from initially troublesome to now – useful.

So, the only hindrance to take into consideration is to remember the volume statistics is only looking at exact match results. Once you’ve used to this, we’re sure the prayers to bring back the old keyword tool will be long gone!
If you’re looking for help with your AdWords account, contact Digital State Marketing today.