Google Rolls Out Updates to Keyword Planner

Back in April 2018, Google rolled out changes to its heavily-used Keyword Planner. These changes came in conjunction with its new interface and some of these updates were not liked. Google began limiting the number of keywords that you were able to enter at one time when finding new keywords. In my opinion, this was the most frustrating part of the changes. Other changes were related to how the Planner looked and the traffic estimates that were available.

Yesterday, much to our surprise, we clicked into Keyword Planner to find this message:

Let’s hop into all of the changes!

Enter Up to 10 Keywords When Searching for New Ideas

Hallelujah! This is probably the best update! You can now enter an additional 7 keywords when searching for new keywords.

Grouped Ideas for Multiple Keywords

You’ll now see “Grouped ideas” in the left-hand navigation bar when you are in Keyword Planner.

You’ll see all of your keyword ideas broken down into individual themes along with any supporting volume, competition, CPCs, etc.

My initial tests of this tool didn’t show any provided metrics, so hopefully, this is a small bug in the system that they’re working out.

At the top of the chart, you’ll see some suggested related terms. Some of these seemed a little broad, like most of Google’s keyword suggestions, so you might have to take those with a grain of salt.

Monthly Keyword Trends

When looking at Keyword Ideas, you’ll see that there is now a more visual way to interpret volume and monthly trends for each keyword.

If you click the individual graph, it breaks out a more detailed graph that also allows you to see specific monthly trends.

Again, I usually take these estimates with a grain of salt, but this is a good starting point for evaluating traffic volume.

Save Keywords to an Existing Campaign

This is a really helpful feature that I know a lot of folks will appreciate. This is the ability to select keywords and add to an existing campaign within your account and create a new ad group. You can also select the match type you want to add.

This will make it much easier to do research and seamlessly apply your findings to your account without too much back-and-forth.

Daily Budget Estimates

Once you create a plan and add keywords, you can see more traffic estimates including cost and daily budget estimates.

This is also something you’ll want to be cautious with, but this feature has the potential to be really helpful, especially when planning budgets with a novice client or company.

Competition Column

This column “shows competitive ad placement is for a keyword, specific to the location and Search Network targeting options that you’ve selected. The level of competition is 0-100 is determined by the number of ad slots filled divided by the total number of ad slots available.” In the event that there isn’t enough data for this metric, you’ll see a (-).

You’ll need to add this new column in the Keyword view.

Initial Thoughts on These Updates

At first glance, most of these changes look like the Keyword Planner is moving in the right direction and may be less frustrating to use in the future.

However, I will say that some of the columns (Volume, CPC, Competition) seem to not allow you to sort the list by any of these metrics. That’s frustrating since there are times that I would like to see what the most expensive keywords are, what has the most competition, etc. I know I can download the information and pull it into Excel for sorting, but it’s nice to only involve one program sometimes.

What do you think of these changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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