Google Adwords equips you with the resources you need to carry out quantitative Marketing Research for a fraction of the cost.
It provides you with demographic, geographic, keyword, category, device and placement data that assist you to gain a deeper insight with your target markets. The two main tools are the Keyword Planner and Display Planner and Campaign Experiments which you use to carry out qualitative research (like finding out your visitors’ opinion about your landing pages, keywords and Ads).
1. Keyword Planner
The Keyword Planner is the first tool that most advertisers go to when they want to learn more about their market. And that makes sense considering it is the ideal tool to find keywords to add to an existing campaign – and even research keywords that you want to use to build your campaigns.
So what can you learn from the keyword planner tool about your target markets?
a. Search Volumes
If you have a list of keywords and want to find out the traffic volume trends over the past 12 months, you can either upload a CSV file, especially if they are many, or enter them manually as in the example below
You can change the targeting to any location you like (country, city or region). Geographic segmentation is a basic segmentation base and it is fundamental to the assessing of the size of the market. You can also add multiple locations here as in campaign settings, however you should avoid targeting multiple countries with one campaign.
You can also choose to search for volumes on Google Only or both Google and Search Partners. If you plan to advertise on Search Partner sites, then it makes sense to include this traffic.
Because the results returned for your search are ‘broad match types’ (unless you make them phrase or exact) it’s a good idea to add some negative keywords, to get a more realistic picture of the true traffic volume.
Finally, date range is another variable you can change and the longer it is the clearer a picture you will have of traffic trends – 12 months should be sufficient for most markets. You can also compare with previous periods, with the same period last year and you can use a custom compare option.
This is what the tool will return when you click ‘get search volume’. I’ve compared traffic volumes with the previous year
b. Get traffic forecasts
If you already have a list of keywords and want to find out their traffic cost forecasts, then you can either upload them as CSV or one per line and you will get click and cost forecasts that are specific to your AdWords account and for the bid that you’ve added.
Your forecast date range can be for the next 7 days or you can use a custom date to get an estimate of what clicks and costs you will receive and incur.
The follow is for an online clothing retailer and reveals that at a maximum CPC of £3.86, they can expect to receive between 330 – 403 clicks at a maximum cost of £417 – and the average position will be between 1.36 – 1.66. The average CPC will be £1.04.
Traffic and cost estimates help you to determine the level of competition in your market and what the size of the market is. It then allows you to set a budget and with this information you can calculate your targeted CPA.
Overall, the keyword planner is a great tool to understand the size of the market and to calculate traffic and cost estimates. However, it won’t tell you what their demographic profile is, and for that you need other tools that are found within Adwords.
2. Display Planner
Using your landing pages or keywords or audiences, you can find Ad group ideas or placements across the Display Network to place your banners & Ads. The Display Planner has similar features to the Keyword Planner that is mentioned above but you have additional features like bidding type (CPC, CPM or vCPM).
A search for ‘womens clothing’ to get placement ideas shows demographic data such as Age, Gender and Parental Status on the many potential sites – as below
It also gives you an indication of cookie numbers and the potential impressions you can receive across the display network, but that will depend on your budget of course.
This data shows that older Millennials (25-34 Age group) represent 21% of traffic and their most popular device is Mobile with full browser at 61% of cookies. This is the internet generation and their use of the internet is extensive for social, browsing and purchasing purposes and they do this largely on the Go.
As the image above shows, traffic volumes for 35 – 54 year olds is about 30% for both genders, and is actually more if you take ‘unknown’ age into consideration. These are Gen Y visitors and their use of devices will differ from Millennials when it comes to acquisition, browsing and conversion. You can combine this research data with other data to determine your targeting objectives for your markets.
Placements are sites across the internet – that are part of the Google Adsense programme – where you can place your banners and text Ads. As the image below shows, there are 268 sites, 72 mobile apps and 22 videos available based on the ‘womens clothing’ keyphrase. You can add any or all of these in your campaigns and the placements you choose will determine your traffic volumes and spend.
The topics section is a great place to find new campaign, ad group and keyword ideas as the image below shows. You can expand your sub-categories and even block any that you don’t find to be relevant.
These tools help you to target your campaigns precisely and you can continue to refine your targeting to improve your ROI. In our next post on Research, we will look at Campaign Experiments and how this can assist you with qualitative and quantitative research methods.