Retargeter Blog

Google’s New Keyword Planner Tool and How it Impacts Marketers

The end of August saw the end of Google’s Keyword Tool, which has now been officially replaced by the Google Keyword Planner tool.

Read Google’s official announcement.

Google Keyword Planner

What are some differences you’ll find between the two?

  • The New tool only gives you data for exact match keywords
  • By default, the keyword is for all devices; you can no longer target by device.
  • Numbers tend to be higher because they are combining all device types
  • New column names: some columns have been combined, and new ones added

What does this mean for marketers?

First of all, now Google is forcing everyone to identify themselves, and their searches, by being logged in to search.  It makes it harder for keyword tools and people who do not wish to disclose themselves to search Google for data.

With the rise of “Not Provided” in Google Analytics, and this move towards hiding the keyword tool behind a sign in, as well as eliminating the “closely related” feature, Google is making it more difficult for marketers to have access to relevant data.

One of the benefits of the new tool is that users can upload their own keywords for performance data.  Others like the ability to see different ad groups and general related terms, so it can spark ideas for different types of keywords to pursue.

Instead of being an unstructured tool, it’s now streamlined into the ad creation process and more geared towards helping advertisers include more terms into their adwords advertising campaigns.

Larry Kim wrote a detailed guide of how to use the Keyword Planner Tool that can help you navigate the new tool.

What about SEO Keyword Tools?

Many are wondering how this change impacts tools used for keyword research.  It seems most tools had adapted to the new changes and we haven’t seen an uproar online about limited access to keyword research.

We use SwissMadeMarketing, who quickly and easily adjusted to the changes.  Other tools, like LongTailPro , Wordstream, and Raven have also seamlessly transitioned.

The Writing on the Wall

For proper keyword research, you need access to massive databases with searches in the billions.  In reality, the only powerful sources of accurate keyword data are the search engines.  Google has made it clear they will only be sharing data insofar as it makes them more money, so you can’t continue to expect keyword data from Google.  It’s time for you to go back to old-school marketing and focus on persona and demographic research.

Instead of writing content based on keywords, go to your customer service team and ask them what sorts of questions people ask them, and write content based on those questions.  Run a survey asking your customers key questions, and utilize the data for content creation. Create customer personas, figure out what their interests are, and connect trending topics to their interests.  Then write content based on those trending topics, social media noise, and creative audience research.

Evolving past keyword research tools and towards understanding your audience will help you fine-tune your marketing strategy away from “literal” searches towards content that fulfills the needs of your demographics.  As you provide more valuable content, your users will stay on your site longer, which will in turn improve your site’s usability and, in turn, your rankings.

Changes to your Keyword Research Strategy

Here are a few ways that you can change your keyword research strategy:

  1. Create a list of target personas and their interests. What are they interested? How old are they? What shows do they watch? What types of things do they do online?
  2. For each persona, do some keyword research using the keyword planner tool and associate general keywords for each persona
  3. Correlate those keywords to interest.  If your persona is a 35 year old female who is into Beauty and loves watching Game of Thrones, what else would she be interested?
  4. Go back to the keyword planner tool and look for keywords associated with Game of thrones, to come up with other relevant shows or ideas
  5. Expand your keyword list so you go beyond exactly what your product or service is, to appealing to your target demographics.

Not only will your blog be more interesting, it will also appeal to your audience at a deeper level, leading to improved conversions.

Do you have any other helpful tips that have worked for you?  Do share!


About the Author: Marcela De Vivo has been a digital marketer for 15 years, and loves stay current with search trends and strategies.  She is the CEO of Gryffin Media, focusing on link building strategies, penguin link audits, and creating creative link bait campaigns.

Leave a Comment


  • The another Google Planning Tool that I recommend is the new Google Display Planner which will provide 3 tools in only one place.

    Display Planner will completely remove the Google Ad Planner by the end of the month. I’ve created a useful blog post where you can learn more about it. Thanks