How To Use Google Keyword Planner (+ Alternatives)

What if you could get keyword ideas for your content or PPC campaigns without spending money on expensive keyword tools?

Google’s own Keyword Planner lets you do exactly that.

Formerly known as "Google Keyword Tool”, Google keyword planner is an excellent tool to use to reach a wider audience, drive more traffic, and increase your conversion rates. On top of that, it’s completely free.

A total win-win situation.

With a few simple steps, you can use Google keyword planner for your keywords and discover thousands of opportunities to optimize your search rankings.

The goal of this article is to provide you with a thorough understanding of how the Google Keyword Planner works so you can fully take advantage of its features. Whether you want to learn about its features or want to have a look at some of its alternatives, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Google Keyword Planner?

Google Keyword Planner, a part of Google Ads, is a versatile, full-featured tool that can help you with a wide range of keyword searching and planning tasks. Apart from providing keyword ideas for organic and paid search, Google Keyword Planner also allows you to organize your research into campaigns.

google ads logo

A user can access a variety of data inside the keyword tool, including new keyword ideas and monthly search volume figures. Users can then use the information provided by Google to create keyword lists that will help them run Google Ad campaigns.

While most people use this tool for PPC campaigns, it can also be utilized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaigns and for a number of other purposes, including content planning, negative keyword lists, cost per click estimates, and more.

What Can You Do With The Google Keyword Planner?

It can be quite frustrating to pay for keyword research tools with high monthly subscriptions, and yet get inconsistent results. Google Keyword Planner offers you a quality tool that will save you money and offer the most relevant insights while being completely free of cost!

Here’s what you can do with Google Keyword Planner.

1. Discover new keywords

The best place to search for new keywords and gain insight into the search terms your potential customers and audiences are using is under 'Discover New Keywords'.

Using the keyword planner, you can enter more general and broad search terms like "Women’s Summer wears" or "summer wears for women" in order to see insights and related keywords.

You will see more suggestions if you choose a broader set of keywords, but be careful not to be too general or too specific. It would be more appropriate to start with the type of summer wear you are trying to sell, for example, "women’s maxi dresses".

2. Check out the average monthly searches

Keyword Planner provides estimated monthly searches to help you understand the short-term trends. For marketing campaigns, it is crucial to know how frequently keywords are searched in your industry, and how the frequency of these keywords changes over time.

Most popular keywords are more difficult to compete for when it comes to ad rankings. A bid for such a keyword is also more expensive.

Therefore, it is advisable to choose keywords that have a good number of average monthly searches but aren't highly competitive.

Google keyword planner will allow you to easily sort your keyword list and find the keywords that create the right balance between popularity and competition.

3. Getting search volume and forecasts

Getting forecasts for your campaigns based on search volume information is another great advantage of using the Google Keyword Planner. Using this tool, you can look at a long list of keywords and get an approximation of search volume for each of them.

All you have to do is enter the list and Google will provide you with the forecasted impressions and clicks you can anticipate from it.

4. Get Two In One - SEO and PPC

PPC is a form of paid advertising while SEO attempts to boost rankings organically when customers enter search terms into a search engine such as Google or Bing.

Both PPC and SEO marketing goals can be accomplished using Google Keyword Planner.

When you use the tool for SEO, although you need a Google Ads account to access it, you won't need to spend any money on ads to reap all the rewards it has to offer.

5. Obtain keyword cost data

Another important aspect to consider for your campaign is the cost of keywords you wish to target.

Thanks to the Keyword Planner, you can now determine the average cost of showing your ad for a keyword which will allow you to decide which keywords fit your strategy and budget the most.

How To Use The Google Keyword Planner? (The Ultimate Guide)

Step 1: Set Up A Google Ads Account

google keyword planner
Image Source: MonsterInsights

Using the Keyword Planner requires a Google Ads account, which is free and easy to set up. It only takes a few seconds to complete the sign-up process.

You just need to provide some information about yourself and your business such as your billing country, time zone, and currency. Click “Submit” once you've filled out the information.

Once you’ve created your account, visit the Google Ads home page and click the ‘Start Now’ button. You can now sign in by selecting your Google Ads account.

If you are not running an active campaign, you can still use the Keyword Planner. It is however important to set up a Google Adwords campaign.

