How to Find The Best Keywords - google keyword planner

Hey everyone! I’ve received  a couple  of emails and texts from bloggers who heard my interview on the Food Blogger Pro podcast this week (so honored to have been a part of it!) asking for more information about how to navigate the Google Keyword Planner. So  i assumed  I’d pop in today with a quick step-by-step tutorial for how I use it.

As  i discussed  on the podcast, I’ve been  an enormous  fan of this resource from Google for years and years. Why?

Well  first , it’s backed by Google, who has  the simplest  access to SEO research on the planet.

It’s quick  and straightforward  to use, especially on days  once I  have “recipe development block” and need some ideas for what to cook and share on my blog next.

As  against  many other keyword research tools, it’s 100% FREE!

To be clear, this tool definitely not guarantee “instant success” with a keyword. I’ve been consulting it for years, and sometimes  the celebs  align and it really helps with SEO, and sometimes I never notice a difference. But if nothing else, I find that it’s  an excellent  tool to use when you’re:

Searching for general recipe trends (i.e. How are people cooking broccoli lately?)

Deciding between two different recipe options (i.e. Should I make chicken noodle soup, or cream of chicken soup?)

Creating SEO-friendly recipe names (i.e. chicken enchiladas vs. chicken enchilada recipe)

Wondering  what percentage  people actually search for a given term each month,  and the way  much competition exists for that term

The best thing about this tool is that it’s easy to do significant SEO research for a term in less than a minute. Or — if you’re like me —  you'll  also fall down the Keyword Planner rabbit hole and spend hours clicking around and making a list of possible terms you want to try in the future.

  • Begin by visiting the Keyword Planner homepage. Since this tool  may be a  part of Google AdWords, you’ll  have to  be signed in with your Google account information. (If you don’t  have already got  an AdWords account,  plow ahead  and sign up — it’s free.)

Once you  check in , you’ll be directed to the AdWords homepage (see image above), where you’ll  have to  click on the Tools dropdown menu and then select Keyword Planner.

  • Once you’ve arrived, click on  the small  dropdown arrow next to Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.

  • Then the fun begins! (Or my nerdy, techy, SEO-y version of “fun”)

In the search box,  plow ahead  and type in whatever term you would like to research. For an example, I’m  visiting  go with the word “chicken”. Then click the blue Get Ideas button below.

(There are obviously more options  you'll  click here to help refine your search, but 99% of the time I just type  within the  search term.)

And here are all of your results! Initially the Ad group ideas results will  crop up , but I haven’t found these to be all that useful. (They are basically combined or related search terms that Google recommends  you think about , but they aren’t always that relevant.)  Instead,  i like to recommend  that you click on the Keyword Ideas tab above.

  • you ought to  now see your specific search term at the top of the page on the left, with two important pieces  of data  beside it — the average monthly searches (the average number of times people have searched for this exact keyword based on the date range and targeting settings that you’ve selected) and competition (the number of advertisers that showed on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google).

  • It’s 100% up to  you ways  you would like to use these results. But  generally , I always recommend that bloggers  specialise in  the terms with low competition and semi-high average monthly searches.

Why low competition? Well, that one probably goes without saying — there’s less competition,  in order that  means there’s a much higher chance that your post may rank higher in Google searches. It’s not a guarantee  needless to say . (And  confine  mind that “low” is a term relative to the number of total searches, so a term with 100K+ monthly searches  should  have tens of thousands of pages competing for page rankings.)

Why semi-high average monthly searches? Well, that’s totally just a recommendation from me. You’re, of course, totally welcome to  specialise in  the highest average monthly searched terms. But in my experience,  the most important  recipe sites out there (i.e. Food Network, AllRecipes, etc.) have  nearly always  already targeted those terms, and thus,  are going to be  very more difficult to potentially “outrank” on Google. So  generally , I tend to  specialise in  the semi-high or medium average monthly searched terms.  then  maybe include some of the highest ones as secondary keywords within my posts.

That said, remember that getting ranked on  the primary  page of Google for your search term isn’t everything! :)  If you really want to make a buffalo chicken dip,  for instance ,  i feel  you should totally make it. If anything, the results here just confirm that  there'll  probably be plenty of people already interested in that topic. And hey — why not do  a fast  secondary search to see if there’s a similar keyword that you might want to target more specifically instead?

  • Oooooh, gold!  numerous  great related terms!!

My biggest takeaway from  this is often  that whenever you would potentially talk about buffalo chicken dip within your post,  make certain  to say “buffalo chicken dip recipe”. It’s  a simple  way to sneak 2 keywords in 1! (Hint hint — this is why I always stick the word “recipe” at the end of each of my URLs.)

But from this list, you’ll see that there are some great alternative keywords  you'll  also use for the same recipe (i.e. Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip,  the way to  Make Buffalo Chicken Dip, Buffalo  wing  Dip, etc.). Or, this keyword research might inspire you  to vary  things up and do a slightly different recipe altogether (i.e. Buffalo Chicken Pizza,  Crock Pot  Buffalo Chicken Dip, etc.)  such a lot  great information to consider.  and that i  tend to always find,  such a lot  great inspiration to be found!

Of course, doing keyword research  is merely  a small part of the work of creating a SEO-friendly post.  the toughest  part of blogging will always be:

  • creating quality, beautiful, sharable content
  • effectively using these keywords throughout the post
  • then promoting/sharing the post and letting it simmer for awhile in Google 


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