Using Google Keyword Planner

Adele Webb Written by Adele Webb

4 min read   -  4th April, 2024

Using Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a powerful tool for keyword research and planning in digital marketing. It’s one of the most accessible tools to marketers and totally free to use. You just need a Google Ads account to get started. Understanding its capabilities, benefits, and limitations is crucial for effective use in SEO and PPC campaigns.

If you want to use this tool efficiently for PPC and SEO, you’ll need to get familiar with every feature available to you. This guide will introduce you to the top features of the planner, along with some tips and tricks to making the most of these elements:

What is Google Keyword Planner?

Google Keyword Planner is a tool provided by Google within its Ads platform. It’s designed to help you discover keywords relevant to your business, estimate search volumes, and plan advertising campaigns.

It’s simple to use and you can quickly learn the basics. To get started, just input seed keywords, URLs, or phrases to generate keyword suggestions and metrics.

How to get started

  • Log in to your Google Ads account, then head to Tools > Keyword Planner.
  • Choose between the following 2 tools within the planner:

Discover new keywords This is where keyword suggestions for your campaigns are generated. Start off by entering products or services similar to your business. To get the most useful results, it’s best to keep these words and phrases relevant to your business, without being too specific or too general.

For example: if your company sells wedding decorations, you’ll want to type in words like “wedding decor”, rather than “wedding” or “decorations”.

You also have the option to enter a URL to prompt suggestions. This could be your URL, or another site. Then hit “Get results” to generate your list.

Once you’ve got your first suggestions, click “Refine keywords” to find a handy drop down menu, where you can automatically filter those keywords to include or exclude certain attributes like style, brand, colour or even specific brand names.

This step is a little like adding negative keywords to your keyword lists, before dropping these new keywords into your existing campaigns.

Get search volume and forecasts
This is a useful tool for when you’re looking to quickly analyse multiple keywords, either for your existing campaign, or while planning a new one.

Simply copy and paste the list directly into the planner, or upload an existing list as a separate file. 

Search volume metrics include things like average monthly searches. Take a minute to look for long-tail keywords with a lower search volume. These are low-hanging fruit that you can directly target to connect with an engaged audience with high intent.

What are the benefits?

Once you’ve compiled your lists, you’ll benefit from a whole host of resources and tools within Google Keyword Planner.

Every generated keyword list includes a valuable “Forecasts” page. Here you’ll find insights into keyword search volumes, competition levels, and cost-per-click estimates.

High-value keywords
The forecast also provides the relevant data needed to help you identify high-value keywords with substantial search volume and manageable competition.

Historical data
When creating a new campaign, your new keywords can have very little data to go on. But the data from planner is based on historical data, shedding light on trends, so you can analyse keyword performance over time.

The seamless integration with Google Ads allows for a smooth transition from keyword research to campaign planning and execution. This rapidly speeds up your analysis and optimisation process, as you can instantly import keyword lists to your existing campaigns.

What are the cons?

There are a few considerations to bear in mind when working with Google Keyword Planner.

Data precision 
Keyword search volume data may be broad and not always precise, especially for long-tail keywords.

Limited targeting options
Google Keyword Planner offers limited geographic and language targeting options compared to other paid keyword research tools, so it’s worth researching other options for your specific requirements. 

Tips for making the best of it

Finally, here are a few tips and tricks to get the best results when using the planner.

Use multiple seed keywords
Generate a diverse range of keyword suggestions by inputting multiple seed keywords. You can add up to ten keywords related to your business, so hone in on the specifics.

Leverage keyword grouping
Streamline campaign planning and ad group creation by utilising keyword grouping and organisation features.

Regularly review and update
Keep your keyword lists updated based on performance metrics and changes in business objectives. Your competitor strategies will change and evolve along with customer preferences and ecommerce seasons. So allow your strategy to change with it.

Combine with other tools
Enhance your keyword strategy by combining Google Keyword Planner data with insights from other tools. Combining Google Keyword Planner with Google Ads and GA4 is a strong starting point.

Experiment with match types
Optimise campaign performance and ROI by experimenting with different match types and bidding strategies based on your findings from Google Keyword Planner.

In summary

Google Keyword Planner is a valuable tool for keyword research and campaign planning in digital marketing.  It offers insights into keyword search volumes, competition, and cost estimates, is easy to learn and can quickly provide great results for your campaign optimisation.

Through understanding its capabilities and following our tips and tricks as you go, you can harness the power of Google Keyword Planner to drive successful SEO and PPC campaigns. Bringing in improved, refined and relevant traffic to your business.

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