Google Keyword Planner: The Guide to Keyword Research

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For many SEOs, the Google Keyword Planner is the first point of contact for keyword research. We will introduce you to the tool with its diverse functions in more detail.

With the Keyword Planner from Google you can research relevant keywords for your Adwords ads or the optimization of your website with relatively little effort and call up their search volumes. This makes the tool interesting not only for placing ads, but also for search engine optimization.

Here’s what you can do with the Google Keyword Planner:

  • Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category
  • Get data on search volume and trends
  • Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords
  • Enter or upload lists of keywords to get forecasts
  • Get forecasts for campaigns or keywords from the account
Google Keyword Planner overview

The Keyword Planner offers various options for keyword analysis. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

An active Adwords account is required to use the Keyword Planner. Its use and that of the keyword planner is free of charge. However, in August 2016, Google reduced the accuracy of the keywords data for accounts with low Adwords sales. Search volumes are only given in rough areas. It is therefore also worth taking a look at alternative keyword tools.

Keyword research with the Google Keyword Planner

You can find the keyword planner in your Adwords account under the menu item Tools in the area planning.

Google Keyword Planner in the Ads account menu

The Keyword Planner can be accessed via the Ads account. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

There you then have the choice of either discovering new keywords or calling up search volumes and forecasts. With the first option, you can examine the search volume of various search terms and also display related, matching keywords. You can also enter several search terms in one query. Alternatively, you can also enter the URL of the page for which you are looking for keywords.

Discover keywords with the Google Keyword Planner

Under “Discover new keywords” you can call up the search volume for certain terms. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

In order to better narrow down the results, you should also select the appropriate language. If your site is regionally oriented, you also have the option of aligning the query to a specific location. With a click on the button “Show results” you will get to the results:

Results of the research in the Google Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner shows you extensive data on the search terms entered. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

After entering the initial term and all other settings, the Keyword Planner shows you the average monthly search volume of the entered terms and suggests other related search queries. For all keywords you also get an assessment of how high the competition is, i.e. how many advertisers submit bids on the ad. You can also see how high the average ad bid is to reach one of the top positions.

READ MORE  The best keyword tools for keyword research

Get search volume and forecasts

The second option “Get search volume and forecasts” allows you to enter single or multiple keywords and upload them as a file. This feature is especially useful if you already have a list of keywords. The Google Keyword Planner then determines their expected performance, should you be placing ads on these keywords in the near future. In contrast to the search for new keywords, you will not receive any further keyword suggestions, but only see the performance of the search terms entered.

Get forecasts in the Google Keyword Planner

Interesting for ad placement: You can call up forecasts for search terms in the Keyword Planner. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

Get exact search volumes in the Google Keyword Planner

As noted above, a few years ago Google restricted the display of exact search volumes for small ad accounts. If all of your queried and suggested keywords are given in a range of, say, 1,000 to 10,000 queries per month, it won’t really help you figure out the most relevant keywords. With a little trick you can still get more precise values ​​for the search volume.

To do this, first select all search terms in the result list of your keyword query for which you want to find out the search volumes. Then you click in the blue bar that now appears above the keyword list on “Add keywords”.

Add keywords to Google Keyword Planner

Step 1 for exact search volumes: select the desired keywords. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

Then click on “View forecast” in the field below or on “Keywords” in the menu on the right. This will take you to the forecast overview that was already presented above.

View Google Keyword Planner forecast

Step 2 for exact search volume: View the forecast of the selected keywords. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

Now you select the maximum CPC in the drop-down menu.

Step 3 for exact search volumes: select maximum CPC. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

A look in the “Impressions” column shows you how often this keyword is displayed per month, which corresponds to the search volume.

Step 4 for exact search volumes: read impressions. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

Google Keyword Planner: The Click Through Guide

The Keyword Planner offers various options for keyword analysis. (Screenshot: Google Ads / t3n)

This post was updated on November 10, 2020.

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