Episode #13

Google AdWords I: Get 1000s of Keyword Ideas with the Keyword Planner

In this episode, we'll come up an advertising hypothesis (keywords+country) by using Google Analytics. Next we'll use the Google AdWords keyword planner to predict whether this advertising idea will be profitable or a waste of money. We'll then expand the potential reach of the advertising by opening it up to more keywords via the suggestions Google gives you. I'll also touch on why the keyword tool is great for SEO too. Lastly I'll show you how to use 'refine keyword' to filter the mass of suggestions into manageable logical groups.

December 06, 2020

Show Notes

No notes available for this episode.


Transcribed by Rugo Obi

The previous introduction to paid advertising episode was very very high level and abstract.

This time we're going to switch it around and dive right into the nitty-gritty and make our first Google AdWords campaign.

AdWords is the fundamental and probably most useful of all the advertising platforms so I think this is a great place to learn the basics of online advertising.

The very first step is to come up with some sort of advertising hypothesis, perhaps there is a set of users you have in mind who you currently don't reach, but you might be able to reach profitably with advertising.

So a couple of episodes back, we saw that even though I'm only really active in the UK, United States, Australia, and other English-speaking countries, I'm actually getting a good amount of sales in Hong Kong, even though I don't do anything there.

And on top of that, the per-session value is 22 cents, which is higher than my average of 15 cents.

Therefore, my hypothesis is that I might be able to advertise in Hong Kong and increase my overall revenue significantly since at the moment I do nothing there.

I'm going to go a step further here in fact, and I'm going to order all my results here by per session value and see what kind of information comes out here.

So we see that the Falkland Islands has the highest per session value with 2 euros. However, there's only one transaction so that doesn't really count.

Let me look at the British Virgin Islands with 10 transactions, and so that’s much better with 88 cents.

Now, if you scroll down here, if you look at all these countries, Turks, and I can't even pronounce that, Caicos Islands, Gibraltar, Seychelles, Guernsey, many of these places have some sort of connection with the UK— they were previously part of the Commonwealth or something like that.

Therefore my entire hypothesis is that ex Commonwealth countries or countries otherwise associated with the UK are good places for me to advertise.

A bit of context on what I do, I sell law notes mostly for the UK market, and most of my activity is within the United Kingdom.

Considering that Commonwealth countries or ex-Commonwealth countries have a pretty big overlap with UK law, or at least did in the past and it's just diverging now like in the case of Hong Kong.

Therefore it's not surprising that the legal materials I sell in the UK are sometimes useful to people in these countries, so my advertising hypothesis is that if I'm active in these countries, I'll be able to turn a higher profit.

The next step is to visit Google ads, and then sign in. And then I have multiple accounts here but I'm just going to use this kind of manager account, you don’t have to worry about that.

Then you have to wait for it to load, takes ages usually, that's one of the downsides of the platform.


The next thing I want to do is open up the Keyword Planner.

So the easiest way to navigate Google AdWords is via search. So I'm going to type in Keyword Planner here.

Now I just choose my sub-account, you probably won't have to do this if you have a simple setup and we finally add the Keyword Planner.

Broadly speaking, the purpose of the Keyword Planner is to help you figure out what keywords to target, ie to come up with keywords you wouldn't have thought of yourself, and also to predict whether or not advertising for certain keywords is going to be profitable for you or a waste of money.

I'm going to show you exactly how now. First thing you want to do is click on "Discover new keywords".

The next thing I'll do here is enter in a couple of keywords corresponding to the major product types on my website. So we have law notes and I’m going to separate each of these by a comma, lpc notes and gdl notes, that's three different keywords.

And the next thing I want to do is to make sure this is targeting the right region. So we definitely don't want it to be in German, we want it to be in English I'd say or even all languages. Is that an option? No, let's just go with English.

And then as for country, let's change this to just be Hong Kong right now since that was the biggest of those ex-Commonwealth type regions.

