Introducing Keyword Planner: combining the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator into One

Behind every successful AdWords campaign are well planned out keywords and ad groups. In the past, you may have relied on tools like the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator to identify new keywords and ad groups, get traffic estimates, and choose competitive bids and budgets. Over time however, we’ve heard from you that having two tools for search campaign building was cumbersome.

We’re constantly working to simplify the process of building campaigns, and today we’re happy to announce the launch of a new tool, Keyword Planner, which combines the functionality of the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator into a smooth, integrated workflow. You can use Keyword Planner to find new keyword and ad group ideas, get performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaigns. You’ll also see some new features in the tool - some of which we’ll highlight below.

Find new keyword and ad group ideas
To find new keyword and ad group ideas, use Keyword Planner just like you would the Keyword Tool. You can search for ideas related to a keyword, your website, or a category. A new feature in Keyword Planner also allows you to ‘multiply’ keywords, or combine two or more keyword lists to generate new keywords. Unlike Keyword Tool, where you were only able to target countries, you'll now be able to target individual cities and regions within a country. Also, for each keyword idea you'll only get statistics that are specific to that exact term.  To decide what keyword match type to use, you'll have to add the keyword to your plan and look at performance estimates for each match type.

Add keywords and ad groups to a plan
Next, you can review your keyword and ad group ideas and add them to a plan. Think of a plan as a shopping cart of ideas that you can add to a current or new campaign. While you build your plan, you can add ideas, delete ideas, and change your bid range to see total estimated clicks and cost. When you’re done building your plan, you can click “Get estimates and review plan” to pick a specific bid and get more detailed estimates.

Get performance estimates
When you review your plan, you’ll see a graph with a range of max CPC bids and daily performance estimates for your keywords and ad groups. To see more detailed estimates, you can select a bid (and optionally, a budget as well). You can also update your targeting settings, keywords, and ad groups to further refine your estimates. For example, you can change all your keywords in an ad group to phrase or exact match to see how this could affect performance.

When you’re satisfied with your plan, you can apply it to a new or existing campaign or download it to implement later.

With the launch of this new, combined tool, we will be sunsetting the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator in about 60 days. Please view this article for an in-depth look at the differences between using Keyword Tool and Keyword Planner.  Going forward, you'll have to log in to AdWords to use Keyword Planner, which will enable you to get customized results and estimates. We hope that this integrated workflow will help you build and grow your campaigns even more efficiently. To learn more about Keyword Planner, you can also visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Deepti Bhatnagar, Product Manager, AdWords

New column makes keyword management easier

We recently launched a new keyword column in the search term report to let you see exactly which keywords matched particular search terms. With this information at your fingertips, you can quickly and easily make better keyword and bid management decisions. But don’t take our word for it. We’ll let Top Contributors Calin Sandici and Moshe Avichai from the AdWords Community explain why the column is an important part of a healthy AdWords diet.

What’s so special about this new column?

Calin: You can now see in one simple table which keyword matches which search terms, for all the keywords in an ad group, campaign, or even the whole account, and you can act accordingly. It's cool, it saves time, it’s zero calories and it’s good for your health.

Moshe: Finally, there’s no need to guess which keyword triggers an ad.

What were your first thoughts when you heard the column was available?

Calin: For the first time, I can stay within AdWords and decide whether I should delete or pause a keyword altogether, or keep it and use some negative keywords to block unwanted impressions for irrelevant search queries. In the past I had to resort to the Analytics API to achieve the same effect. That’s no longer the case, because we now have access to a lot more information right in the AdWords interface.

How does it change the search terms report?

Moshe: Now the report is much more transparent. A campaign manager can see, at one glance, the complete funnel that triggered an ad: the original search term a user was searching for, through the keyword that matched the search term, and finally the ad group of the ad shown, all on the same page.

Calin: You no longer have to guess which keyword matched which search terms if you’re looking at more than one keyword. Previously, you could select one keyword at a time, and see the search terms that it matched. Now you can look at a whole ad group, campaign or account, see all the search terms that have caused your ads to show during a certain period of time, and right next to them, which keyword is "responsible" for a particular search term.

And finally, what do you hope to see from AdWords reporting in the future?

Calin: It could be great if we could import the Google Analytics metrics in the Keywords tab into the search terms report. Even if a search term doesn’t convert directly, if it leads to visits where one can see a large number of pages per visit or a low bounce rate, it may prove useful. In the absence of those metrics, we can only judge the search queries in terms of conversions.

Moshe: I am a great fan of the 80/20 Pareto principle: “You can draw roughly 80% of the conclusions from 20% of the data.” I have as much data as I need to run effective campaigns. As Calin suggested,  a better integration of presenting data from both Analytics and Adwords in a “unified report” could be helpful.

