Google recently made a change to its AdWords Keyword Planner tool, which now delivers ranges of data based on how much you spend on ads and how frequently you use the tool. This means that advertisers with low monthly spend are getting ranges of data instead of exact numbers. For example, if you have been affected by this change, a keyword with 590 searches per month will now display as ‘100–1K’.

This change was made to prevent bots from abusing the tool, not to frustrate advertisers. However, that’s exactly what it has done. Being met with ranges of data makes it difficult for advertisers to accurately determine which keyword to target or how much to bid on them. Google’s suggested solutionto this? Try using the forecasting feature that’s built-in to Keyword Planner.

“While search volume gives you a sense of the market size, other settings such as bid, budget, device, and more, affect how much of this search volume a single advertiser can receive. Forecasts, on the other hand, let you customize these settings for a more comprehensive view of how keywords might perform.”

How to Use Forecasting in Google Keyword Planner

The forecasting feature in Keyword Planner can assist with determining a budget and selecting keywords by following these steps:

  • Navigate to Keyword Planner and sign in.
  • Select the option to search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.
  • Enter the keywords you want to look up, and click get ideas.
  • Scroll through the suggested keywords returned by the tool, clicking add to plan on keywords you may want to target.
  • Enter forecasting mode by clicking review plan on the right-hand side of the screen.
    • Once in the forecasting screen, you can glean more keyword data in the following ways:
      • Enter bids and budgets for a detailed forecast of the keywords added to your plan.
      • View forecasts based on location, device, or expected conversion rate.
      • If you’re not satisfied with your forecasts, go back to the drawing board. Click back to search on the top right and look for new keywords to add to your plan.
      • Once satisfied, either download the forecasts or save the plan to your account.


Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/frustrated-lack-google-keyword-planner-data-try-forecasting-tool/172364/

Categorized in Others

Google's Keyword Planner may go deep, but does it go wide enough to fulfill modern SEO's need for semantically relevant phrases? Columnist Clay Cazier explores one alternative data source: Pinterest.

One of the foundations of good SEO is making sure your site content is relevant to what you offer and that this content is optimized to use the same language commonly used by consumers.

For example, most outfitters would be advised to develop content and optimize around their stock of cowboy boots rather than referring to their items as western boots or roper boots.


The table above, pulled from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, gives us the cold, statistical justification behind this decision — we want to talk about our cowboy boots because 10x more people think of what we offer in those terms.

But as Google’s organic ranking formula has become more complex, the limitations of Keyword Planner are beginning to show.

Why Pinterest?

SEO’s job isn’t to focus all clients on the biggest average monthly search number. Furthermore, SEO is no longer a math game where we rely on density ratios to target that handful of short-tail keywords.

We’re now challenged to present the long-tail keywords relating to our goods and services. And lately, we are learning more and more about how the use of semantically related phrases is one way “good” content is recognized and rewarded with rankings.

In the modern SEO world, phrases like roper boots become more important not necessarily because of their monthly search volume, but because of the semantic relationship between ropers and cowboy boots and the (likely) higher conversion rate that could be delivered by such a niche term.

Keyword Planner is good for paid search campaigns targeting transactional keywords, and it’s even fairly good at exposing long-tail keyword variants, but it is woefully inadequate at exposing the semantics surrounding those transactional phrases.

Where can we turn for a deeper semantic understanding of these (still transactional) phrases? There have been countless articles suggesting tactics ranging from Google Instant, Google Related Searches and keyword mining using hashtags found in the social world.


While those are absolutely valid, worthwhile methods, it struck me that Pinterest would be a particularly useful place for retailers to mine keywords because:

According to Internet Retailer, Pinterest users’ average order value is $123.50, which is about 126 percent more than Facebook users’ $54.64 average order value.
Pinterest is a particularly visual medium, which aligns well with the increasing dominance of mobile in consumers’ search process.

Pinterest has much more of a sales/retail focus than Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, making the information found there more likely to coincide with what purchasers are looking for.

