Use Google AdWords Tools to Get Unstuck

I am rarely at a loss for words (am I ever?). But when it comes to preaching your expertise in business, you might get stuck finding a variety of perfectly selected ideas to write about. In my Blog for Business Workshops, I outline many ways to get unstuck. But, as there have been changes like the Google Keyword Tool changing to Google Adwords, and Google having recently unleashed Hummingbird on us (can a tiny bird with a big name be so bad?), I’m leaping into tech for the untechies.

Google Hummingbird – With a Name Like That…

Google Hummingbird sounds light, easy, flighty and even… fun. Truth is, Google is a beast of an organization. It is dominating our landscape and we simply can’t avoid it when it comes to navigating how to get our great business and great content seen. The latest gossip across the web is going to confuse us all for awhile — Google is clamping down on keyword searches as its algorithm, its math, and replacing it with a different algorithm called Hummingbird. I’ve read that Hummingbird will impact up to 90% of search queries.

To Understand Google, Act Like a Consumer First

So what is it? It is allowing search to happen in phrases… in the way a human thinks. It is designed to deliver more accurate results to the searcher.

Instead of just keywords, you can use key phrases with greater accuracy. A statement like “best wonton soup in south-east Calgary” used to yield a smorgasbord of disjointed data – maps of south-east calgary, won ton soup recipes, etcetera. Now it yields what I actually want to know!

I recommend you spend some time as a searching different phrases like a consumer before wrapping your head around it for your business. Once you practice you’ll begin to understand the power.

My opinion? This is fantastic! For those businesses that take the time to be present with consistent changes on social media and take the time to be consistent, clear and frequent in communicating what they do on their websites, nothing changes except you might find it a bit easier to be found in your niche instead of lost in a sea of words.

Using Google AdWords to Get Unstuck

Now that we know phrases (the way consumers think), not just keywords have power in search tools, we can play with the tools available to us with greater abandon to find the nuggets of language that suit your brand and suit what the consumer wants.

In a smart move by Google, they have shifted an older “keyword” search tool into their AdWords platform, meaning at any given moment in your exuberance of playing around with your keywords and phrases you are a click away from paying for a Google AdWord campaign!

But don’t fret, you don’t have to run a campaign to use the tools, you simply need a Google account.

  1. Log into Google account.
  2. Search for Google AdWords Keyword Planner (click the link, I’ve found it for you).
  3. Leap right in! I recommend starting with “Search with new keyword and ad group ideas.”
  4. On the next screen just enter your keyword under “products or services”. To get started, pick your most important product or service or a main word or phrase that reflects your brand best.
  5. If you operate your business locally only, or your local consumer has importance, be sure to change “location” in the left column to your city. This does change the search outcome!*
  6. From the results, you might see categories or words. In either case, focus on those that yield “low or medium competition” and have the highest searches per month. This is where you start.
  7. Note the words that FIT YOUR BRAND. Do not (cannot emphasize this enough) pick a highly searched term if it is not representing the work you do, you could never blog about it, and your customers would be confused if you showed up in that search engine.

Repeat this process for every idea you have of how your consumer thinks when searching for what you do. Search for what you think gets your competitors found. Search for what you think that super awesome business just like yours in Hawaii gets found based on (minus the hula and pina coladas). Be creative. Within your searches there will be a few nuggets… a few words… that when you use compared to others… will benefit your business.

By the way, I don’t see how the Google Hummingbird algorithm is playing out in the keyword planner, but it will so keep thinking like a consumer when doing your search homework.

Remember – a business is NOT built on Google rankings. Your business is built on dozens of touch points with your customers – in most cases your business must be built on referral engines (social media) and real life referrals (word of mouth). So please do not obsess about Google tools. But do take a few hours every few months to understand and use the language as one way to get unstuck in your online writing, in a purposeful Google-rific manner.

Brand Language First, Keywords Second

Work hard to understand that your keywords and keyphrases are also the key language that underpins every brand conversation. Work hard to understand that you must find your niche – that special quality or capability in your work that is hard to replicate – and then define it and describe it in terms your customer would use to find you. Use the tools to guide you.

You do not have to overthink everything you write. You must avoid falling into a formula of writing just for keywords. But again, if you are writing from a place of knowing your own brand, and the language that supports it, using the keyword planner to guide you into choosing language that fits, over time (often not long if you blog frequently) you should see results!

If you’d like more information on how to use this tool, I found the information from Google itself helpful: how to use keyword planner. Remember, you aren’t necessarily doing this to buy a campaign in Google AdWords. You search for keywords of highest traffic to understand what your consumer is thinking when they try to find you (or someone just like you).

Caveat: I am not a technical expert about Google AdWords or keywords. I simply attempt to learn best I can to share with  my fans. If you have further insight please share! I look forward to seeing how these changes roll out and impact our businesses.

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