Why should not you use Keyword Planner for SEO of your blog? Know ToFu & LoFu

Keyword planner tool is one of the most sought after tool for the SEO guys to prioritize keywords. But does it really help for building up your blog to rank for many keywords initially? I do not think so. Before we dive deeper into it and know why not to use keyword planner for SEO, it is important that we understand the fundamentals of digital marketing.

Keyword planner

As evident from its name, a keyword planner is a tool integrated as a part of Google AdWords to find the monthly search volume of a particular and its relevant keywords in particular geography given a certain language. Keyword planner is mostly used by the advertisers in creating ad groups & campaigns.

Once you download the keywords, you would usually see the following items:

  • keyword
  • keyword match type search volume on a monthly basis
  • suggested bid, and
  • competition

If you are using the new keyword planner, you might see more data such as search volume on a monthly basis for the individual months on a time period selected. Let us leave it here and we will discuss it later in this blog post.

Why should not you use Keyword Planner for SEO of your blog

ToFu (Top of Funnel)

Top of Funnel or ToFu refers to those users who are still searching more about the product or the services that they want to buy. That means they are still in the research mode and you really do not know when they are going to convert (in simple terms, purchase or become a lead) for you. They could take hours, days, weeks, or even months to convert.

LoFu (Low in Funnel)

These are the users who have filtered themselves down and are closer to make a conversion on a website or in a mobile app. So what does this mean? It means that these users have already done their research or maybe have got influenced through some sort of advertisement inorganically or even organically and are in a mood to take an action.


There is a long process involved when ToFu becomes a loFu. ToFu searches about the about and then starts making a decision. That means ToFu is funneling down from research mode to decision-making mode towards a conversion mode. So, they become one of your valued customers.

A Blog

A blog (shortening of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with latest posts appearing first. It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.

So when you blog, you share your views on a subject like an SME (Subject Matter Expert). Your views on a particular subject would mostly talk about different aspects of it.

For example, if you are an adventure blogger, you might consider yourself as an SME in hiking gears. So, most probably, you might write about 3-in-1 rain jacket. What to see in a rain jacket before buying it? Such as breath-ability,  price, mobility etc. In a nutshell, you are educating a random online researcher about a rain jacket.

Going back to the Keyword planner now…

The first thing we do after exporting all the keywords from the keyword planner is sorting them in the ascending order according to the monthly search volume. Congrats! if you also take other attributed into the account. Now, I would like you to take a look at the sorted keywords and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do these keywords seem to be fitting more at the LoFu level? Yes!

Something is wrong here then. What the solution then? Go through each keyword individually and try removing them and only keep the ToFu ones? That’s one of the solutions. But not so effective. Let’s pause this discussion here before we catch it up again. Let me introduce the search console into the scenario now.

Search Console

Search console gives you search queries instead of keywords. Have a look at the top search queries and ask yourself, do they look random? Are they as organized as keywords from the keyword planner? Most probably not. Search console shows you how your users are searching and landing on your website. You might not see this data if you have just started the blog. If you see that, here is an SEO strategy for search queries and landing pages.

Now, what to do? Optimize for the users, not for the search engines. Know why…

  • Most probably, we target top one to three tightly coupled keywords from keyword planner in our blog. But it restricts the search volume and your content gets restricted around the same.
  • Those high search volume keywords would already have been picked up the advertisers and they must be bidding on them. That means you are going to lose some traffic as well to the paid advertiser.
  • A user is not going to search in the exact way you have taken up the keywords. This topic is open to discussion mostly around what level of keywords match type work for organic results?
  • Last but not least, very importantly, a ToFu user in research mode might even use the keyword that you targeted. They might type something else and by performing recursive searches, they can come to about that keyword if the keyword is too niche.

Read those above-mentioned points again and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want to restrict your blog reach?
  • Besides competing with other bloggers, do you want to compete with paid advertisers as well?
  • Do you search in an exact manner, when you really want to research for something?
  • Have you lately discovered that you did now know something but using recursive searches, you came to realize a term?

What’s the better approach of keyword targeting other than keyword Planner?

It would hard to give up keyword planner right? Or you will hate me. So, let’s keep it in the scene and follow these steps:

  • Download the entire list of keywords and look for a few keywords which fit perfectly for the ToFu audience.
  • Delete the rest of the keywords.
  • Pick a set of keywords which are tightly coupled and here comes the important part. But before that go to this Wikipedia page.
  • Look at the information and language there. Look at the subsections. Look at the sub-subsections. In short, Wikipedia provides great detail into almost everything. What I want to point here out is Immigration to Canada might be the primary keyword here but anything & everything related to immigration to Canada has been covered under this article.
  • Now imagine different kind of search queries this page might have been generating.

Here is a screenshot for a leech bite article that I wrote on my travel blog:

Search Queries

I took that keyword and then added as many as possible the possible search queries for the users to help them out with everything about the leech bite.

So, the next step should be thinking like an SME and put yourself in that scenario. Write as if you are addressing a problem not as if you are just trying to attract users. If you disagree to some of the points, please feel free to leave your comments behind. I would love to learn more.

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