Whether you are building out your first campaigns for an account or making optimizations to one you have managed for years, the Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for every digital marketer to have in their back pocket. I have always found that when working on any Google Ads account, any tool that allows me to gain insight into the audience I am targeting is a great one. I particularly enjoy using Google’s Keyword Planner as it allows a nice visual view of the average monthly searches performed for a particular keyword, what I can expect competition to be, and a range of bids I can expect for that keyword.

Recently, Google rolled out some changes to this tool that I wanted to highlight for you here, as I believe many of them will be useful to any digital marketer who is looking for audience insights or structural suggestions.

Grouped Ideas

Grouped Ideas appear directly under Keyword Ideas in the leftmost column of the Keyword Planner. Grouped Ideas shows you related keywords to your seed keywords. In the example above, you can see that a seeded keyword of “running shoes” can bring up grouped ideas for trail shoes, walking shoes, and discount shoes, while going further as to include keyword suggestions underneath those ideas. This addition is particularly helpful if you’re building a campaign from the ground up and are looking for a place to start!

Expanded Monthly Keyword Trend Insights

Were you tired of looking at the tiny chart that is listed underneath the “Average Monthly Searches” column within the Keyword Ideas page? Well squint no more, as hovering over this chart now enlarges and turns the line graph into a bar graph, with bars you can then move to hover over that provide search volume data for each month within your selected date range! Previously this graph was pretty tough to draw insights from, but now you can derive a much bigger (literally) and better picture into potential seasonality and overall search volume. This data is also downloadable too, if you so choose!

Turn Ideas Into A Plan

You can now also save keyword ideas directly into your existing campaigns or into a plan! Simply click the check box next to the idea(s) you want to add, and from the blue bar that appears above, select where you want those ideas added. You can even select what match type you would like these additions to be!

Budget Suggestions From Keyword Plans

Following the feature mentioned above, when you add keywords to a plan, Google will suggest a daily budget for new campaigns created this way. The suggested budgets are optimized to help the campaign avoid being limited by budget at any particular time during the selected time period.

New Column Option: Competition (Indexed Value)

Previously you could only see “high”, “medium”, and “low” estimates of competition for keywords within the Planner. But did you ever find yourself wondering just how “high”, “medium”, or “low” the competition for those keywords actually was? You can throw those vague guesses out the window, as Google added a new column called “Competition (indexed value)” that puts a number to those ambiguous terms! On a scale of 0-100, Google derives a number from the number of ad slots filled divided by the number of ad slots available that will give you a much better approximation of how competitive you can expect the market for a particular keyword to be. As always, you can expect a (-) to be shown if there is not enough available data.

Final Thoughts

I am very excited to try out these new features in my own accounts. If you are not or have not been using Google’s Keyword Planner up until this point, I would highly recommend giving it a second chance, if at the very least to explore how the updates can best serve your brand(s). In particular, the monthly keyword trends, saving keyword ideas to plans or campaigns, and Competition (indexed value) stand out to me as having the most utility within the accounts that I work with daily, however, I am looking forward to trying out all of these new features at least once!

Are you looking for other recent updates from Google? If so, check out this PPC Newsflash about key takeaways from Google Marketing Live!