How to Do SEO Keyword Research with Google Keyword Planner?
When it comes to SEO, many things need your consideration. For the most part, all of these different things can be categorized into two classes – on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is all about backlinks while on-page SEO involves a huge range of factors including copywriting, Meta descriptions, building internal links, and overall website structure and optimization.
Unless you get lucky, it’s very unlikely that you have a result-driven on-page SEO strategy without carrying out 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)
In this article, we’ll help you know some of the ways you can get the most out of the Google Keyword Planner. But before diving into the details, first, have a quick look at some of the benefits of this tool.
Benefits of Google Keyword Planner
The best thing about the Google Keyword Planner is that it is 100% free to use. Yes, you read that right. You need not spend anything to gain access to this amazing tool. All you need to have is an active Google account.
But, sometimes when you try to signup with your Google account, you’re requested to set up an Adword campaign. While it may appear like there’s no way to use this tool without spending some cash, the fact is that you can use it without investing a penny. How? We’ll explain this in one of the subsequent sections of this post. So, stay tuned and keep reading…
Users can now benefit from the grouped keywords feature found under the ‘Grouped Ideas’ option. You can either add all or some of your preferred keywords in a grouped idea to a current or an entirely new ad group.
In-Depth Monthly Searches
The new Google Keyword Planner also includes an ‘Avg. monthly searches’ bar chart that enables users to track the monthly progress of their chosen keywords.
Add to Existing Campaigns
With Google Keyword Planner, not only you can save new keywords to a plan but you can also add keywords to your current campaign. Simply, choose new keywords to include and select ‘Add to plan’ or ‘Add to existing campaign’ option available in a dropdown menu. In case you choose ‘Add to an existing campaign’ option, you’ll be further asked to choose an ad group in that particular ad campaign or set up a new ad group.
Daily Budget Recommendations
Once you’ve included keywords to a plan, you would be able to 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 FREE to use. You may, however, need to set up an Adwords campaign to get started. But, you can also access this tool without running Adwords Ad. For this, just make sure you don’t select any of the three options you see on the ‘what’s your main advertising goal?’ page. Simply, click on the ‘Experienced with Google Ads’ option and hit ‘create an account without a campaign link’ button on the next page. Click on the submit button and you’re good to go. (You don’t have to provide any of your credit card details). You should see a ‘Congrats, You’re all done’ window. Click on the ‘Explore my account’ link to get started.
Step 2 – Select Your Tool
The next step would be to click on the ‘Tools’ link available on the menu bar. Select ‘Switch Expert Mode’ from the dropdown menu. Finally, click the Tools link on the menu and click on the ‘keyword planner’ to gain access to different tools available under this option. When you click the ‘keyword planner’ tab, you should see two subcategories labeled as ‘Discover new keywords’ and ‘Get search volume and forecasts’. From an 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 confined to thousands only.
Get Search Volumes and Forecasts
The second option you’ll see is ‘Get Search Volumes and Forecasts‘ which is ideal for users who already have a list of keywords in hand and all they need to know is see their performance and metrics. Noticeably, you won’t get any keyword suggestions using this option as it is particularly designed to depict the search volumes (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 assess 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 the field and click on ‘Get Started’. Whether you use the ‘Discover New Keywords’ tool or ‘Get Search Volumes and Forecasts’ option, you’ll be directed to the Keywords Research Page.
Step 3 – Filter Your Results
Once you have a list of suggested keywords, it’s time now to narrow them down to a condensed list of terms that are most suitable 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 gain access to other search partners too.
- Language: this particular option will help you set the keyword’s language you’re looking to see details on. Generally, SEOs automatically set this option to ‘English’. But, 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. Generally, SEOs leave this as the default.
- Another significant feature you can see on the Keywords Results Page is the ‘Add Filter’ option. There is a vast range of features available when you click on this option. For instance,
This option enables you to only see the keyword that includes 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’ option 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 fail to get many searches.
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
Since this option is related to Adwords, you can ignore this.
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.
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 you do know 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.
The 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 you must 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 from you.