So let’s look at how to use Pinterest for keyword research. Our goal is twofold:

Near term, Pinterest keyword research can help guide Pinterest board titles, Pinterest pin descriptions and/or image filenames to drive qualified referral traffic.
From a longer term, particularly “SEO” point of view, Pinterest keyword research can guide content used in retail category descriptions, content used as blog topics, images used, image filenames and/or even retail categories or facets.

Pinterest Option 1: “Pinterest Instant”

Let’s start with the easiest method: watching the phrases that populate within Pinterest search as you type. The example below is a simple one — “cowboy boots” is the primary focus of a client, and they’d like to know popular ways people are searching for the item other than by gender and color.


Go one step further and drill down into one of those suggestions, and you’ll see that outfits by season and looks with jeans are hot topics.

This can not only direct blog, “lookbook” and social media content, but it should also direct the navigation, landing pages and e-commerce database filters configured on retailers’ sites.


Pinterest Option 2: Guided Search

I’ll admit, Pinterest Instant does not yield a ton of results unless you drill down and re-drill. But Pinterest’s focus on being mobile-friendly has led them to develop Guided Search, a row of semantically related keyword refinements in a horizontal bar across the top of their search results page. To see the results of Pinterest’s Guided Search:

1- Go to pinterest.com and type in a seed keyword (example “cowboy boots”).

2- You’ll get guided search results like in the screenshot below that are top “modifiers” or semantically related keywords:


  1. Place your cursor at the beginning of the list, click and drag to the bottom right of your screen to highlight the entire list (even though you won’t actually be able to see the rest of the list, trust me, it’s there).
  2. Hit [CTRL-C] to copy the entire list.
  3. Open Word. Paste as Text. You’ll get something like you see in the screenshot below:


  1. Hit [CTRL-H] to find and replace.
  2. Find the string Search for ‘ and replace with ^p (that’s a carriage return in Word-ese).


  1. Hit [CTRL-H] to find and replace the single quote  with ^t^t (that’s two tabs in Word-ese). You’ll then have a tab-delimited list like you see in the screenshot below.


9- You can then hit [CTRL-A] to highlight all and either copy and paste into Excel or use Word’s Insert/Table/Convert Text to a Table function to turn the info into a table.


Column 1 is the semantically related phrase. Column 2 gives us a little white space, and Column 3 is the keyword itself.

10- You can now use this list to populate topics in your content calendar, to help determine new facets/filters in your e-commerce catalog or to show management the products consumers want that you have.

“Aha!” you might say. “Those keywords look just like what Keyword Planner gives me.” But the fine difference between the two systems makes all the difference in the world. Yes, Pinterest Guided Search does serve up variants based on gender, color and brand (just like Keyword Planner), but the addition of style and situation — the semantics — is what is special.


Phrases like “cowboy boots wedding,” “cowboy boots with shorts,” “how to wear cowboy boots,” and even “cowboy boots photography” give us a glimpse not just of how people search for the product, but how it fits into wearers’ lives.

Remember, good SEO is about users first, search engines second — and this nuance of Pinterest-based keyword research highlights product use cases, not just keyword modifiers.

Pinterest Option 3: Promoted Pin Suggestions

The final way to use Pinterest for keyword research is to leverage their Promoted Pin suggestions. To do this, the only catch is you have to have a Pinterest for Business account.

1- Login to the Pinterest for Business account.

2- Click the account holder’s name at the top right.

3- Click the “cog” image, and you’ll see Promoted Pins in the drop-down.


4. A new window will open. Click the red “Promote” button at the top right.


5. You’ll be prompted to enter a campaign name and budget. Enter something like “Test” and $10.00.


6. Click the red “Pick a Pin” button.

7. Find one of the client’s pins that represents the seed keyword and click to “Promote” it. I chose a hunting boot.

8. You’ll be prompted to enter terms related to your pin. I’ve entered “hunting boots.” The terms returned are the related topics and/or categories (semantically related keywords and concepts) we’re interested in.


9. Click “Add all results and related terms” to see the results and related terms in one area. Drag to highlight them all, copy and paste somewhere you can work with them. (Hint: If you copy and paste this list to Notepad, they’ll come out as a nice list.)


