Google Keyword Tool now the Google Keyword Planner

google keyword tool

If you like to use Google's well known Google Keyword Tool, then it is probably no surprise  to you that Google has planned to shutdown the Google Adword Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator for awhile now to replace it with the new Google Keyword Planner.  I noticed that just in the last week the Keyword Tool URL now redirects to the new and, what Google claims, improved Google Keyword Planner.

In a post on Inside Adwords, the official Google Adwords blog, on May 20th 2013 this is why Google says it has switched from the Google Keyword Tool to the Google Keyword Planner.

We’re constantly working to simplify the process of building campaigns, and today we’re happy to announce the launch of a new tool, Keyword Planner, which combines the functionality of the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator into a smooth, integrated workflow. You can use Keyword Planner to find new keyword and ad group ideasget performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaigns. You’ll also see some new features in the tool – some of which we’ll highlight below.

To put this into terms people can understand this basically means Google built the Keyword Planner to try to make it easier and simpler for advertisers to figure out which search phrases they want to bid on.  Google obviously wants to give as much data and tools as possible since the more advertising on Google Adwords, the more money they will make.  The Keyword Planner includes several new features compared to the Google Keyword Tool.  This includes;

  • Multiply keywords in 2 different lists to generate new keywords you mightnot have thought of.
  • You can geotarget not juts countries, but specific cities and regions.
  • A graph showing the search volumes for selected keywords or phrases by month by month.  This allows you to see when certain terms have a higher volume of searches.

The Google Keyword Tool and Google Traffic Estimator are not exactly retired as they were merged into the Google Keyword Planner.  You can do everything you used to do but supposedly even better with the Keyword Planner.

Since I try to make the most of my articles (of course you can't always do that) SEO friendly and keyword optimized I used to use the Google Keyword Tool all the time.  Even external SEO programs, like Long Tail Pro, pulled most of their data from the Google Keyword Tool too. While I appreciate it when companies update their tools and services when they are free, I am having a bit of trouble getting used to the Keyword Planner.  Since the Keyword Tool has been around for so long I know my way around it easily.  The Google Keyword Planner is taking some getting used too.  I like  the new features but find some of the new layout and tools confusing.

If you are a SEO (search engine optimizer), SEM (search engine marketer), advertiser, or do a lot of keyword research what do you think of Google changing over from the Keyword Tool to the Keyword Planner?  Do you like the new tool or wish Google kept the Keyword Tool and just added the new features?

9 Tips for Running a SUCCESSFUL Kickstarter Campaign

successful kickstarter campaign

Everyone it seems is trying to raise money on Kickstarter nowadays.  It doesn't matter how wacky or crazy your idea is or well-connected you are, everyone is doing Kickstarter.

You probably have dreamed about running a successful Kickstarter campaign and getting tons of money to fund your next venture or project.   While it is quite easy to setup a Kickstarter campaign, it is very difficult to actually run a successful Kickstarter campaign.  These tips should help new or experienced entrepreneurs crowdfund their next project.

1. Start marketing BEFORE you launch

This is a simple, easy, and a key tactic to running a successful Kickstarter campaign and a lot of people do not do it.  If you can give your campaign momentum before it even starts, the chances of you getting funded are much higher.  Send your friends and family an email and just say, “Hey, I am launching this Kickstarter project and it would be really cool if you contributed when it launched.”  Obviously add some heartfelt messages and say what the project is and be genuine about it.  This way you already have a good idea of how well you are going to be funded before you put up the Kickstarter page.  You need momentum since most people won't donate to Kickstarter projects if there doesn't seem to be any chance of the project reaching the funding goal.

2. Use SOCIAL MEDIA as much as possible

If you are active on social networks use tip #1 and market the Kickstarter project before, during, and after the Kickstarter project goes live.  Social Media can be a great way to find people within your niche or field that might be interested in funding your project.  If you are not active on social networks, find someone who is and can help you.  If you know someone with a lot of (legit) followers, ask them to promote your Kickstarter project.  Don't waste time on a social networks you don't like or don't want to use though.  If you like Facebook, use Facbook.  If you have better results with Pinterest, use Pinterest.

