Now that Google has officially limited access to Keyword Planner from just anyone or any bot that wanted some good search volume data, the team behind the tool is aiming to inform advertisers how to use it more effectively for campaign planning.
I’m sure there are Keyword Planner power users out there, but I’d like to think I use the tool the way most people do. That is, I get keyword ideas and a sense of CPCs to be able to make a rough budget estimate, maybe do some slicing and dicing based on geotargets and devices. If you do more than that, congratulations, you’re a power user in my mind. If you are like me, Google wants to show us how to get more out of the tool, starting with an AdWords Community post published Thursday.
“We’ve heard your feedback that this limited view of search volume makes it difficult to plan new Search Network campaigns. In these cases, we recommend taking advantage of the forecasting feature in Keyword Planner.”
This is where Keyword Planner gets confusing (right from the start). When I read the statement above, I assumed Google was referring to the “Plan your budget and get forecasts” section of Keyword Planner, but it refers to the forecasting features available after you “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.” That’s good, because that’s usually where I start anyway.
Depending on your account spend, this next screen is where you might see very broad ranges in average monthly search volume data that aren’t exactly useful for planning. Still, go through the exercise of researching keywords and add them to your plan. Then click the Review plan button as shown in the screen shot below. (I’ve also circled the nearly hidden “Set match type” button just to point it out because it’s hard to notice on this page)