Beginner’s Guide to Google Keyword Planner for SEO

In the digital world, traffic can be a beautiful thing.

If it’s traffic that generates leads to your sites, eventually turning into conversions and loyal patrons, followers, and subscribers, then bring on the traffic.

Google understands the value of increased traffic to your business or brand and has provided a free—yes, free—tool called Google Keyword Planner to help you in this task.

For an additional cost, you can use it with AdWords to make your campaigns run better.

But even on its own, Google Keyword Planner packs a punch to deliver better traffic for your website.

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It is simple to use and gives you a great insight into trends to improve your SEO strategies.

Google Keyword Planner is like a studio for building new Search Network campaigns. You can use it to search for keywords and see a projection of their possible performance.

It assists you in choosing the right bids that are competitive and budget-efficient for your campaigns.

You can use Google Keyword Planner to search for keywords, or discover the ones that trending queries of people in your target market.

It also helps you get historical statistics and traffic forecasts to help guide your bid and budget decisions for a successful campaign.


Google’s Keyword Planner tool is made for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and it’s one of those tools that you need to have in your marketing arsenal.

Creating Campaign Goals in Google Ads

In any ad campaign, goals are important to guide digital marketers in making the best decisions and run profitable advertising drives.

Google Keywords Planner has features that are designed to help SEO strategists be clear in their goals, target the right keywords for their target niche, and maximize their advertising budgets unto the best-performing PPC ads.

For example, when you select “Website traffic” as a goal to increase the number of organic visits to your website, you’ll be given recommendations based on your goals. You can edit these goals as needed.

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After you set the goals, you can now run a campaign that determines where your target niche sees your PPC ads.

How to Access Google Keyword Planner:

Familiarize yourself with your Google Ads page, as shown below:

Image Source: Google Ads

  1. Open a Google Ads Account or Sign in.
  2. Go to
  3. Click the “Sign in” button
  4. Enter your email and website
  5. You can opt to “Skip the guided setup”
  • Log-in to Google AdWords and Click on the Wrench Icon on the Top Bar:

Click the Tools & settings icon in the upper right corner, then under “Planning,” click Keyword Planner.

  • Choose “Keyword Planner”

Be very strategic in the entries you put on this portion to create a valuable Keyword Planner that can truly help you run a successful campaign. You can choose between “Discover New Keywords” or “Get Search Volume and Forecasts.”

  • Choose “Discover New Keywords” if you are searching for new keyword ideas for a campaign.

You can enter seed words, phrases, or a URL, pressing “enter” after each entry. Google will show you hundreds and even thousands of suggestions regarding your keyword entry, like words or phrases that describe what you’re advertising. You’ll also see metrics relating to these keywords.

For example, if your keyword is “SEO,” you might see the following suggestions:

For each suggestion, you’ll be given average monthly searches, competition, top of bid (low and high range). You can enter up to ten keywords or phrases per search.

There’s also the option to use a URL or website as the seed. You can also key in up to ten seed keywords and a URL at the same time. But compared to other keyword research tools, Google Keywords give only a few thousand results for its free feature.

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If you are an AdWords user, you can click “start with a website” and find valuable keywords here as well. When you have keyed in the information into one or all three fields, click “Get Results.”

  • Choose “Get Search Volume and Forecasts” to analyze a set of keywords you already have, to see how your keywords are doing through metrics history and forecast.

This tool is designed for PPC campaigns and therefore has features that you do not necessarily need if you’re just concerned with keywords.

Click “Get started” to review your keywords in the keyword ideas page.

On this page, you’ll see how many clicks and impressions that you may get if you run the ad for your chosen keywords over the next 30 days. It will also show estimated costs, CPC, and CTR. You can also go to the “Historical Metrics” tab to see 12-month average search volumes for your chosen keywords.

New Features of Google Ads

1. Account Optimization: You can get curated performance metrics in the “Overview” page about your account, ad groups, and campaigns.

2. Ad Creation: You can highlight specific sales with your search ads, experiment with different versions of your ads on multiple campaigns before choosing the best campaign to run, with a history of previous versions to compare past to present performance.

3. Bidding: You can easily adjust your bids to get as many conversions as possible targeted at your cost-per-action (CPA).

4. Conversion Tracking: This new feature provides a more convenient but accurate tracking of all your conversions and creates a global site tag for more effortless merging with other products like Google Analytics.

5. Audience Manager: Click the main tools icon and click the Audience Manager. This new feature unifies your targets for Google Display Network and Search Ads remarketing lists.

6. Shopping Campaigns: You can now maximize your conversion rate and widen your reach through a more simplified, goal-optimized Shopping campaign management. You can showcase Shopping Ads by grouping related products and showing them as a group. This feature is available in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

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7. Video: Boost your leads generation and conversion rate by going for users within and outside YouTube. Add compelling calls-to-action (CTA) in these videos as well to direct people to your site. You can create professional-looking videos using the best editing software for beginners.

8. Reporting: You can apply pre-saved custom columns to the Ads and Keywords sections of your account.

9. Manager accounts: Some exclusive features for manager accounts include having all your accounts available on the Accounts page, seeing the summary of data performance in all accounts on the Overview page, automatic currency conversion, and seeing all recommendations across your managed accounts on the new Recommendations page.

Conclusion: Google Keyword Planner is Useful and Powerful

Google Keyword Planner is a wonderful tool for digital marketers despite its limitations. The lack of accurate search volumes can be augmented by either using it alongside other keyword tools or paying an additional cost for AdWords to get the exact figures that once were made available for free.

Either way, you should not be running your SEO campaign without this tool so that you can optimize all efforts for the highest amount of conversion as much as possible.

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John Ocampos is an Opera Singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. Ever since, Digital Marketing has always been his forte. He is the Founder of SEO-Guru, and the Managing Director of Tech Hacker. John is also the Strategic SEO and Influencer Marketing Manager of Softvire Australia.

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