Discuss the new column in the AdWords Community, or check out the search terms report article in the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Cindy Meyers and Virginia Roman, Editors, Online Help

Making large-scale changes faster and easier in AdWords

Have you ever needed to adjust your AdWords bids by 5% for several thousand keywords? Or had to find and replace a bit of text in your ad copy across a couple hundred ads? Maybe you’ve changed your web address and need to update all of your visible URLs and destination URLs across your account.

We love making AdWords faster, simpler and more beautiful. So I’m happy to announce our new bulk editing features in the AdWords interface. With these tools, you’ll be able to more quickly and easily make large-scale changes across your entire account.

Initial preview
Initially, we’re releasing these bulk editing features to a limited number of AdWords accounts to collect your feedback and ensure everything works as expected. We hope to expand availability to everyone in the coming weeks.
Update (Dec. 4, 2012): These features are now available in all AdWords accounts globally.
Do more, quickly and easily
Here's a summary of the kinds of changes you'll be able to make.

  • Search and replace text in the keyword or destination URL
  • Append text to the keyword or destination URL
  • Set new bids, including increasing to first page or top of page CPC
  • Increase or decrease bids
  • Change keyword match types
  • Add/remove labels
  • Search and replace text in the ad or URL
  • Append text to the ad or URL
  • Change the capitalization of the text
  • Add/remove labels
Ad Groups
  • Increase or decrease bids
  • Set new bids
  • Add/remove labels
  • Increase or decrease budgets
  • Set new budgets
  • Add/remove labels

You’ll be able to preview changes before you apply them. If you’re making a lot of changes, they’ll run in the background. That means you can leave the page and do other things in your account (or even log out entirely!) while bulk changes are in progress. A progress bar lets you know how close your changes are to completion. You can review your changes after they’re done.

Below is an example of how easy it is to change “Road bike” to “Commuter bike” in over 25,000 ads with a single click.

Keeping things simple
As these new editing features become available in AdWords, you might also notice a few changes to buttons and menus to reduce redundancy and keep things simple for new users.

The “Edit” button will become an “Edit” drop-down menu. We’ll also be phasing out the “Edit in table” view since its multi-item editing capabilities will be far surpassed. Now when making a change to an individual campaign element, you can just click on it to enter editing mode.

More details and feedback
We’ll be updating articles throughout the AdWords help center, including our AdWords glossary entry on bulk edits, as we roll out these new editing features.

Please share your comments about the new bulk editing features with us if you use them over the next few weeks. Your feedback helps us make AdWords even better.

AdWords Examples - Targeting your keywords

In this fourth and last part of the series “AdWords Examples,” we’ll examine how to select and then evaluate keywords. If you missed the previous parts in the series you can find them here: Campaigns, Ad groups and Ads.

In this series we’ve been following Lisa, who has been creating a campaign specific to lava lamps in the Google Store. To ensure people can find her lava lamps on, Lisa makes a list of relevant keywords that closely match the theme of her ad group:

lava lamp
buy lava lamps
google lava lamp
lava lamps for sale
cool lava lamp
green lava lamp
red lava lamp
blue lava lamp
yellow lava lamp
electric lava lamp
best lava lamp
office lava lamp

The following image shows what it may look like when an ad written specifically for the lava lamps in the Google Store is shown for a relevant search. Lisa has been able to achieve this by creating a tightly themed ad group with related keywords and ad text, which, along with strategic bidding and Quality Score, has increased the likelihood of having her ads appear as they do here:

How to choose keywords

When choosing keywords there are several good strategies:

  • First and foremost it is important to think like the customer. In this case, you may ask yourself the question “If I really wanted to buy a cool lava lamp, for what would I search?” Then write these ideas down and try to expand on them, using synonyms and alternative ways of saying it. 
  • You can also get additional keyword ideas by using the Google Keyword Tool, which helps you generate keywords based on your initial ideas. In this case a good alternative keyword that is not already in the above keyword list could e.g. be ‘google motion lamp’. You can find the tool in the Opportunities tab. Here’s how you can use the Keyword Tool. If you discover some good keywords you would like to use, it’s never too late to add them. Here’s how you can add more keywords to your existing ad groups.
  • Use negative keywords: if Lisa knows that a keyword is less likely to lead to a sale, she may exclude the keyword from her ad group or campaign. In the ad group for lava lamps, Lisa might consider using ‘make your own lavalamp’ or ‘DIY lavalamp’ as negative keywords, which would prevent her ads from showing to users who make such searches. Discover how to use negative keywords here.

See a number of other useful tips about keyword selection in our article How to build the best keywords list.

We hope you find these examples useful and that you feel better equipped to regularly improve and optimize your current campaigns.

Posted by Gorjan Dimitrov - The Help Center Team

Making campaign planning and build-out faster and more accurate

We've been listening closely to your suggestions on how to reduce the guesswork involved with building new campaigns. To help improve the campaign building process, we’re rolling out improvements to the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator.