3. Find People to WRITE about your Kickstarter project

Again I would use tip #1 and try to see if you can find a blogger in your niche that would be interested in the Kickstarter campaign before it launches.  (Good places to check are Examiner.com and Dmoz.org if you don't know of any bloggers.) Getting articles written about your campaign makes it seem serious and give you more exposure.  Chances are if a few people write about you, other writers and bloggers will pick-up the story as well.  Additionally this helps get traffic to your Kickstarter page which can be difficult when you consider how many projects and campaigns are on the site and go up everyday.

4. Make it CLEAR why you need money, and what you will use it for

People need to understand what you are doing and why they should give you their hard earned money.  Successful Kickstarter campaigns describe what they need money for in detail and clearly.  If you just put up a paragraph and think that's enough, it isn't!  If you are not the best with words, that's fine.  Find someone who can help you truly describe why you need money and awesome things you are going to do with it.  The most important thing when writing the description is to sound genuine and real.

5. Use keywords for SEO impact

Since Kickstarter has high authority and Pagerank (7), using the proper keywords can really help give your page a boost in visitors.  Having a well-written description that is SEO friendly will make Google love it, which is important.  You can use the Google Keyword Tool to find what words you should and should not include in your description.  (When using the Google Keyword Tool remember to select “Exact” since it defaults to “Broad” searches which won't be as helpful.)  Also remember to put a link to your website (if you have one) in the description.   That will help your website's traffic and link juice.  Also chances are people are going to check your website before contributing.

UPDATE: Google has shutdown the Google Keyword Tool and moved to a new more comprehensive tool, the Google Keyword Planner.

6. Use beautiful PICTURES, a lot

Using beautiful and eye-catching pictures will help keep people on your Kickstarter page.  If they are on the page longer, they are more likely to contribute money.  Remember that the cover image for the Kickstarter project is important to draw people to the page as well.  It should be distinctive and stand out from the crowd.  If you don't take good pictures find someone who is good with cameras help you.

7. VIDEOS sell, so use Vimeo

Videos are a great way to tell the world your story of why you need money.  For instance, a lot of indie film projects put-up trailers so you can get an idea of what the movie will be like.   If you are going to put up a video, make sure to use Vimeo and not Youtbe.  It makes me crazy when I am watching a Youtube video and it freezes!  (This happens even on fast internet connections since Youtube's bandwidth and servers seems to get overloaded during certain times of the day.)  That should definitely not happen on your Kickstarter page since people are impatient.  Vimeo has better video quality and rarely freezes.  That's why lots of startups use Vimeo nowadays instead of Youtube.  Remember you are not focusing on Youtube views, you need to focus on quality and getting people to give you money.  Vimeo even has a nice Video School so you can learn about good techniques for making videos.  By the way, don't feel like you need expensive cameras or equipment.  My Sony HD Handycam, which cost $500, shoots in full 1080 high definition and is great for making short internet videos.

8. GIVEAWAY stuff or something

Successful Kickstarter campaigns giveaway stuff or something.  For instance if you are a band and need money to rent a studio, then mailing the album once it is completed to someone who contributed $50 is a logical thing to do.  If you don't have stuff to giveaway, you could just post the person's name on a Donor List or something like that.  You don't need to offer the world but offering something is important.  People are much more likely to contribute to a Kickstarter project if they feel they got their money's worth.

9. DON'T use Kickstarter!

What? How does that make sense?  While Kickstarter is quite popular and has a ton of traffic, that is double-edged sword.  Your Kickstarter campaign could get a lot of traffic but more likely it will get drowned out by the all the other campaigns vying for people's attention.  It is estimated that only 32% of Kickstarter projects get funded.  You might want to try IndieGoGo which is another popular crowdfunding platform and came before Kickstarter.  The nice thing about IndieGoGo is it has flexible funding option, which means if you don't reach your funding goal, you still get some money.  IndieGoGo is also catered more toward non-profits.  Crowdrise, GiveForward, etc are good options if you are a non-profit.  There are also other crowdfunding alternatives which cater to specific needs or groups.  These might be a better fit depending on your project and fundraising goals.

Successful Kickstarter Campaign

I hope these tips help make a successful Kickstarter campaign or IndieGoGo, Crowdrise, etc for whatever you want to raise funds for.  If you have any tips that you would like to add, please let me know and leave a comment below.

Know someone who wants to crowdfund their next project or big idea?  Please share this article with them before they start it so they have a successfully funded project.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!