How to Do SEO Keyword Research with Google Keyword Planner?

Website optimization is important especially if you’re looking to get more organic traffic and maintain your ranking over the search engine. Generally, website owners and digital marketers develop a foolproof SEO strategy to achieve their desired results. These strategies involve both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques that work together to improve the website’s overall ranking and visibility.

No matter how well-planned and organized your on-page SEO strategy is, you can’t attract potential customers and visitors without conducting proper keyword research.

Luckily, there are hundreds of tools available online to help you with conducting keyword research related to your business. Google also offers an insanely powerful keyword research tool called Google Keyword Planner (previously known as Google Keyword Tool) that enables local SEO services to find relevant keywords and help their clients grow their website’s traffic organically.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the ways you can get the most out of the Google Keyword Planner. But before that, first have a quick look at some of the reasons why you should use Google Keyword Planner to improve your ranking.

Benefits of Google Keyword Planner

Quick Access

Google Keyword Planner is 100% FREE to use. Yes, you read that right. You’re not required to spend a penny in order to gain access to this amazing tool. All you need to have is an active Google account and you’re good to go. But, sometimes when you try to sign up with your Google account, you’re requested to set up an Adwords campaign. But, you can easily skip that part and continue without providing your payment credentials if you follow certain steps (you can know about those steps in the ‘Access Google Keyword Planner’ segment of this article.

Grouped Keywords

Users can benefit from the grouped keywords feature found under the ‘Grouped Ideas’ menu by adding all or some of their preferred keywords to an existing or a new ad group.

In-Depth Monthly Searches

The new Google Keyword Planner also includes an ‘Avg. monthly searches’ option that allow users to track the monthly progress of their chosen keywords using a bar chart.

Add to Existing Campaigns

With Google Keyword Planner, not only you can save new keywords to a plan but can also add them to your current campaign. Simply, choose keywords you want to add and select ‘Add to plan’ or ‘Add to existing campaign’ (options available in a dropdown menu) to continue. In case you choose ‘Add to an existing campaign’ option, you’ll be further asked to choose an existing ad group or set up a new ad group.

Daily Budget Recommendations

Once you’ve included keywords to a plan, you can now gain access to the ‘daily budget’ recommendations to ensure your campaign budget won’t be disturbed during the projected time period.

How to Do Keyword Research with Google Keyword Planner?

Step 1 – Access Google Keyword Planner

As mentioned above, Google Keyword Planner is absolutely FREE to use. You may however need to set up an Adwords campaign to get started. But, as mentioned earlier you can easily skip this part by ignoring all the three options available on the ‘what’s your main advertising goal?’ page.

 Simply, click on ‘Experienced with Google Ads’ option and hit ‘create an account without a campaign link’ button on the next page. Hit submit button and you’re good to go. You don’t have to provide any of your credit card details either. Click on the ‘Explore my account’ link when you see a ‘Congrats, You’re all done’ window.

Step 2 – Select Your Tool

The next thing you have to do is to click on the ‘Tools’ link option available on the menu bar. Select ‘Switch Expert Mode’ from the dropdown menu and click on ‘keyword planner’ to gain access to different tools available under this option. When you click on the ‘keyword planner’ tab, you should see two sub categories labeled as ‘Discover new keywords’ and ‘Get search volume and forecasts’. The first option allows you to find new keywords from scratch while the second option is suitable for the users who already have a researched keywords list in hand. From SEO standpoint, these two tools are enough to help SEOs generate hundreds of thousands of amazing keywords.

Discover New Keywords

As its name implies, the ‘Discover New Keywords’ is perfect for users who’re looking to find new keywords. Here you have to enter products or services that are closely related to your business. While entering this information, it’s critical to understand that the result you get from the Google Keyword Planner heavily relies on the information you provide as an input. So, make sure you enter all values strategically and with care.

According to Google, you must only enter your business-related words, phrases or URL and this option will automatically find hundreds of keyword options fit for your business. Besides keyword suggestions, you’ll also gain access to the Avg. monthly searches, top of page bid (high/low), and competition column. The good thing is you’re not bound to use just a single word and can also use phrases or URLs to use as the seed.

The only disadvantage is that unlike other keyword research tools such as Ahrefs Keyword explorer in which you get millions of keyword suggestions, the functionality of Google Keyword Planner is limited to thousands only.

Get Search Volumes and Forecasts

The second option ‘Get Search Volumes and Forecasts’ is ideal for users who already have researched their keywords and now looking to gauge their performance and search result metrics. Noticeably, you won’t get any keyword suggestion using this option as it is particularly designed to depict the search volumes only (i.e. how many clicks/impressions you can expect using a particular keyword). Apart from that, you’ll also get to know about CTR, CPC, and projected costs.

