A Guide to Understanding and Using Your Keyword Plan


Cybosys conducts keyword research and presents results and recommendations in a Keyword Plan.

Your Keyword Plan helps you select keywords based on the keyword search volume reported by Google’s AdWords keyword tool. This gives you an idea of how popular different keywords are in searches.

To develop a Keyword Plan, seed keywords associated with your business are used to find related keywords and analyze their popularity. Based on the popularity and relevance of keywords, you can select keywords to optimize your website for and use for pay per click advertising.

Limits of Keyword Research

Keyword data is sourced from the Google AdWords keyword tool. Keyword research is useful for ideas and planning, but should not be used as an authoritative data source for important business decisions. Keyword usage varies widely in different countries, business areas and over time, and the effectiveness of different keywords for your own business purposes requires testing in your own business environment.

Search Volume

The Google AdWords keyword database tracks actual keywords typed in by searchers. Google reports that historical data to enable an assessment of average number of searches. There are two key figures used:

  • Local Search Volume: Month: The approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword for a specific country.
  • Global Monthly Search Volume: The approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword globally.

Estimated Avg CPC

Estimated Average Cost Per Click (CPC) is the estimate of the bid required to reach a top 3 position for that keyword using the Google AdWords PPC program. Higher CPC figures indicate that other companies are probably finding the search term profitable because it delivers sales. Low CPC figures may indicate less commercial value in the searchers using these terms. The CPC figures reported by Google are the aggregate result of a competitive bidding system and many factors affect them. However, at a high level the CPC figures often provide a useful proxy for the potential commercial value in a keyword. In particular, you may be able to achieve organic search rankings on high value keywords over time that you could not afford to pay for advertising on.

Match Type

Google supports three different match types – exact, phrase and broad. Your Keyword Plan is developed using exact match keyword data. This means that the figures relate to the exact phrase in question. Phrase match would include search volume where the keyword is part of a bigger search (for example, “red widgets” would be a phrase match for a search on bright red widgets).

Relative Value Index

Multiplying the Local and Global Search Volume by the Estimated Avg CPC produces a Local Relative Value Index and Global Relative Value Index.

These figures are useful when a high-level relative index is required that identifies keywords with higher volume and higher value CPC.

Other Keyword Terms and Concepts

  • Keyword: A keyword refers to the word (or words) entered into the search box of a search engine. For example, chicago accommodation (two words used in a Google search) is referred to as a keyword. Another related keyword might be chicago hotel
  • Seed Keywords: Seed keywords are used as the basis for keyword popularity searches. For example, the seed chicago would return chicago accommodation and chicago hotel.
  • Keyword Family or Keyword Group: Keywords are grouped into keyword families (based on the seed keyword used to find them) for reporting and analysis: chicago, chicago accommodation and chicago hotel are all grouped in the chicago keyword family.
  • Plurals: Google treats horse and horses as different keywords (even though we know they are the singular/plural form of the same word)
  • Spaces: Google treats compound words like farm stay and farmstay as different keywords
  • Ordering: Google treats chicago accommodation and accommodation chicago as different keywords
  • Capitals: Google doesn’t worry about capitalization, so Chicago, chicago and CHICAGO are treated as the same word by Google.
  • Search Tail: Primary keywords (the most popular keywords in your niche) have a short or long ‘tail’ of more specific keywords e.g. pony -> wild pony, pony stories. A short tail has fewer keywords, and a long tail has more.

Detailed keyword tables.

How to use your Keyword Plan

Consider using your keyword plan as follows:

  • SEO: Plan for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Once you have decided on what keywords are most important to you, you can invest in creating relevant content. Ranking well in organic search engine results can take time, particularly where there is a lot of competition. So sometimes it is best to start with less popular keywords and work towards longer term goals with more competitive keywords.
  • SEM: Plan for Search Engine Marketing (SEM). You can tackle more competitive keywords right away with a Pay Per Click (PPC) search marketing campaign, although you need to make sure that the benefits of the campaign (conversions x customer value) outweigh the costs (PPC click costs and time/money to run campaigns).
  • Content: Ideas for specific blog posts and feature articles: keywords can give you great ideas for blog posts or feature articles that encourage more search traffic to find you, spend longer on your site and come to trust your authority.

Implementing Recommendations

This section provides information on how to implement the recommendations in your report.

Organic Search – SEO

How to implement a keyword (using an Cybosys website):

  • Identify a web page that will provide the most relevant content for people searching for this keyword – this will sometimes be referred to as a Theme Page, with the keyword representing the theme
  • Include the keyword in the page URL (edit the page slug/URL)
  • Include the keyword in the title tag (use the All in One SEO field for this purpose)
  • Write a Page Description (using the All in One SEO field) that will maximize click-through from search engine result pages
  • Enable the Category Pages plugin, and then using Dashboard, Posts, Post Categories create a Category for the keyword, and link the category to your chosen theme page
  • Write content that solves the problem for the search visitor
  • Write blog posts that are related to the keyword and place them in the relevant category by ticking the box in the category list before publishing
  • Share your content with other interested parties who may link to your page
  • Register your page in web directories that may send relevant visitors to your page

For a more detailed explanation of the steps outlined here, find the section on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are three articles that explain how to optimize your website.

You can access the Google keyword tool to do follow up research, just search for Keyword Tool from Google and you’ll find it.

Paid Search – SEM

How to implement a PPC campaign:

Content Ideas

Keywords can suggest ideas for content that respond to a clear search intent. The combination of a high value keyword, a strong search intent and a memorable headline create an excellent content idea.

How to implement Content Ideas:

  • Review the underlying keywords in the title and assess the search intent
  • Research the suggested topic and identify the problem (or problems) people are trying to solve
  • Use your site to create a new page or post
  • Use the suggested topic as a heading for your page or post