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How to use Google Keyword Planner for Keyword Research

With Google Keywords Planner you’ll be able to perform keyword research, get ahead of your competitors and optimize your content.

Slavica Grgić

April 23, 2019

Google is huuuuge! 🌍 We don’t need to state the obvious. There is a Google tool for pretty much anything you might need to analyze, advertise or research. Were you aware that Google acquired 233 organization during his lifetime? With each acquisition, Google obtained a valuable technology or a tool. It is great that you have access to many of those tools for free, and Google Keywords Planner is one of them. With this tool, you’ll be able to perform keyword research, get ahead of your competitors and optimize your content.

Keywords are the key – pun intended. 😂 Keywords define your content, keywords help Google determine which content is more relevant.

Google Keyword Research tool.

Many businesses developed their product around keywords. Keyword research can be conducted with many tools (Soovle, Jaaxy, Ahrefs…), but considering that the key is to rank higher on Google, the logical first step would be to use Google Keyword Planner. With Google Keyword Planner you basically get access to a massive keyword database that comes straight from Google. Even though it is designed around the needs of advertisers on Google, you can still use it to get plenty of ideas on which keywords to use.

Feature “top of page bid” will tell you an average how much people are spending to be on top of the search results. You can also see how big the (advertising) competition is for that specific keyword – more exactly; how many people are advertising for that specific topic.

Data in Google Keyword Planner is the most reliable, but considering that’s used for ads, you’ll still need to optimize it.

So, why should you start your keyword research with Google Keyword Planner?

It’s free.

If you’re just starting, many of paid options might be out of your reach. Subscriptions can go up to a few hundred dollars. You’ll get plenty of data straight from the Google Keyword Planner while saving money and not having to deal with annoying monthly subscriptions.

Multiple functions

Not only you can use Google Keyword Planner for your SEO keyword research you can also use it for PPC marketing purpose. Not only you’ll get plenty of keyword ideas you’ll also have an idea how much it cost to advertise on that specific keyword. You’ll need a Google Ads account to access Google Keyword Planner, but you won’t need to spend money on advertising to use it for your research.

Competitor research

You can enter an URL straight into the Google Keyword Planner, and you’ll be able to take a look into the keywords they’re bidding on. If you know who your competitors are, it will be useful to find out what keywords are they bidding on (you might be surprised!).

You’ll create ads with ease

Keyword research is one of the key steps of creating Google Ads Campaigns. If you’ve already done the research, you’ll just add the keywords to your ads.

Step-by-step guide to Google Keyword Planner

First, you’ll need to login to your Google Ads account. After you’ve logged in, click on the small wrench icon in the top right corner, named “Tools”. Under the “Tools” tab, you’ll find the Keyword Planner.

2 options in Google Keyword Planner.
2 options in Google Keyword Planner.

After you’ve accessed the Keyword Planner, you have two options. You can use it to “Find new keywords” or to “Get search volume and forecast”.

Find new keywords

Find new keywords function of Google Keyword Planner.
Find new keywords function of Google Keyword Planner.

Use this option if you need help finding keywords to add to a new campaign, or if you’re searching for new keywords to add to an existing campaign. You can search for keywords based on terms relevant to your product, you can enter a website URL or a specific term.

Once you’ve entered the wanted searches, you can hit that “GET STARTED” button to get your results.

Get search volume and forecast

This feature will help you decide which keywords to use and when to use them. Some keywords perform the same over the course of a year, while some are highly seasonal. It all depends on your product or service.

Seasonality is also a huge factor in PPC and paid social advertising. Trending topics and seasonal keywords can vary a lot depending on the time of the year. With Google Keyword Planner you can compare keyword search volume across two time periods. It can be very useful if you’re in a seasonal business. You won’t necessarily get more keyword ideas, but you’ll be able to filter through the ones that are seasonal or trending.

Pro tip:

You can enter multiple words/phrases with the bulk insert option.

How to use “Find New Keywords” page?

Overview of Google Keyword Planner.
Overview of Google Keyword Planner.

We already mentioned the main functions of this page, but now we’ll go through all the features. This tool will list all the keyword connected to your search in a specific period.

At the top, you’ll have an option to specify the period of time on which you wish to focus your search on. You can set the search for last 12 months or you can set the specific dates.

In the plan settings, you can set the location for the search, language and search networks from which you want to retrieve keywords. You can narrow your search with filters. Filters can be applied to keyword text, competition, top of page bid…

First thing you’ll see are blue and red bars, representing total search volume and mobile search volume. In the past few years, Google made it clear how important the mobile traffic is, and here you can also see how much of the search of your keyword is made over mobile devices.

If you click on Search volume trends, in the drop-down menu you’ll also have 2 more options. Breakdown by platforms will give show you the mobile percentage of searches as well as desktop and tablet. You can also use Breakdown by locations to see which locations get the most traffic.  

Under your search term you’ll find a list of ideas. You can download the keyword ideas to filter them through even more.

If you hover over the average monthly searches, you’ll see how the keyword performed over a given period of time.

Competition will roughly give you idea about the competition on the specific keyword. You’ll see that it can be “low, medium or high”. Low competition would mean that there is not a lot of advertisers on a specific topic, while the high competition would mean there is a lot of advertisers using that specific keyword.

Top of the page bid (low range) and Top of the page bid (high range) you can skip if you’re only researching keywords for SEO, but they’re extremely useful if you’re searching for keywords to advertise on.

Pro tip:

Use the download keyword ideas function to download a spreadsheet with all the results. Then you can insert all the results in one Google Spreadsheet on your Drive to filter the results and decide which are the most relevant.

After you’ve downloaded the data, you can import the file with the option “replace the data at selected cell”. That way, you’ll list all the keywords in one spreadsheet.

How to use “Get search volume and forecasts” page?

In this section you’ll be able to explore a specific keyword. You can enter or simply paste your keywords. Just remember to either put each keyword or phrase per line or separate them by commas.

Plan overview

If you’ve chosen to add a keyword to your keyword plan, you’ll find it in the Plan Overview section. That way, you’ll be able to compare the keywords and find them in one simple report.

Plan overview in Google Keyword planner.
Plan overview in Google Keyword planner.


Key to success…

If you’ve come so far, you certainly understand Google Keyword tool better than you did before. Even if you’re just starting and you haven’t used it before, we summed pretty much all the important functions so you can start finding the best keywords.

Knowing how big Google is, this data can’t be undermined. If you take your time, prepare and research the topics, you’ll increase the chances of building a strong foundation for your content and campaigns. You’ll also decrease the chances of making a mistake.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said: “Google is all about information. So the notion of using and presenting information in the right point at the right time to users is what, in essence, describes Google.”

It’s up to you to make the most of the information and turn them into your advantage.

About Udonis:

We are an award-winning marketing agency specialized in mobile apps & games. We help scale products that people love, keeping the attention on data and results. Have questions, need help? 🤗 Email us at hello@udonis.co!

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