The Google Keyword Planner: Everything you must know

With the introduction of the Keyword Planner, you now need an AdWords account to get access to search data. While most things are the same, there are a few things that make the Keyword Planner a weapon of unmatched power. Let’s see what you need to need about the Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

First off, to use the Google Keyword Planner, just log in to your Adwords account and access the Keyword Planner from it.

You get four options as bellow.

1.     Search for new keyword and ad group ideas

From the list of options that show up, choose the first one “Search for a new keyword and ad group ideas”.

Two tabs

One is the ad group ideas and another is the keyword ideas. The second tab displays keyword results in the old format while the ad group ideas would give you collective terms and organize the data based on these.

Ad Group ideas

If you choose one of the ad groups you’d get long tail keywords based on just that.

For instance, when we search for “seo tools” we get a list of common related long tail keywords clubbed under various groups .

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Google Keyword Planner - Ad group ideas

 Keyword ideas

If we go for keyword ideas, we get a lot of keywords containing our main keyword or we get a lot of related keywords with their search volume and how likely our content would rank on the specific keyword.

The keyword ideas tab gives you a lot of long tail suggestions which you can use for making niche sites.

Google Keyword Planner - Keywords ideas

Location targeting simplified

On the left you will find an option to target keywords locally, even up to the city level. With local results climbing up the search ladder, it was high time Google did something like this. In addition to targeted geographical segmentation we can also segment based on language.

Google Keyword Planner - location targeting

You now get to see what people in various regions surf for on Google.

You can either add from the options that you get or drill down deeper by clicking on Nearby and it will give you even more options.

Suggested CPC bid

The old Keyword tool had the option where you could see CPC information. With the new tool, I feel it’s more easily accessible.

Additional Keyword Filters – You still have the include/exclude keyword operators. There are filters for average monthly searches, competition score (high, medium, low), suggested bid and ad impression share.

Google Keyword Planner - Additional keyword filters

Setting a high volume parameter with high bid will get you keywords that are very profitable.

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Seasonality data

The Google Keyword Planner shows a small stats icon after every keyword. Hovering your mouse over that shows you search data for the past 12 months for that keyword. See how the keyword “Halloween dresses” shows a spike near the December and November mark. We can better understand seasonal fluctuations this way and it seems comparatively more organized.

Google Keyword Planner - Seasonality data

See what Google wants you to rank for

Just go the Keyword Planner and enter your site url.

Google Keyword Planner - search for new keyword and ad group ideas

When you enter your site url, the Google Keyword Planner would look for keywords that best describe your site. It would reveal keywords that your site is currently ranking for or should rank for.

For Linkody we can see that some of the most relevant keywords are “seo analyse” , “seo link tool” etc.

linkody data


2.     Get search volume data

Though at the forefront it seems as if nothing’s changed, there’s however no longer the option to use the broad match option. There is an Adwords Match type box that allows you to see the “exact” and “broad match” for queries but it’s limited to Adwords campaigns and not for keyword research.

Google Keyword Planner - get search volume

The background shows Google suggesting entering keywords as per match type. But when we enter keywords that way and check for results we find something entirely different.

No exact match search data

As you can see, all the three searches are treated as exact match searches. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people as we look for exact match data all the time.

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You can also enter a list of keywords into the Planner to see their volume and suggested bids. But I suggest to use a free tool like Ubersuggest to simplify the process. Entering the keyword SEO gives me 264 results that I can use for keyword research:



3.    Get traffic estimates and CPC data

This is more of an option for PPC marketers. You get detailed analytics on how your PPC campaign budget will vary with the number of clicks your campaign attracts and also the CPC information for keywords.

Google Keyword Planner - traffic estimates and CPC data


4.     Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas

This option brings the concatenate function in excel to Keyword Planner.
It’s a good option to compare multiple keyword phrase derivatives by seeing their search volume. Below, you can see how I am generating different sets of keywords with multiple lists.

Google Keyword Planner - Multiply keyword lists

Find niche site ideas with the Google Keyword Planner

Here I have keyed in a site in the weight loss niche to find the keywords that are profitable. You can toggle the Avg. Monthly Searches to order the list is ascending volume of search or descending volume of search.


The benefit of this method is that it shows keywords that aren’t even present in the source code of the site.

Google Keyword Planner - Niche site ideas



Keying in a url in the costumes niche helps me find the keywords that are profitable in the niche. In this example I have used the men’s category page.

Google Keyword Planner - Niche site ideas

One more example is the bed and linens category section in Amazon. I can find a lot of keywords that have good volume and high CPC.

Google Keyword Planner - Niche site ideas (Amazon example)

A lot of niche site ideas. I have filtered to show search results with a monthly volume of 1000 and a CPC of $1.

4 thoughts on “The Google Keyword Planner: Everything you must know

  1. Good Piece of Information regarding keywords planner nice thanks for sharing such useful information.


  2. I don’t see this on the new Google Ads at all. Whenever I enter a big list of keywords it just hangs. If I add more words to a short list it gives me a vague error message and constantly asks me to refresh the page constantly. If I ask to use the previous version of keyword planner it just sticks me in a redirect loop back to the beginning. This was an essential tool and now it’s completely broken. What’s happening?

    1. Nick, I couldn’t agree more. Google’s not always that good on “improving” stuff.

  3. The keyword planner is one of the important thing one should know if they want to open a website. Great information provided by you.
    Great job…

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