If you had a choice to set up an ice cream stand on the boardwalk of a hot beachfront in the middle of summer, or on the edge of an Alaskan wilderness in the middle of winter, which would you choose? Obviously, your odds of making money improve on a hot summer beach, so why not let the Google Keyword Planner tool show you where the hottest parts of the Internet are as well?
On April 24th, Google released the new Keyword Planner tool, which included a number of brand new visualizations to the already highly useful research tool. It wasn’t that long ago that Google offered two tools — a Keyword Planner and a Keywords Tool, but now they’ve been combined into one. This makes sense, because both offered the same service — the ability to identify search engine keyword query trends across the Internet.
The beauty of the Keyword Planner Tool is that it not only shows you what people on the entire Web are searching for, but it also shows you what people in different regions of the world are looking for on the Internet, and how those queries change over time. There’s no better way to see the rise and fall of global or regional interests — not to mention how specific interests differ from one region to the next.
This latest version of the Keyword Planner tool provides so many impressive and useful visualizations that it’s worth reviewing them all in detail.
Keyword Search Trends
The Google Keyword Planner has been used for years to get better insights into keyword trends, but now is the first time that those results are finally presented in a nice visual format.
Earlier, search trends were listed as volumes in number format alongside each text query. Finally, you can see a blue vertical bar representing weekly search volume patterns for the keywords you’ve searched for. This shows you how interest in that keyword has changed over time. Even better, you can now enable date range comparisons, so that you can review how long term trends are shifting.
For example, you can compare what search interest in a topic like “surfing” looked like during the spring season of last year, compared to the spring season of this year. The data is displayed in color vertical bars placed side-by-side for easy comparison.
These period comparisons are especially useful when you’re looking for yearly shifts in popularity of certain brands, interests or hobbies, or anything else related to either a product you may be looking to sell online, or topics you’re looking to publish on the Internet.
These search volume shifts, in addition to getting displayed visually, are also quantified in real numbers for the sub-topic keyword suggestions as well. Those results show search volume for both date periods, as well as the total volume change as well as percent change.
Mobile Search Trends
As a testament to the impact of mobiles on Internet search, Google implemented a new series of visualizations targeting mobile trends. You can see those by clicking the “Search volume trends” dropdown and selecting “Mobile trends”.
This shows a comparison between the volume of searches for that keyword conducted on mobile devices.
This comparison can get very interesting when you see search keyword phrases reveal a big spike in mobile query trends compared to queries from standard devices. This information is ideal for people developing mobile apps or websites targeting the mobile user population. Understanding how mobile users search, and what they search for, can give you a tremendous amount of insight in how to reach that growing audience.
Other Keyword Planner Visualizations
Additional visuals now available in the Keyword Planner tool include a convenient pop-up graph of search volume for individual keyword phrases inside the query results. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the chart icon next to that result and the small graph will pop up showing you the search trends.
This is a great way to quickly locate which keyword trends are on the rise in recent weeks.
Another cool visualization is the breakdown of device queries for whatever keyword you’ve search for. You can see this by clicking the “Search Volume Trends” dropdown and choosing breakdown by device.
Location Search Query Comparisons
Another neat way to organize search volume is by location — especially if you’re doing demographic search trend research, or if you’re a business looking to target keywords for your website optimization that focus on the interests of your local community. You can set those locations by clicking on “Locations” in the left navigation menu, and then typing in and adding all the locations you want to research.
Locations can include countries, major cities, or even your local small town. The search breakdown for the keyword will show up as a circle, color coded by location.
If you are looking to advertise on Google AdWords, you can use the ad cost chart visual for your selected keyword. This shows you the estimated clicks or impressions you can expect given a certain investment amount.
You will notice that at some point the line chart hits a flat-line maximum. Identifying where the line first starts flat-lining is the point of your most efficient investment — providing you with the highest likely clicks or impression returns for the lowest possible investment.
As you can see, Google has really gone above and beyond in adding better visual data to the AdWords keyword search tool. It’s a refreshing change for a tool that remained fairly static (and somewhat lame) for such a long time. Finally, you can scan through keyword results, quickly review these graphics, and identify the best keywords for your purposes in much less time.
Do you use the Google Keyword Planner Tool? Do you like these new visual changes? Share your own feedback and opinions in the comments section below.