Everybody in the SEO and SEM/PPC world will have heard the news that Googles Keyword Tool is being retired soon and panicked. Googles Keyword Tool has been around for years and is a frequently used and much cherished tool in almost every online marketers toolkit.
There is no need to panic however as at the same time as retiring one tool, Google has launched a new one named Keyword Planner which aims to combine the Keyword Tool and an extremely underused part of the Adwords interface, the Traffic Estimator.
There are a number of changes in this new tool that you’ll have to get used to, some of these I have covered below:
Only One Match Type
Whilst the Keyword Tool let you select whether you wanted Broad, Phrase or Exact data, the new Keyword Planner shows just the exact search volume for each keyword. Exact is the matching type that SEO professionals should have been using so this change should not effect too many people.
Google’s huge push this year to bring Tablet & Mobile devices onto an even playing field with Desktops continues with Keyword Planner. All search volumes now show the total number of searches with no option to break them down by device, something that fits with Googles new ‘enhanced’ campaigns but is likely to infuriate quite a few search marketers.
Volumes by City
One of the most useful new features to be introduced is the ability to get search volumes for individual cities not country wide which the Keyword Tool was limited to. My early testing has found that the results here are most likely quite inaccurate however so this might be one to watch until accuracy improved to a level that makes the data useful for Adwords and Local SEO campaigns.
Multiply Keyword Lists
A common feature in keyword research is the need to combine words such as ‘service name’ + ‘suburb’. This was most frequently done in tools such as CombineWords.com or MergeWords.com, this is now possible straight in the Keyword Planner which is a handy addition.
Another new feature which is also available in Google Trends is a break down of monthly search volumes for the past 12 months which you can see by hovering over the graph icon. This is especially useful for seasonal campaigns.
There are many new features which I will leave you to explore yourself, no doubt some will dislike the change after relying on the Keyword Tool for so long however it will be the only option available in the coming months so best to familiarise yourself with it now!