Everything You Need to Know About the Truth Behind Google’s Keyword Planner

If you’ve ever used Google’s keyword planner, you probably already know just how useful this tool can be for improving your marketing strategy by focusing on keywords that will actually drive traffic. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that reduce the effectiveness of the tool which all marketers should be aware of. While it is still a useful tool, recognizing its limitations can help you better plan out your marketing strategy. Here’s what you should know before relying too deeply on Google’s keyword planner.


Everything You Need to Know About the Truth Behind Google’s Keyword Planner

Averages are rounded

The most popular feature of the Google Keyword Planner is the metric they call “Average Monthly Search Volume.” This metric is meant to give you insight into how many times a keyword is being searched and while useful, Google conveniently neglects to mention that these averages are rounded. This rounding can have a significant impact on the final numbers, so take them with a grain of salt.


These averages are based on traffic buckets

One reason Google’s averages can be so off-base is because they divide traffic into buckets of different volumes. For example, one traffic bucket is for 165,000 and the next bucket is 246,000. This leaves nearly wiggle room of nearly 80,000 searches per month!


Recommended keywords aren’t always what they seem

Google routinely leaves out the most popular keywords in its recommended keywords reports. Whil this is likely in order to provide a diverse sample of terms, it means that by relying only on the tool, you may be missing out on keywords that could significantly impact your business.


Spelling errors skew the data

Spelling errors are a notorious complication for search engine rankings and Google hasn’t figured out a solid way to include this data in its analyses. The Keyword Planner only includes search volume for exact spelling matches in its data, which means that keywords with the opportunity for multiple spellings (such as those that contain an ampersand) can actually offer a much higher return than the tool makes it seem.

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