Google recently introduced a number of new and newly migrated features to its Keyword Planner tool. The updates include keyword trends, grouped keyword theme ideas, the ability to more easily add keywords to new and existing campaigns, budget suggestions, and a basic competition value column. All of this is good news for PPC marketers—with one caveat. To make the most of the Google Keyword Planner, you need to know how your strategy stacks up against your competition, which is a vital piece of the decision-making puzzle.

For example, Google made discovering new trending keywords easier with an “Average Monthly Searches” chart for individual keywords. But just because a keyword has heavy traffic doesn’t mean it will convert well or is  a good fit for your brand or audience.

Using competitive intelligence to get more from Google Keyword Planner

Using competitive intelligence to understand which keywords will best perform for your brand will help you optimize your campaigns in a way that Google’s raw keyword metrics can’t. With that information in hand, you can leverage Google’s new “grouped ideas” tool to add relevant keywords to your existing or new ad groups and even add the keyword opportunities you identified using CI to an existing campaign.

Similarly, the Keyword Planner’s new competition column feature is promising but has limits. It can show you how competitive an ad placement is for a given keyword using a 0-100 index. Essentially it measures how effective the relationship is between your ad copy, its placement, and your keywords. But once you have the score, what next? To actually impact your score you must be able to analyze your competitors’ ad copy for opportunities.  Even if your placement scores a 90, the market is too competitive to leave it at that, and only good CI can help you discover what copy changes will deliver those extra ten points.

Google’s new features are welcome additions to the Keyword Planner tool set, but they are really only valuable when used in the context of your competitive landscape. Pair them with a market leading CI solution, such as Adthena, targeted to search, and only then can you build a keyword strategy that gets optimal results for your specific brand and market.

Want to know more? Get in touch with Adthena.