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Google’s New & Improved Keyword Planner

Expanded Keyword & Content Trends Roll Out In Google Ads Manager

Google has just released a series of updates to its Keyword Planning tool for Google Ads.

Google’s Keyword Planner forms the backbone of most search engine marketing (SEM) activity, while also being a useful tool for SEO and content marketing.

In fact, the Keyword Planner is perhaps the world’s best free market research tool, full stop.

Even for marketers not involved at the pointy end of SEM, it is incredibly versatile. SMK refers to the Keyword Planning tool heavily in many training courses, outside of Google Ads.

For example, the online electronics retailer Kogan uses Google search trend data for everything; from product development to predicting demand and managing its supply chain.

Using The Google Keyword Planner

Outside of SEM, the Keyword Planner is massively underutilised, for the uninitiated follow these steps to access now:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account
  2. In the upper right corner, click the tools icon
  3. Under "Planning," click Keyword Planner
  4. Type or paste one or more of the following in the “Find new keywords” search box and, on your keyboard, press “Enter” after each one:
    • Words or phrases that describe what you're advertising
    • The URL of a webpage or entire website related to your business
  5. Click Get started
  6. Review your keywords in the keyword ideas page

Google’s latest update sees not only expanded functionality but also a reintroduction of features not initially incorporated into the redesigned Google Ads Manager experience, officially launched in 2018.

New & Updated Google Keyword Planner Features

More Seeds

As noted above, to utilise the Key Planner, marketers have historically supplied 1 ‘seed keyword’ from which Google generates several hundred keyword ideas to target.

These Keywords are normally then sifted through, before being organised into Ad Groups and Campaigns.

Within the updated planner, marketers can now supply up to 10 keywords at a time, speeding up implementation and saving a good bit of admin along the way.

Keyword Trends

You can now see trends for individual keyword ideas by hovering over the chart in the ideas table.

Seasonality plays an important roll in search engine queries. This revamped feature makes it easier to split out keyword search performance month on month, rather than just viewing an average.

You can also download this data

Competition Value Column

A new Competition column is available to show how competitive an ad placement is for a keyword. It is indexed 0-100 which is useful for a better sense of perspective on how challenging it will be to rank prominently for a search term. Rather than a more arbitrary label.

Competitive insights of this nature are very practical for keyword research. Going after very competitive terms, and winning, often provides a pyrrhic victory.

Daily Budget Suggestions

When you add keywords to a plan, it provides a suggested daily budget ‘to help make sure that this campaign’s budget won’t be limited on any day during the forecasted time period.’

Whether you want to take them up on this is at your own discretion but it certainly provides food for thought. Especially when combined with improved competitive insights above.

Save an Idea to an Existing Campaign

Online ad campaigns, whether Google or other, tend to grow iteratively.

Therefore, being able to easily expand or modify existing campaigns is helpful, something which is covered off in this latest update. Alongside, being able to create new campaigns, etc. from keyword ideas

Grouped Ideas

Grouped keywords can now be found under the ‘Grouped ideas’ menu option. Grouped ideas is helpful for weeding out any groups that are irrelevant and honing in on the most relevant themes/topics.

You can choose to add all or some of the keywords in a grouped idea to an existing or a new ad group.


Google Ads Manager gets easier to and better to use every quarter, and for markers who found its its predecessor, AdWords, daunting there’s never been a better time to dive in.

Check out the updated Keyword Planner now.

Learn with SMK through March

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Not to mention a shoulder to cry on, occasionally

March SMK Courses, Live Help & Support Options

Live Member Clinics every Monday & Tuesday from 1 pm – 2 pm AEDT

  • Live help and support from SMK’s team of analysts.
  • Book in to request a personalised discussion for 15 or 30m via Zoom within the Facebook Working Group.

Weekly Technical Labs: TikTok on Wednesdays from 1 pm – 2 pm AEDT

  • Technical Labs explore the technological process and workflows related to key digital marketing activities.

Google Analytics Masterclass on Thursdays from 10 am – 12 pm AEDT

  • Module 1: GA4 Optimisation, Key Features, Tools & Reports
  • Module 2: Setting up GA4 Conversions & Understanding Analytics Events
  • Module 3: Analytics Campaign Tracking and Report Analysis
  • Module 4: GA4 Round-up, Conversion Attribution & Visualisation

Influencer Marketing Masterclass on Fridays from 11 am – 1 pm AEDT

  • Module 1: 2023 Influencer Marketing Trends, Forecasts & Opportunities
  • Module 2: Organic Influencer Marketing Best Practices
  • Module 3: Optimising Influencer Campaigns With Social Ads
  • Module 4: Evaluation, Reporting and Influencer Commerce 

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