Sooooo what’s Keyword Planner, anyway?

Technically, Keyword Planner was created by Google to help manage AdWord campaigns.

But it has so much more potential…free potential.

What good is it to me?

Keyword Planner allows you to conduct market research in your niche.

It gives you incredible insight into what your potential clients are interested in *and* the actual language they use when they’re researching their interests.

It’s gold.

You can write about their interests on your blog or landing page using the exact words they use.

Connect with them on their terms. Be what they need, how they need it. Here’s how:

Step One: Create An Account in less than 30 seconds

Go to https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner.

Note: You must click “Skip this guided setup” to avoid entering your credit card information. If you don’t, Google will force you to set-up an AdWords account.

Here’s a quick instructional video:


Step Two: Get Comfy with Keyword Planner

We’re going to stick with the top option today: “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.”



Here’s what it looks like….


You can tell the tool to look for keywords in 3 ways:

Your Product or Service – simply type a keyword into the box and Google will produce a list of keywords that closely relate/are relevant. Try not to use super generic words like “insurance” as you’ll just end up with a bunch of short-tail, ridiculously competitive keywords.

Your Landing Page – plop a URL in here (like an informational page on your website). Google will analyze the page and suggest keywords based on its topic.

Your Product Category – search for keywords based on your niche. This sounds great, but isn’t always the most effective way to look for keywords. But don’t let me stop you from testing it out for yourself!

“Targeting” Filters…

Country – tell Google which part of the country you want results from.

Language – the language you want your results in.

Search Engine – Google can tell you what keywords people are typing into other search engines. The most widely used search engine is Google so it’s ok to limit results to them.

Negative Keywords – specify keywords that you want excluded from your results.

“Customize Your Search” Filters…

Avg Monthly Searches – do you want keywords that are searched a lot or not much at all? Find high volume keywords or low volume keywords.

Suggested Bid – do you want keywords that your competition is paying a lot of money for or cheaper keywords? Find keywords with higher bids or lower bids.

Competition – do you want keywords that have a lot of competition (aka more competitors) or less? Find low competition, medium competition and high competition keywords.

Note: these three filters can give you a sense of the value that a keyword has. For example, a keyword that has a high bid price and high competition may be one that drives traffic which converts well (aka it drives people to your site who are more likely to invest in your business). Think about it this way. A high bid price/high competition means advertisers are competing & spending money on that word, which means it must be converting into sales. Just remember that these are guesses, not concrete facts. The best way to determine whether a term will drive amazing traffic is to test it out for yourself.

Keywords To Include – keywords that you want included in your search. Include words like What, Where, When, Why and How to produce long-tail keyword results.

Step Three: Make the Magic Happen

So, how do we go from empty keyword planner to serious consumer insight?

I’ll walk you through the steps I took.

First, I knew I wanted the topic to be something related to construction insurance.

Construction insurance is my dad’s niche. (He’s a generational independent agent in FL.)

But I wasn’t sure what people in the construction industry were searching for. I mean I knew I wanted to write a blog post, but there’s a gajillion construction insurance topics to choose from.

What questions did people want answered about construction insurance? And how were they phrasing their questions?

I went to Ubersuggest to help me brainstorm. (There’s a number of other sites like this you can use – both paid and free.)

Ubersuggest gives you a combination of terms that people have typed into Google and organizes them alphabetically. Some of the stuff they come up with is awesome and some is terrible.

Here’s how it works:

Remember that long-tail keywords are better than short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific: antique love seat vs. furniture. A search for “furniture” doesn’t really tell you what the searcher is looking for. Do they want chairs? Couches? Who knows! Someone searching for “antique love seat” is giving you a more exact description of what they want. So, if I have an antique store, I’d rather spend my time and money driving people who search “antique love seat” to my website than those who search “furniture.”

Anyways…back on track…so, “construction equipment insurance” stood out to me.

I took the keyword back to Keyword Planner and plugged it into Your Product or Service.

Ubersuggest helped me brainstorm, but Keyword Planner would tell me how popular the search term was.

Here are the results I got:

Just from scrolling through a few pages, I noticed that a lot of construction dudes are looking to rent construction equipment. Not only that, insurance for construction equipment rentals came up frequently as well.

Now I have a topic to write on that I know people are searching for AND I have the exact terms they’re searching.

Hello badass blog post/landing page that will hopefully drive some awesome traffic.

Final Thoughts

This strategy/formula isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll increase your traffic by x amount or receive x more leads.

(I’m also not saying those things won’t happen.)

What it is: a baseline, a starting point, a theory.

Digital marketers are like scientists.

We have to combine our digital tools in different ways and test out each combination to determine what works and doesn’t work.

We have to continually try to understand the psychology of our audience – who they are, when they need our product, why they need it, what are the causal factors, etc – in order to reach them most effectively.

So – I hope you take the time to test out this theory or come up with your own!

Until next time…


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