How to Use Google Keyword Planner Tool for SEO

Google Keyword Planner Tool is a great free tool by Google that helps you perform Keyword Research for SEO purposes. It provides traffic estimates for your keywords and also suggests relevant and related keyword ideas for your niche. It’s one of the best keyword research tools out there.

How to Use Google Keyword Planner Tool for SEO ?

1. Sign up for Keyword Planner

The first step is to sign up for Google Keyword Planner Tool. In order to signup for Google Keyword Planner, you need to have a Google AdWords account. If you have a Google account that you use for other Google Services such as GMail, YouTube, Google Drive, then you can use it to sign in. Google will automatically create a Google AdWords account linked to your Google Account and enable Keyword Planner in it. If you don’t have a Google Account, you can visit Google Adwords and create a new account.

google adwords account sign up

2. Search for Keyword

Once you’ve created a Google AdWords account, you can log into it and go to Google Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner Tool can be used in various ways for Keyword Research. You can use it to:

  1. Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category
  2. Get Search Volume Data and Trends
  3. Multiply Keyword Lists to Get New Keywords

This is what it looks like. As you can see Google provides multiple ways to search for new keywords.

keyword planner home

Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category

This is useful if you don’t know where to begin your keyword research. You can tell google about your product or service, and Google will provide a list of keywords based on its understanding of your product. You can provide this information in various ways.

  • Enter words that describe your product or service. For example, flowers or used cars. You can even add a list of keywords if you already have one.
  • You can provide a URL to your website. Google will analyze the page and deduce what your product or service does from it.
  • Sometimes, it may be difficult to describe your product or service in simple words. In that case, you can even select a broader product category such a Apparel, Food, Finance, etc. to tell Google the industry

In the example below, I’ve entered keywords “Online Marketing Tool” and “Digital Marketing Software” instead of providing site URL or choosing product category.

keyword planner search new keyword

You can customize your keyword search with following options:

  1. Keyword Filters : You can use this option to choose whether you want to filter keyword search results based on their competition (High, Medium, Low), average monthly searches, suggested bid amount, and ad impression share. Even if you’re doing Keyword Research for only SEO, and not SEM (if you use PPC Advertising) this will give you a good idea about which keywords are competitive and difficult to rank for.
  2. Keyword Options : You can use this option to narrow down or broaden your search by choosing to see only search terms that are closely related to your keywords, or allow broadly related search terms as well.
  3. Keywords to Include : If you want to include any specific keywords (such as product name, or brand, or competitor’s name) in all your keyword search results, you can include them here.
  4. Targeting – You can choose to filter keyword search volume and suggestions for specific Locations & Languages
  5. Negative Keywords – You can add any keywords you want to exclude from the search results, the ones you don’t think are relevant to your product or service.
  6. Date range – As the name suggests, you can select the date range for which you want Keyword traffic data.

After you’ve entered all the information, click Get Ideas. You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll see the traffic & competition data in 2 tables – the upper one is for the keywords you’ve provided and the lower one is for those suggested by Google. By clicking Download above the table, you can export these results as CSV or TSV file for further use.

keyword suggestions and search volume

Let’s look at the table columns in the Keyword information provided by Google:

  1. Avg. Monthly Search – Approximate number of searches performed every month for this keyword. Please note, this indicates the search volume for the search term and not the exact keyword. So, similar keywords are also counted in it. For example, if your keyword is ‘online marketing tool’, it will also include the searches for similar keywords such as ‘online marketing software’.
  2. Competition – How competitive it is rank for this term – Low, Medium, High. Preferably look for low-medium competition keywords.
  3. Suggested Bid – It is the approximate cost-per-click (CPC), in case you want to create google adwords campaign. A suggested bid is calculated by looking at the costs-per-click (CPCs) that advertisers are paying for a keyword, taking into account the location and Search Network settings you’ve selected.
  4. Ad Impression Share – Ad impression share is the number of impressions you’ve received divided by the total number of searches for the location and network you’re targeting that matched the keyword exactly in the last calendar month. This metric can help you identify potential opportunities this keyword has to get impressions and clicks.

You can always change the keywords in the textbox at the top and click Get Ideas, or click Modify Search and modify other settings.


Get Search Volume Data and Trends

This option is useful if you already have a list of keywords with you. You can enter those keywords manually or upload them in a CSV/text file to get an idea about monthly search volume and competition data about them.

This is handy if you’ve received a keyword list from, say, an agency that you outsourced the Keyword Research to and want to find out which keywords to target for, say, your content marketing activities. It’s also useful if you’re a new team member and want to understand the keywords that your company is currently targeting.

After you’ve entered your keywords, click Get Search Volume. You can customize your search with the same options mentioned above. You’ll see a page similar to the above results. It will only contain the traffic & competition data for the keywords you’ve provided. It won’t have any keyword suggestions


Multiply Keyword Lists to Get New Keywords

You can use this option if you want to combine many keywords together. Google will do that for you and generate search volume statistics for those new keywords. For example, let’s say you have the following 2 keyword lists:

[table id=2 /]

Google will combine keywords from both the lists to generate new Keywords such as Chicago Luxury Resorts, San Francisco Beach Resorts, San Francisco Hotels, New York Hotels. It will also provide you with historical traffic data for these keywords as well as forecasts. You can customize your search with the same options mentioned above. This method is useful if you want to generate many keyword combinations from your existing keyword lists quickly.


Pro Tips:

1. You can get ideas for keywords using instant google search. And then enter these keywords in Google Keyword Planner Tool to find their traffic data, and get even more keyword suggestions.

instant search

2. Similarly, you can also look at google suggestions at the bottom of your search results. Use them in keyword planner tool to get even more keyword suggestions and traffic information.

search suggestions


3. Choosing the right Keyword for Google Ads is an important factor to improve Google Adwords Quality Score.

4. Check out our list of best long-tail keyword research tools & software, to get detailed long-tail keywords for your business.


Here’s our list of Free Best SEO Audit Tools to help you perform SEO Audit for your website for free.


What do you think? How do you use Google Adwords Keyword Tool for SEO ? Share your experience with us.


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