Google continuously keeps the SEO community on its toes with its estimated 500-600 yearly updates to its algorithm (read about 2013’s so far here). This summer has brought two major changes in the PPC world, first with the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, and now Google is forcing PPC professionals to say goodbye to two of the most popular free tools, Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator.
Many attributes of both these tools have been combined into the new Keyword Planner, which is in the introductory phase. The Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator are still available, but within AdWords, the user is automatically defaulted to using Keyword Planner. Google has not formally announced when the complete conversion to Keyword Planner will take place, but it will likely be within the next 2-3 months. A few notable changes involved with this change over include (but not limited to) device segmentation, geo-targeting, keyword uploads, multiplying keywords and exact queries, some seemingly more positive, some negative.
- When looking at search estimates, separating mobile or tablet searches is no longer an option. Regardless of the device your audience is using, the data for their queries will all be the same.
- For smaller businesses, especially local shops, restaurants or anywhere with an actual physical location for clients to visit, the new geo-targeting features are very advantageous, as searches can be set down to a zip code.
- Keywords not generated by Keyword Planner can directly be plugged in to the tool to obtain estimated search volume, average CPC, etc… using a .csv file.
- Keyword Planner can take different keywords and multiply them to develop which ones will be most effective. For example, taking a location (Grand Rapids, West Michigan, Downtown Grand Rapids, etc…) and pairing it against others (Restaurant, Café, Bistro, Diner, etc…) to figure out the optimal results. See a visual here.
- Broad, Phrase and Exact used to be available for given search terms, but now with Keyword Planner, only exact match keyword volumes are used. This will cause a decrease in volume, but increase in relativity/better Click-Through-Rate.
Because of these and other changes, Keyword Planner is going to take some getting used to, especially since the Keyword Tool was an industry staple for almost a decade. Marketers will have to embrace this change to stay current with best practices and be able to report to clients. Clients will have to be informed of these changes so they can comprehend the difference in numbers and performance.
If you have any questions about the differences between Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator versus Keyword Planner, please don’t hesitate to contact Bevelwise.