While this option is particularly designed to cater to the needs of Adwords advertisers, you can also monitor 12-month average search volumes for your particular keywords if you check out the ‘Historical Metrics’ tab.

To use this option, you have to copy/paste a list of keywords into an available field. Click on ‘Get Started’ and you’ll have a 12-month average search volumes for your required keywords. All in all, whether you use ‘Discover New Keywords’ tool or ‘Get Search Volumes and Forecasts’ option. You’ll be directed to the main Keywords Research Page.

Step 3 – Filter Your Results

Once you have a list of suggested keywords, you can condense this list down to a few options that are most relevant and appropriate for your business. If you observe the top of the page, you’ll also see four targeting choices including:

  • Locations: this option simply refers to your targeted location or the country you’re basically marketing to
  • Search Networks: this option enables you to choose whether you want to advertise on Google or looking to work with other search partners too
  • Language: this particular option will help you set the language for your keywords. Generally, users set this option to ‘English’. But obviously, if your targeted location is, say, Germany, you must change the location option to ‘Germany’ with language settings adjusted to the ‘German’ language
  • Date Range: here you can add the date range

Another significant feature you can see on the Keywords Results Page is ‘Add Filter’ option. There are a vast range of features available when you click on this option. For instance,

Keyword Text

Keyword Text enables you to only see the keyword that include a specific word. Or phrase that is relevant to your business. For example, if you have recently introduced a printed tee into your product range, you can set this option to display the keywords containing the word ‘printed tee’ in all keyword suggestions.

Exclude Keywords in My Account

‘Exclude Keywords in My Account’ enables you to remove keywords that you’re already using in Adwords.

Avg. Monthly Searches

This option is specifically designed to filter out keyword options that come with a heavy search volume. Also, you can easily eradicate keywords that fails to get many searches.

Competition Column

You can also use the ‘Competition’ option to see keyword options with low/medium/high competition. This option deceives a lot of users. Keep in mind, the ‘Competition’ values here are associated with Adwords competition, so you can leave this option blank.

Top of Page Bid (High/Low)

The Top of Page Bid option, as its name suggests, is linked to the amount you’re willing to pay to push your ad at the top of the page. This option is also known as CPC. You’ll find two options in this category – Top of page bid (low range) and Top of page bid (high range).

Ad impression Share

As this option is related to Adwords, you can ignore this if your aim is to improve the SEO of your website.

Organic Impression Share

Organic Impression Share allows you to evaluate how your website appears in the search result for each specific keyword. But to use this feature, you’ll have to connect your Google Adwords and Google Search Console accounts.

Step 4 – Monitor Keyword Ideas

After having a comprehensive list of suggested keywords and filtering down the results. You should now monitor the ‘Keyword Ideas’ segment of the tool. This section comprises of various other sections including Avg. monthly searches, competition, etc. Make sure you pay more attention to the seasonal keywords relevant to each month.

Step 5 – Select a Keyword

At this point, you must have a clear understanding of all the basic features and available options in the Google Keyword Planner. And now that you know how to use them correctly, it’s time to choose a keyword that can help you perfectly optimize your website.

First things first, you have to think of a broad keyword that best describes your product or service. Let’s suppose you need a keyword for your website that deals in organic edibles. For a blog covering your extensive product range, instead of targeting broad or narrow keywords you can watch out for a balanced keyword that exclusively describes your unique product range. Click on ‘Get Started’ and carefully examine the list of suggested options that crop up. Now the question is, how to identify which specific keyword is the best?

Here, you have to keep three things in mind – search volume, commercial intent, and competition. The first one is pretty self-explanatory. The higher the search volume, the more traffic you can expect for your website. As far as commercial intent is concerned, the higher and better the competition. The simpler it will be to achieve conversions. Last but not least, you must carefully look at the websites listing on the first page of Google and devise a perfect SEO strategy to outrank them.

Quality Over Quantity

There is no denying the fact that the Google Keyword Planner is a wonderful solution for local SEO services. That are struggling to think unique and result-driven keywords for their client’s websites. This tool enables you to view the best possible keywords that can improve the overall ranking of your website in search results. However, when monitoring the recommendations the Google Keyword Planner gives you, make sure you keep the factor of competition in mind. Keywords having high search volumes generally brings in massive competition. That is why it’s important that you choose options that are feasible for your campaign, and that won’t gobble your budget.


Google Keyword Planner is an amazing tool. It’s equipped with all-inclusive and precise insights that no other keyword research tool currently offers. Regardless of your budget and company size, this keyword planner can help you customize your keyword research for greater efficiency.

There are some limitations too but they can be resolved when you use the Google Keyword Planner with other available keyword research tools.

Do you use the Google Keyword Planner to generate unique keyword ideas for your business? Let us know by leaving a comment below as we’d like to hear back.

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