In the vast online landscape, choosing the right topics to focus on is crucial for attracting organic traffic and optimizing your SEO strategy. One powerful tool that can assist you in this process is Google Keyword Planner. Despite being designed primarily for search advertisers, Google Keyword Planner offers valuable insights and data that can help you identify relevant keywords, assess competition, and make informed decisions about the topics you should target.
To access Google Keyword Planner, you first need to set up a Google Ads account. This account creation process involves providing necessary information, including credit card details. While you don’t necessarily have to run ads, it’s essential to pause any campaigns immediately after setup to avoid incurring charges. Once your account is ready, you can proceed to access the powerful features of Google Keyword Planner and follow a step-by-step process to choose topics effectively.
1. Setting up a Google Ads Account
To access Google Keyword Planner, you first need to set up a Google Ads account. This account creation process involves providing necessary information, including credit card details. While you don’t necessarily have to run ads, it is important to pause any campaigns immediately after setup to avoid incurring charges. Once your account is ready, you can access the powerful features of Google Keyword Planner.
2. Accessing Google Keyword Planner
After signing in to your Google Ads account, click on “Tools & Settings” located in the top right corner. From the drop-down menu, select “Keyword Planner” under the “Planning” section. This will lead you to the main interface of Google Keyword Planner, where you can explore two key options: “Discover new keywords” and “Get search volumes and forecasts.”
3. Discover New Keywords
The “Discover new keywords” option is particularly useful for expanding your keyword ideas and increasing website traffic. When selecting this option, you’ll find two tabs: “Start with keywords” and “Start with a website.”
Starting with keywords
Under the “Start with keywords” tab, you can enter up to 10 relevant words or phrases related to your topic. You can also add a domain as a filter if desired. Clicking “Get Results” will generate a list of keyword suggestions based on your input. Google Keyword Planner will display valuable metrics for each keyword, including average monthly searches and competition level.
Starting with a website
Alternatively, you can choose the “Start with a website” option. By entering a website URL, you can explore keyword ideas based on that website’s content. You can even specify whether you want to search the entire website or a specific page. This feature enables you to analyze competitor websites and gain insights into the keywords they are targeting.
4. Get Search Volumes and Forecasts
The “Get search volumes and forecasts” option allows you to obtain detailed data about specific keywords. Returning to the Keyword Planner main screen, click on the “Get search volumes and forecasts” tile. Here, you can enter your desired keywords or phrases, separated by commas. Upon clicking “Get Started,” Google Keyword Planner will provide forecasts for conversions, clicks, impressions, costs, click-through rates (CTR), and cost-per-click (CPC) for the next 30 days.
Read also: How Google Works: Understanding the Search Engine Algorithm
5. Choosing Keywords Using Google Keyword Planner
Now that you are familiar with the features of Google Keyword Planner, it’s time to make informed decisions when choosing keywords and topics. There are some best practices:
Use a variety of keywords
Opt for a mix of more and less competitive keywords. Balancing your keyword selection allows you to target both high-traffic and niche topics, thereby maximizing your chances of attracting relevant visitors to your website.
Utilize other keyword research tools and conduct Google searches to dive deeper into each keyword. Look for keyword variations, “people also ask” questions, and related keywords or topics that can be incorporated into your content strategy.
Beyond Search Volume
Don’t dismiss keywords solely based on their search volume. While targeting keywords with substantial traffic is desirable, valuable topics may not always have high search volumes. Consider the overall relevance and value of a keyword to your target audience. Sometimes, focusing on long-tail keywords with lower search volume can lead to higher conversion rates and more qualified leads.
Pay attention to the competition level of keywords displayed in Google Keyword Planner. High competition indicates that many advertisers are bidding on those keywords, which may make it challenging to rank organically. Look for keywords with medium to low competition that still align with your content goals.
Relevance and intent
Ensure that the keywords you choose align with the intent of your target audience. Think about the user’s purpose when searching for a particular keyword. Are they looking for information, seeking a solution to a problem, or ready to make a purchase? Crafting content that matches user intent will enhance your visibility and engagement.
Seasonal and trending keywords
Keep an eye on seasonal and trending keywords that can boost your website’s visibility during specific times or events. Google Keyword Planner can provide insights into the search volume trends for certain keywords, helping you align your content with popular topics and capitalize on timely opportunities.
6. Refining Your Topic Selection
After analyzing keyword data and making initial topic choices, it’s time to refine your selection further. Consider the following strategies:
Content gap analysis
Conduct a content gap analysis by exploring competitor websites and identifying topics they haven’t covered extensively. This approach allows you to discover untapped content opportunities and differentiate yourself from the competition by creating high-quality, new content to exploit these.
User engagement and feedback
Engage with your target audience through surveys, social media, and customer feedback channels. Pay attention to the questions they ask, the challenges they face, and the topics they are interested in. This valuable input can shape your topic selection and ensure you’re addressing their needs effectively.
Plan your content strategy for the long term by identifying evergreen topics that have enduring relevance. These topics can generate consistent traffic and provide a solid foundation for your website’s growth.
Choosing the right topics is a crucial step in developing a successful content strategy. With Google Keyword Planner, you have a powerful tool at your disposal to identify relevant keywords, assess competition, and make informed decisions. By leveraging the features and data provided by Google Keyword Planner, you can optimize your SEO efforts, attract organic traffic, and deliver valuable content to your target audience. Remember to continually analyze and refine your topic selection based on user feedback, emerging trends, and the evolving landscape of your industry. Stay proactive, adaptive, and committed to creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.