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New Features in AdWords Keyword Planner & the iSpionage Competitive Analysis Tool

Before launching any search marketing campaign, it’s necessary to do your keyword research. In fact, understanding which keywords you should target is one of the most important steps in order to achieve the results you desire. Thankfully, there are many different tools out there to help you understand the basics of keyword selection, but by far one of the most popular tools is the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

Google is continually developing their keyword research tools, and recently made the following improvements 9 to their tool. For those of you who have not had a chance to explore the new additions, here is a quick overview of what is new in the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

1. Select a date range under the “search for new keyword and ad group ideas” and “get search volume for a list of keywords or group them” tabs.

Once you have selected the keyword terms of interest, and your targeting information, you can also select a date range. Selecting a date range will show you the average monthly searches for the last 12 months, and you can also specify which months of data you would like to review. For example, if you run a flower business and are interested in learning information about keywords like “flowers, flower delivery service, and Mother’s Day gifts,” you can now see the traffic patterns for those keywords based on date.

Additionally, you can compare keywords from two different time periods by turning the compare mode on. When the compare mode is on, it allows you to:

    – Compare data from a previous period
    – Compare data from the same period last year
    – Customize the date for the data you would like to see.

If you want to see information about the keywords that are related to your flower business, you select the dates, compare the dates to last year’s data, and simply press enter. Google then returns graphical information to give you a better idea of keyword trends based on the dates selected.

In the flower shop example reference above, the data for last year is displayed in yellow, and the data for this year is displayed in blue. By using the compare mode, you can see that keywords like “flowers,” “flower delivery service,” and “Mother’s Day” were slightly more popular last year.

2. View absolute and relative changes (total and percentage) for your ad group ideas and your keyword ideas.

Once you have compared keyword data by time period, you can sort the data to see which ad groups and/or keywords are performing well, and which keywords are declining. All you have to do is click on the “total change” or “percent change” column to sort your data either ascending or descending.

3. View mobile trends compared with other devices.

Google also understands mobile marketing trends. As such, they now offer a way for keyword researchers to visualize mobile device data more effectively. To find this information, click on the top left selection bar and pick “mobile trends.” Google will display mobile trends in green, and the total of all other device sources in blue. For the flower shop example and keywords, the trends are as follows.

4. See graphical breakdowns by device.

Not only does Google show you a graphical representation of how many searches are conducted on mobile devices as compared to all other devices, but it also shows which kind of devices people are typically using to search for your keywords.

To find this information, select “breakdown by device” from the selection bar, and view the graph provided.

5. See graphical breakdowns by location.

Interested in learning what geographical location your searchers are searching from? Google has thought of a solution for this as well.

Simply select “breakdown by location” from the selection bar, and find out if your searchers are from the United States, Russia, India, etc.

6. See daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly results.

Google now allows you to scale results in order to see daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly data. Additionally, you can customize a time period in order to see information about keyword volume.

7. See information about bid adjustments and device segmentation.

In order to see volume estimates by device and glean information about potential mobile bid adjustments, click on the “device” tab next to “ad group” and “keywords.” This provides you estimates based on baseline bids. From here, you can see how you need to adjust your bid for a mobile device, tablet, or desktop.

8. Get location breakdowns for your targeted locations.

Now, you can also see keyword information about your targeted locations, and information that Google automatically evaluates and breaks down for you.

9. See graphical visualization of different geographical locations.

Finally, Google now shows clicks per day, impressions per day, cost per day, and ad position per day, broken up by various sub-geographical locations.

This information helps you understand seasonal traffic patterns, geographical traffic patterns, identify mobile trends, adjust bids properly, and understand traffic volumes by location.

Google has definitely gone the extra mile to help you understand how to select keywords properly based on what type of campaign you are running, what type of device your searchers typically use, the time periods when your searchers are most active, and where your searchers are located.

This information can help you fine-tune your campaign in order to get more bang for your buck.

But, wait…that’s only one part of keyword research!

While the new additions to Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool offer new insight to help you discover some important information about your keywords, it’s also necessary to delve deeper, and analyze competitor keywords in order to uncover the most effective keywords for your campaign.

While the Google AdWords Keyword Planner does not currently offer this type of competitive analysis, all is not lost. Thankfully, the software does.

How helps you with keyword research

In order to understand how’s software can help you with your competitive keyword research, it’s first important to understand a few key terms that uses.

    1. Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) – KEI tells you how long a company has been investing in a keyword with favorable results, and that they company is still investing in that keyword with great results. The higher the KEI, the better the keyword traditionally has performed for a competitor.

    Having access to this KEI tells you that a competitor has had good results with a keyword, and the same keyword is likely to deliver you the type of results you want as well.

    2. Torso Keywords – These are neither short-tale keywords (one general keyword term) with so much competition that you will likely never see any results, nor are they highly specific long-tail keywords that are so targeted that they hardly receive any searches.

    Torso keywords are keywords that have a low to mid level competitive level, but also have a high enough volume of searches to provide you with value. Usually torso keywords include 2 words—one specific term followed by a more granulated or targeted term.

When looking at competitor information, it’s best to identify keywords with a high KEI that is also a torso keyword. This is the type of keyword data that is not available in the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool, but is necessary in order to help you find the best keywords for your PPC or SEO campaign.

How to use for competitor keyword analysis

Use the search bar to type in either a keyword, or a market competitor’s domain. To continue researching potential keywords for your flower shop, consider typing in “,” or another top competitor.

Once you have entered the information and clicked “search,” you can click “PPC Keywords” on the navigation bar, and browse keywords to find the KEI.

This tab provides all of the information you could ever want about including the keywords is targeting, the KEI of each keyword, the cost per click, search volume, average position for each keyword, etc.

Since it’s important to look at keywords for more than just one competitor before selecting keywords, you can also view information about’s competitors by clicking on the “competitors” tab on the navigation bar.

Under this tab, you can quickly browse vital competitor information for a PPC and/or an SEO campaign, or you can click on a specific domain name in order to evaluate key terms in greater depth.

After you have done your research and selected the competitors that best reflect the type of campaign you are planning to run, you can compare the top competitors side-by-side. All you have to do is click the “compare” tab, enter the domain names of my top competitors and press “search.”

This will return a detailed summary of all the keyword information about these top 3 competitors in order to help you better select the keywords for either my PPC or SEO campaign.


While Google provides a wide range of important general keyword information, it’s also important to continue your keyword research to see what is, and what is not working for your competitors by using a comprehensive competitor analysis software like

Understanding the success, and failure, of your competitors, can help save you time, energy, and money, and also put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors when it comes to running an effective search marketing campaign.


Guest Author Ashley R. Cummings
Guest Author Ashley R. Cummings
Ashley R. Cummings is the owner of Searchlight Content and a freelance writer, specializing in online marketing, education, and travel. Connect with Ashley on Facebook or , and learn more about her on LinkedIn.