How to End Worrying About What Keywords to Use: Google Keyword Planner

Have you ever wondered what keywords to use? Really, should say you have 1) ebooks online or 2) online ebooks? Or, maybe you’re thinking you’d get the most exposure for your book with a free giveaway using the phrase 3) download free ebooks online.

So that’s three choices.

What do you think?

Would you pick #1, #2, or #3? And to make it exciting, let’s imagine you’ll sell an ebook to each person that visits your site from a search engine using that keyword.

The stunning fact is that if you selected choice #1, ebooks online, you’d sell seven times more ebooks than if you used choice #3, download free ebooks online, because you’d have more people visiting your webpage.

How do I know? Well, checking Google’s Keyword Planner this morning when I was writing a blog post, I found that in the past month of global searches these phrases had the following average monthly searches:

  • ebooks online – 2900
  • online ebooks – 1000
  • download ebooks free online – 390

Think how much more profit you could earn just by making an informed decision about which keyword to use.

Badlands and Outlaws
Cover for Linda’s newest ebook, Badlands and Outlaws, first book in the series, The Old West, to be released on Amazon Kindle on October 23.

Let me tell you how it all works.

Google Tools for Bloggers and Webmasters

Google is well known for creating its free webmaster tools that bloggers and webmasters find extremely useful. Their free webmaster tools inform blog and website owners on everything from how many times each site page or post shows up in Google searches, to a full analysis of how many visitors the site has and where they’re from.

And the Google AdWords Keyword Tool was one of Google’s best-ever tools!

But it disappeared.

So, what happened? Where did the keyword tool go and what do you do now? There are a few other free keyword tools, like the SEO Keyword Comparison tool at:

However, they pale in comparison to the power of Google’s keyword tool.

So let’s talk about how Google discontinued its free keyword tool a year ago at the end of August, 2013—or, more accurately how they replaced the external AdWords keyword tool with an internal AdWords Keyword Planner.

This was pretty much a disaster for webmasters around the Web because we weren’t really using AdWords. We were just using the free tool.

Now what do we do?

The New Keyword Planner Tool

Well, the new Keyword Planner works very similarly to the old Keyword Tool.

The only catch is that if you don’t already have a Google AdWords account you have to sign up for one. That, in itself, wouldn’t be bad, except that you must supply a credit card number to complete your sign-up. And that’s not something a lot of small content creators are willing or able to do.

Besides unwillingness to sign up for a program they don’t plan on using, some content creators also fear that somehow they’ll end up paying for the keyword planner service because Google has their credit card number. That’s disconcerting to say the least.

So if we don’t have to pay for using the tool, why on earth is it tied to a program like AdWords?

The reason for the change is that the Google AdWords Keywords Tool was always part of AdWords, which is the contextual advertising program Google started running way back in October of 2000 (see Google timeline: )

Now, most content creators on the Web—the people who loved the old Keyword Tool—are more familiar with AdSense, than AdWords.

How are these two Google programs related?

The Difference Between AdSense and AdWords

Well, AdWords advertisers pick out keywords that describe their products and services, then, bid on those keywords with the AdWords program to have their advertising displayed on Web content.

And, you guessed it, Web content creators sign up with Google AdSense to display those AdWords ads and make money from the advertisers when people click on the ads.

The system is called pay-per-click or PCP, and sometimes, cost-per-click. It moves money seamlessly from advertisers to content creators. I know—I’ve earned a lot of checks from Google!

It was a revolutionary program that marked the beginning of a solid income model for content creators, which didn’t exist before the Dot Com Bubble burst in 2000 –

But here we are, in 2014, with content creators once again wondering how to ensure they’re doing “it” right with their content. The “it,” of course, is making sure that the keywords content creators are using have the highest potential for revenue from the advertisers on AdWords.

After all, some keywords only end up with bids of a nickel a click, while others can be $20 or even $30 a click. Figuring out which keyword they need to use is truly worth the time to content creators relying on making income from all the work they’ve done researching and writing their articles, coming up with infographics, making videos and various other types of multimedia.

When we look at a list of related keywords on Keywords Planner, the system shows us which ones are paying the lowest and the highest. It’s easy to figure out what keywords have the most potential for earning the biggest income.

Use Keyword Planner to Identify Best Keywords

There’s another advantage to using Google Keywords Planner, which is that you have access to the number of global (or smaller) searches conducted each month for any keyword or keyword phrase you can imagine. So, this helps content creators prioritize their articles, so they publish what people are looking for.

Nobody wants to put a lot of work into a topic that 10 or 20 people search for in a month.

Needless to say, all content creators benefit from using keyword tools even if they’re not signed up to earn income from AdSense.

Here’s a great slideshow that takes you step-by-step through how it all works:

Sign Up For Google AdWords or Use Alternatives

I wish I could tell you there’s a way around the requirement to register to use Google’s Keyword Planner tool, but there isn’t.

You must sign up and you must provide a credit card. My understanding though, is that you can register with a prepaid credit card if you wish, which is something a lot of people use to shop online to avoid putting higher limit credit cards at risk. Cards can be purchased as low as $20 or $40 at some banks. I personally always use a prepaid credit card when I’m signing up for a service that may automatically deduct monthly or annual fees, even without my authorization.

If you haven’t already used these handy cards, here’s some information to help you get started:

The advantage, at least to Google, for requiring registration for an AdWords account to have access to the new and improved keyword tool, is that content creators become familiar with the AdWords side of the program. And who knows, some of us might even decide to advertise ourselves on AdWords and expand our reach.

Still not sure about signing up with AdWords to use the keyword planner tool? Here’s an infographic that provides more alternatives (click on the graphic for a fullsize image that’s easier to read):

If you’re on Facebook and would like to keep up with my favorite resources for writing and publishing on the Web, please join my community page at:

And finally, I’d like to share this YouTube video that provides a good tutorial:

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