Question: I just watched your video on Google’s Keyword Planner. Here’s something I don’t understand: I’ve searched the keyword phrase “professional photographer”, targeting 6 locations near Baltimore, MD. The competition is high, and suggested bid is $2.24. But if I qualify the keyword phrase further, by adding “baltimore” or “MD”, the search results are zero. Does this mean people searching “professional photographer” simply use that exact phrase, and google recognizes their geographic location? Should I add a qualifier like “Baltimore” to make sure I reach my target audience?
It’s confusing. The new and improved Google keyword planner only tracks the data for the exact matches. So when you enter a phrase such as “professional photographer” into the tool, the data it is reporting back to you in terms of volume is only the exact match data. That means if it says there are 50,000 searches in the United States for “professional photographer,” that means 50,000 people searched for those two words and for nothing else.
In AdWords lingo, the tool is reporting:[Professional Photographer]
If for example they enter the words “professional photographer Baltimore Maryland” into the Google search engine, that data is not reported in the new tool! It’s as if it does NOT exist!
It is very important to understand that the new Google keyword planner only(!) reports exact match queries!
It’s rather stupid. Because there are many phrases like professional photographer that real people do not put into Google search that often; rather they usually qualify that phrase with something like professional photographer Baltimore, or professional photographer for weddings, or something like that. But unfortunately the knuckleheads who created the new and improved Google keyword planner have not in their infinite wisdom given us the option to look for phrase match.
If you download my list of other keyword tools you will find a few keyword tools that will still give you phrase match data.
Now as for the second half of your question when you insert the words professional photographer Baltimore and you get no volume, what is happening? What is happening is that the keyword tool is saying there are not enough searches to warrant giving you any data. It doesn’t really mean that no one searches this way, rather, you have to remember the purpose of this tool is to sell people on AdWords advertising.
The bottom line with the new and improved, and of course I use the phrase new and improved in jest, keyword planner is that you need to use your intuition on how people search as much as the data provided by the tool. Just remember it is only giving you exact match queries and not phrase matches!
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
on SEO | AdWords | Social Media