Google Keyword Planner: Complete Guide for 2020

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It can be difficult to understand the Google Keyword Planner at first. The Keyword Planner was previously the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Our goal is to show you how to utilize the Google Ads Keyword Planner. We want you to be able to open up your account and use their keyword research tool without any issues whatsoever.

What is the Google Keyword Planner?

It is a helpful, free tool that is offered by Google Ads through your account for free. You can do extensive keyword research for your Google Ads campaigns or for search engine optimization purposes. You can use the Keyword Planner to find the search terms that people type into Google, find search volume for your keywords, and build Google Ads campaigns with forecast data as well.

See All Search Volume Data in Google Keyword Planner

see search volume data google keyword plannerWhen you create your Google Ads account, you need an active campaign to see search volume data. You may see ranges of data when it comes to search volume. For example, a keyword may get 720 Average Monthly Searches, but you can only see that it gets 100-1,000 Average Monthly Searches. Create an active campaign to unlock all of the data in the Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner Video Tutorial

If you watch the video below and read our guide, you should be able to start doing research for your campaigns. You can also watch the video on YouTube.


How to Use Google Keyword Planner

  1. Create a Google Ads account if you do not have one yet.
  2. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  3. Click on the ‘Tools & Settings’ link at the top of your account. There is a wrench icon next to the link.
  4. Under the ‘Planning’ portion, click on the ‘Keyword Planner’ link.
  5. Click on ‘Discover new keywords’ to start using the Keyword Planner.
  6. You can choose to ‘Start With Keywords’ or ‘Start With a Website’ when you discover new keywords.
  7. Create a campaign to unlock all of the data available, including the keywords you are targeting and search volume.

how to use google keyword planner

If you already have a Google Ads account, you can click here to access the Keyword Planner directly.

  • Discover New Keywords or Get Search Volume and Forecasts
  • You have two main options when you open the Keyword Planner, you can either search for new keywords or you can get search volume for existing keywords. You can utilize the planner for keyword research and for campaign forecasting.

    Discover new keywords keyword planner

    If you click on ‘Discover new keywords,’ you can get started with the Google Keyword Planner.

  • Enter Keywords to Find Related Search Terms
  • First, you can enter up to 10 keywords and you will see plenty of relevant keyword ideas. You can also enter 1 keyword and find the most similar keywords, which can be helpful when building Ad Groups. By searching when entering keywords, you will find thousands of new keywords that can be relevant for expanding your content keywords.

    start with keywords keyword planner

    You can rank keywords by Avg monthly searches, by Keyword Relevancy, by Competition, by Ad impression share, and by the ranges of Top of page bids.

    related keywords keyword planner

  • Update Locations and Languages
  • It’s very easy to choose the locations and languages when using the Keyword Planner. Then, you will only see search volume statistics for the locations and languages you select.

    google keyword planner locations and languages

    You can update the locations your business serves and the languages your customers speak. For example, if you only serve the Kansas City market, you can choose that as your location for your keyword plan.

    choose location you target

    In addition, you can choose the languages your customers speak. If your customers only speak French for example, then you can set that as the language targeting.

    choose languages you target

  • Grouped Keywords in Keyword Planner
  • You can see sample Ad Groups by clicking on the ‘Grouped Ideas’ tab in the Google Keyword Planner. When you search using keywords, you can see groups of relevant keywords, which can also be used when created Ad Groups in your Google Ads campaigns.

    I would recommend reviewing each keyword group of keywords because you will see unrelated ideas. I use Grouped Ideas when creating content as well.

    grouped ideas keyword planner

  • Enter a Website for Keywords Relevant to Any Website
  • You can enter a domain or enter an entire website. If you use the entire site, then the Keyword Planner will return the most relevant keywords for your website. However, if you use only a single page, it will scrape the top keywords off an individual page.

    start with a website keyword planner

    What I have found is the Keyword Planner will return more keywords when you enter your entire website, and the relevant keywords are generally keywords that your website ranks well for organically in Google.

    relevant keywords for your website

    The keywords listed above are actually all keywords that my website ranks for. Therefore, you can even use the tool to find the keywords you are ranking for the highest search volume.

  • Create a Keyword Plan and Access Plans
  • One of the best features of the Google Keyword Planner tool is that you can create a plan, which is another way to say search campaign. With a plan, you can create Ad Groups, add search keywords, choose your keyword match types, and eventually create a campaign. In addition, you can use the ‘Plan overview’ link to see forecast data for the following month.

    add keywords to plan

    When you add keywords and create your Ad Groups and your plan, you can save it and access it later. You will see the Plans you have created and implemented when you access Keyword Planner.

    access plans google keyword planner

RELATED BLOG POST:  Google Display Ads Website Targeting

5 Google Keyword Planner Strategies

We cover five different strategies to help you use the Google Ads Keyword Tool properly. Even if the interface changes, the best practices and the tips we listed below will help you find profitable keywords.

google keyword planner

  1. Enter Competitor URLs
  2. One of my favorite strategies is to take 5-10 different competitor URLs, enter them separately into the Google Ads Keyword Planner, and pull unique keywords that I would never consider. You would be surprised at the number of keywords your competitors are ranking for, and I challenge you to rank above them.

  3. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
  4. You would be surprised at the amount of long-tail keywords that you can rank for. Don’t avoid long-tail keywords that get a small number of searches every month, you can easily rank for them and drive additional traffic to your website.