As you can see, this list does not delve into keyword variants as much as it explores the concepts, ideas and interests Pinterest users associate with hunting boots. There are a few odd ones (like “medium hair cuts for women” and “wonder woman”), but even if those aren’t useful parts of a strictly SEO campaign, they could be useful test elements in your team’s wider content marketing efforts. (“Wonder woman” reminds me of the time our social media team discovered the affinity a plus size fashion client’s Facebook following had for “I Love Lucy”).

For retail sites in particular, your site’s ability to gain organic traffic depends not only on ranking for long-tail variants of your product line, but also on the semantic quality of product, category and blog copy. As the difference between a good and a great organic ranking increasingly relies on these semantic connections, the shortcomings of Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner are becoming more evident.

While I am not advocating the abandonment of the Keyword Planner, it is important that SEO pros and site owners consider keyword options outside of it. If that means we must start defining SEO in terms of its content marketing prowess and connection to social media inputs, so be it.


Categorized in Online Research

For many SEOs, keyword research starts and ends with the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. But columnist Dan Bagby believes we need to go deeper for optimal results.

You may have recently read Rand Fishkin’s article, “Why Good Unique Content Needs to Die.” In it, he basically says that good, unique content is no longer enough; instead, marketers need to create content that is 10 times better than the top results in SERPs in order to really do well.

This got me thinking — not only do we need to create content that is 10 times better than our competition, but we need to step up our game in all aspects of SEO, starting with research.

Keyword research that starts and finishes with Google Keyword Planner, or whatever your tool of choice is, needs to end. If you want to see results, you must do more than simply putting in a few keywords and putting a bullseye on a few targets to go after. Instead, increase the likelihood of success with the keywords you ultimately decide to go after by digging deeper during keyword research.

A Step Beyond Keyword Research

Start keyword research by going to Google Keyword Planner to get some ideas, identifying ones that are relevant and have decent search volume. I suspect this is what most people do.

I remember when this would be the end for me. Sometimes, I would gauge competition by looking at the number of exact “intitle” matches, but nothing more. Today, I take it further to really improve the likelihood of success by answering the following questions.


What Is The User Intent And How Is Google Answering?

Check keyword intent by performing a search of each phrase to review what content is returned. Google has a preference for certain content types for each query and has a data-driven understanding of what content users are looking for based on the keywords.

I’ll give you an example using queries related to acoustic guitars that allows you to see the differences in content type and results. A product-related search like “Fender FA 100” results in product pages on e-commerce sites, most of the pages featuring product reviews and additional article and video reviews.

A broader search related to acoustic guitars produces “best beginner guitar” results in long-form articles with descriptions of recommended beginner guitars, as well as a few category pages. More informational queries, such as, “how to play bar chords” or “how to tune an acoustic guitar” receive answers in the form of Google Quick Answers, long-form articles by sites of many sizes, shorter articles from more authoritative sites, videos and forum conversations.

Also, take a moment to review the articles to see what other information is being provided, beyond what is being asked in the query. This can help you find other keywords to target and also make sure you are covering the necessities to rank.

How Did These Pages Get Links?

Now that you have an idea of what content is ranking, review how they gained links. Review the competitive metrics including Page Authority, Domain Authority, number of links and linking root domains to get a better idea of what it will take to rank (the Moz Chrome extension makes this easy).

Review links going to other pages to see patterns. With a quick look at some of the queries mentioned above, I noticed a few sites on the first page only had links created through comment spam.

Others had only a few links from guitar-related blogs or educational sites. It’s likely you will find publishers that have linked to more than one competitor. These are great targets for outreach. Review these sites you are considering reaching out to with your content ideas to start a relationship that can be helpful during content planning through publishing and promotion.

What Will You Create?

At this point, you have a strong grasp of the competitive outlook for the keywords you want to rank and what content types typically rank. Listen to Rand Fishkin, and think, what can I create that is 10 times better than anything I have just seen?

Just as good, unique content isn’t enough any more, quick keyword research isn’t going to cut it, either. Doing keyword research this way will take longer, but it is sure to improve your results.

Not only will it help with individual keywords and campaigns, but you also will start to notice patterns in SERPs that you would not have seen otherwise. You will also find the insights you need before you start creating content, instead of having to change course during or after some work has already been done.


Categorized in Online Research

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