Step 2: Launch The Keyword Planner

To access the Keyword Planner, select Planning/Keyword Planner from the Tools & Settings box located in your account's navigation bar (displayed as a wrench icon).

There are two options for starting your campaign:

google keyword planner options

Step 3: Choose The ‘Discover New Keywords’ Option

Once you select Discover new keywords, two tabs will appear: “Start with Keywords” and Start with a Website.

To discover new keywords for your campaigns, we recommend that you use the "Discover New Keywords" section since it will provide you with an unlimited supply of new keywords.

When you choose to start with keywords, you can enter words (for example Women’s summer wears) or phrases (for example most comfortable and Kawai summer wears) to find keywords.

You can also just enter your seed keyword and the country you would like to target and you will be ready to go.

If you choose to start with the ‘Start with a Website’ option, a list of keyword suggestions will appear after entering a website URL. This option is perfect for monitoring what your competitors are doing and create a strategy to compete with the same keywords.

You can find a lot of new keywords using this technique that you would’t have found using the keyword seed method. It's a wise move to look at a variety of keywords from multiple competitors for an endless supply of new keyword ideas for PPC and SEO.

Step 4: Review And Filter The Keywords Results Page

The Keywords Results Page allows you to filter and sort results to make the most out of the Keyword Planner tool.

You have the option of targeting based on Location, Language, Search networks, and Date range at the top of the Keyword Results Page.

Next, we have “Add Filter”, which can be found above your suggested keywords. Keyword text, exclude keywords, exclude adult ideas, average monthly searches, competition, ad impression share, and top-of-page bid are all available as filtering options.

There are four metrics that Google Keyword Planner shows you about each keyword:

Step 5: Make Use of Forecasts

If you want to forecast the future search volume, enter your keyword or phrases in the box.

google keyword planner search forecasts

In addition to the total number of clicks, Google Keyword Planner will highlight how often your ad will be displayed, how much it will cost, how it will rank, and how much it will cost you per click (CPC) in the next 30 days.

Your website's performance can be boosted using keywords selected from this information.

If you want fast results, opt for a keyword with low to moderate competition and greater than 1000 search volumes.

Step 6: Create A Keyword Strategy And Access Plans

Google Keyword Planner allows you to craft a plan once you’ve gathered the insights. A plan can be used to create ad groupings, add search terms, select keywords, and ultimately create campaigns.

You can also view forecast information for the following month by clicking on the 'Plan overview' link.

google keyword planner plan overview

It’s possible to save the Ad Groups and the plan that you create as well as your keywords for you to access them at a later time.

When you access Keyword Planner, you will be able to see the existing Plans that you have implemented.

The Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for discovering new ways for connecting with users and potential customers, regardless of whether you use it for paid advertisements or SEO.

Now that you know how to filter and use them, you can analyze your keywords and use the tools available in Keyword Planner to maximize your campaign's performance.

But if Google Keyword Planner sounds much of a work, you can consider a couple of great alternatives.

The Best Google Keyword Planner Alternative - KeywordBin


We might be a little biased here, but we can assure you we have good reason to be.

KeywordBin is a keyword research platform that allows you to explore the most searched phrase in Google in real-time, do comparisons, find local search phrases, and gain volume, CPC, ad competition, and trend data, allowing you to improve your SEO greatly.

What you will enjoy the most about this keyword research tool is that you can explore keyword suggestions derived from actual Google searches and find words, comparisons, local, inquiries, and even research terms in less than 60 seconds.

It is one of the finest keyword research tools out there trusted by companies of all sizes. KeywordBin comes with two pricing plans - Business and Startup. The Startup plan starts from $20/month and is limited to 50 daily searches. If you need more functionality, you can opt for the Business plan, which expands your range to 200 daily searches.

Final Thoughts

Although Google Keyword Planner was initially created as an advertising tool, it is a great tool for SEO as well. You can find keywords by searching or putting in a website address.

If you want to understand the value of the keywords, you can simply look at the bidding levels and the level of competition.

Google Keyword Planner is undoubtedly one of the best free keyword planning tools in the market.

But if you’re looking for an affordable keyword research tool that helps you find revenue-driving keywords generated from real searches performed in Google, KeywordBin might just be the perfect tool for you.

Create your free KeywordBin account today and see for yourself!

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