  5. Suggested Bids Show Value
  6. If you see certain keywords with high suggested bids, top of page bids, and minimum bids, that usually represents the value that advertisers see in those keywords. For example, if I target a keyword like “PPC Advertising Agency”, I will likely have a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) above $10.00 for my campaign. If I ranked for that keyword, it would be highly valuable because I would drive more qualified leads for my business.

    keyword plan bids

  7. Organic Average Position
  8. You can now connect your Google Search Console to Google Ads and see more about your average organic position for a given keyword. It can help you learn more about the keywords you are ranking for and areas of opportunity.

  9. Use Forecasts and Metrics
  10. The Google Ads Keyword Planner will give you forecasts and metrics for the keywords you want to target. It will not be exact for your campaign, but it can give you some ideas for bids, keywords to target, keywords to avoid, and more.


Common Google Keyword Planner Questions

When you get started with Google Ads and the Keyword Planner, you may have some of the questions listed and answered below.

How Do I Create a Google Keyword Planner Account?

In order to access the tool, you will need a Google account and a Google Ads account. You can start with an existing Gmail account that you already use. Then, all you need to do is open Google Ads and create an account. From there, you can access the keyword planner tool directly from the Tools & Settings menu. There are some limitations for inactive ad accounts, but you can still find all the information you need.

Is Google Keyword Planner Free?

Yes, the Google keyword planner tool is completely free, all you need is a Google Ads account. You do not have to spend any money in your account to use the planner. It is built as a tool for advertisers to research keywords, create keyword lists, and build successful campaigns. Ultimately, Google wants you to spend money with their advertising platform, so the Keyword Planner is helpful for advertisers.

How Can I Download Keywords From Keyword Planner?

When you start searching keywords and finding new ideas, you can easily download the keyword suggestions. All you need to do is click the ‘Download Keyword Ideas’ link in the top right corner of the screen. It will give you the option to download keyword ideas as a .csv file or for Google Sheets.

download keyword ideas

Is Google Keyword Planner Data Accurate?

When it comes to search volume data, suggested bids, and competition, the information is pretty accurate in my experience. The bids tend to line up with what I see as an advertiser when I bid on keywords through Google Ads. When it comes to search volume data, it includes close variants to each keyword. Therefore, the number tends to be higher in the keyword planner tool compared to the exact searches for that keyword.

How to do Keyword Research

We have several keyword research video tutorials below that will show you how to do PPC Keyword Research and SEO Keyword Research for your business. You can access our complete YouTube playlist here.

  • Keyword Research Tutorial
  • If you want to see the process that I use to perform keyword research for my websites and my clients, watch the video below. At the beginning stages of your Content Marketing strategy is finding the best possible keywords for your business. The main way that I drive more organic search traffic is by finding keywords and creating content for those keywords. You can find my complete guide to keyword research here.

    Keyword Research Video Tutorial



    • Pay-Per-Click Advertising Keyword Research Tutorial
    • The two PPC Advertising Networks you need to use the Keyword Tool for research are Google Ads and Bing Microsoft Advertising. The Google Keyword Planner can give you great ideas for both networks because popular search keywords tend to be very similar on both channels. You can find our PPC keyword research tutorial here.

      In addition to using the Keyword Planner for Google Ads and Microsoft Ads campaigns, you can use it for Pinterest Ads as well. Since keyword targeting is a popular feature for Pinterest Advertising Campaigns, you can use your keyword research lists there as well.

      PPC Keyword Research Tutorial with Keyword Planner



    • Search Engine Optimization Keyword Research Tutorial
    • Search Engine Optimization keyword research is very difficult for beginners. You need to use a variety of keyword tools, search engines, shopping engines, and more to find your top keywords. In addition, tools like Google Trends can be helpful for finding keywords as they trend.

      SEO Keyword Research Tutorial with Keyword Planner



    • YouTube Keyword Research Tutorial
    • If you have a YouTube channel, then finding keywords and the problems people have can be a great opportunity. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, so it is vital to focus on YouTube keywords as well to grow your channel. Below, it is the exact method I use for finding profitable YouTube keywords that will drive views and subscribers.

      YouTube Keyword Research Video



    More Keyword Research Tools

    There’s nothing wrong with using other keyword research tools as well. We listed free keyword research tools in our video below that you can use in addition to the Google Keyword Planner. They are all free to use, but some have premium versions of their tool as well.

    In Summary

    If you have questions about Google Ads and specifically their Keyword Planner, please leave a comment below. We want to make sure you are confident when you use the Google Keyword Tool for your keyword research. There are a lot of options and things you can do with the tool so you can find the best keywords for your business.

    3 thoughts on “Google Keyword Planner: Complete Guide for 2020

    1. Hi, Ok have understand key words or not? according my rational select highly bit sentence which has enormous search on behalf of this have paid $1000 or less amount on google Ads which pop-up our company web address on top of screen or down. please let me know is my understanding is right.

      1. You target keywords that people type directly into Google, and your ads can appear at the top of search results for those keywords. The Google Keyword Planner will allow you to find the best keywords for your business and keywords that people are typing in the most. You have complete control over your budget in Google Ads.

    2. Hey Corie,

      Great analysis. Btw, Before days Google KW Planner showing exact search values Eg.. 8000, 900, 200.,

      But nowadays KW planner show search ranges only, not showing exact values. Such as.. 1k-10k, 10k-100k. This is any new updates??

      They’re really convincing and will definitely work.

      I think everyone should know such information as you have described in this post.

      Btw, Thanks for sharing this outstanding post…

      Best Regards,

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