Improvements to the Keyword Tool
To help improve campaign management, we’ve made improvements to the Keyword Tool including:
  • See keyword ideas grouped by themes: With the updated Keyword Tool, you can easily view suggestions for new ad group themes and quickly choose to add ad groups directly to your account. 
  • Seamless Traffic Estimator integration: Easily view Traffic Estimator data for the keywords you select in the Keyword Tool to make better campaign strategy decisions.
Improvements to Traffic Estimator
We’ve updated the Traffic Estimator to help advertisers build a more effective bidding and budgeting strategy. Changes to the Traffic Estimator include:
  • Graph your performance estimates:
  • We’ve introduced a graph to the Traffic Estimator to make it easier to gauge traffic and bid estimates and develop an effective bidding strategy. 
  • Structure your keywords into ad groups: You can now create draft ad groups within the Traffic Estimator and easily view traffic and bid estimates for each of your draft ad groups. 
  • Add campaigns to your account: When you’re satisfied with your campaign structure, you can add the draft campaign directly to your account. 
We’re also improving the quality and accuracy of the traffic estimates by using performance history to better gauge traffic estimates. This means that going forward you’ll have to log in to AdWords to use Traffic Estimator.

You’ll find the updated Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator in the AdWords interface over the next couple of weeks. To learn more about the updates to the Keyword Tool, you can visit this article in our Help Center and this article to learn more about the Traffic Estimator.

New matching behavior for phrase and exact match keywords

Consider these three exact and phrase match keywords in AdWords.
 [waterproof sunblock]     "bollard cover"     [single serving coffee maker]

 Now have a look at these two rows of search queries.
1. waterproof sunblock     buy bollard cover     single serving coffee maker
2. waterpoof sunblock      buy bollard covers    single serve coffee maker

Today, only the search queries in the upper row (1) are considered a match and allowed to trigger an ad that can appear in the results. The close variants in the bottom row (2) are not considered a match by AdWords, despite the similarity in user intent.

This will change soon. Starting in mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Based on our research and testing, we believe these changes will be broadly beneficial for users and advertisers.

Focusing on user intent 
People aren’t perfect spellers or typists. At least 7% of search queries contain a misspelling, and the longer the query, the higher the rate.

Even with perfect spelling, two people searching for the same thing often use slightly different variations, such as “kid scooters” and “kid’s scooter” or “bamboo floor” and “bamboo flooring.”

Google’s organic search systems detect and compensate for misspellings and close variants.

We know users are happier when they get search results that reflect their intent and help them achieve their desired action, even if it’s not a precise match for what they’ve typed. So we’re extending this behavior to ads.

Benefits for many advertisers, control for all
Our early experiments looked at the impact on advertisers getting a third or more of their clicks from phrase or exact match. On average, the new matching behavior increased AdWords search clicks by 3%, with comparable CPCs. Keep in mind that results may vary by advertiser.

We’ve been testing this new improvement with advertisers, and participants have seen positive results. “Previously we spent a lot of time making sure to include hundreds of versions of brand misspellings and to include plural forms of all our keywords,” said Dana Freund, Senior SEM Manager at GameDuell. “With the improvements to exact and phrase match we don’t have to worry about these keywords anymore. We get more relevant impressions for a smaller number of keywords, and it’s been a significant time saver for us.”

If you don’t want the potential for more clicks and prefer to maintain the current matching behavior in your campaign, you’ll still have that option. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin rolling out controls which will allow you to adjust your keyword matching options. Once they’re live, log in to AdWords and select the campaign settings tab. Under “Advanced settings” select Keyword matching options:

Again, these controls will begin rolling out in the coming weeks to all AdWords accounts. But, to be clear, the new matching behavior won’t actually start until mid-May.

For more details on keyword matching behavior, reporting changes, and other frequently asked questions, please visit the AdWords Help Center.

The Keyword Tool - when you talk, we listen

We want to thank you for all the feedback you’ve given us on the Keyword Tool. The first thing you told us is that you want more keywords that are better targeted to your account and searches, and we’ve made improvements in this area. We’ve also added features such as better filters, the ability to star keywords, and copy them as text. And we’re not done yet! You can help us understand what’s important to you by continuing to provide us with feedback. Below is a more detailed look at some of our new features.

There are three new ways to filter and refine your keyword list. With our new updates, you can:
  1. Choose specific terms to include or exclude from your keyword list.
  2. Use the ‘More like these’ button to search for terms that are similar to the specific keyword ideas you've selected from the table.
  3. Get only results that include the exact words or phrases (and their close synonyms) you’ve typed in the search box.

Adding stars to keywords
Add stars to keywords that you'd like to save while you're still searching for new keyword ideas. You can review your starred keywords in the "Stars" panel on the left side of the tool.

‘View as text’ button
View your selected keywords in text form, so that you can easily edit them and paste them in a spreadsheet or AdWords Editor.

Your continued feedback is important, so please keep sending us your comments and we'll post about more improvements here.