So I'm going to target that one, click Save, and let's get some results.

It looks like I forgot to include two keywords, but I can easily add them in here.

The first one is law revision, and the second one is law case summaries and just click Get results again there.

If you're following along with your own website, one thing to be aware of is that I have this set to the "last 12 months". I think by default, it might be last month, but that's something just you should be aware of.

All right, let's actually take a look at the data that the Keyword Planner gives us.

So I'm going to scroll down here, and we can see the keywords that I provided in this column and then the average times that they are searched for each month.

The graph here shows the seasonal variation. So law notes is searched for about 20 times per month in English in Hong Kong, lpc notes, 10 times gdl notes 10 times, and so on and so forth.

You can also see how much competition there is for each of them and it's low in every case.

So 20 times, 20 searches per month is very low, but my impression is that you actually get a lot more traffic than this somehow. I know that when I started my business in the UK, I only had about 20 searches per month for at least law notes directly, but I ended up getting a lot more business than that.

Still, you're probably going to want to expand the potential reach of your advertising, and this is where the Keyword Planner really really starts to show its strength. So, it tells you here that Google can think of 1521 keyword ideas related to what I gave it.

And in order to see these, I just have to start scrolling down, and I see that following the keywords I actually put in myself, there are the keyword ideas.

The first one here is company law notes, a particular type of law notes, then business law notes, jurisprudence notes, and these get extra monthly searches that can all get added together.

And you can keep scrolling down here, and explore the space of keywords and get lots and lots of advertising ideas.

Let's take a more systematic approach in exploring the space of keywords.

So what I'm going to do here is, sort my results by the average number of monthly searches.

It makes sense to go after the keywords with the most volume after all.

So if I scroll down here, I see that pcll conversion notes are a really big deal with 90 monthly searches.

Unfortunately, that's a product that's specific to Hong Kong so that's not really worth me advertising on. Later on I might put a negative keyword there in order to avoid that, we can look at that later.

And then there's contract notes rules, and judiciary notes, so this is some pretty important information to take into account.

Incidentally, the Keyword Planner Tool is the best free SEO tool in existence.

That's because it tells you what keywords get roughly how many searches per month, and you can therefore figure out what keywords to design your website around, like for example what to include in your URLs, in your title tags and what kind of traffic you can expect if you win that particular SEO race.

Another great way to explore the keyword space is to take advantage of their refined keywords feature, this column you see on the right here.

So it organizes in groups these keyword suggestions into five categories here.

And if I click on one of them, it'll open up.

So I clicked on Law, and we can see that public law has the most keywords, followed by contract law, business law, property law.

There's so much useful information here, for example, which products to target, maybe which individual ads or keywords to target.

What I mean by that is I can have an advert for just for Public Law targeting just the Public Law keyword, etc.

Or if I go into "Degree" here, we can see the names of various degrees that get typed in Hong Kong. Maybe these are law, maybe these aren't, but it could be useful to find out the acronyms for Hong Kong law degrees that I might not have heard of over here.

Let's take a closer look at how the refined keywords feature can be used to more easily search for the right keyword.

So, what I'm going to do is click EXPAND ALL here, and then untick all these major category boxes so there's five of them to do, I'm just gonna do that real quick now.

Now, I've excluded everything, the effect of that is that there are no keyword suggestions over here, there's just the five I typed in originally.

Now what I can do is find some keywords that might be interesting, and then click on them and see how it affects what gets shown here.

So I clicked on case brief, and now I see the format of the different case brief keywords. For example, "pierson v post case brief", "harvey v facey case brief".

I've never actually thought of using the term "case brief" before in legal stuff but apparently that must be a big thing in Hong Kong at least. So, that could be an idea for a whole set of possible keywords to target.

And if I change this to maybe llb notes and get rid of case brief, let's see what that turns out. There's no specific suggestions here but other ones might have that, you know.

That's all I've got for today.

See you next week.