How to Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool

Keyword research and analysis is critical to search engine optimization.  AdWords advertisers need to know the most popular keywords in order to leverage SEO or run effective pay-per-click campaigns, and business/website owners need to know which keywords rank highest in their niche so as to leverage them and rank highest in search results. If you ever used the now obsolete Google Keyword Tool, you will appreciate the array of features offered by the Google Keyword Planner.  Of course, you can always try our free seo tools as well.

An Overview of the Google Keyword Tool

The keyword planner Google AdWords tool, like its name suggests, is designed with AdWords advertisers in mind. It is meant to provide keyword ideas, ad groups ideas and traffic estimates in your niche. It provides historical statistics (the number of times people have searched for a particular keyword or how competitive it is) and traffic estimates (estimates of clicks and impressions keywords may get depending on budget amounts and bids). This is incredibly vital, especially when you consider how many clicks go to the top position on Google. You can still use the Adwords Keyword Planner as well even if you are not an advertiser.

How to Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool

How To Use Google Adwords Keywords Planner Tool

Search for new keywords


See related keywords


How many people search for that keyword each month


How many other people are bidding or targeting that keyword. Lower competition is easier to rank for.


What is the suggested cost per click (CPC) for adwords for this keyword?  This gives you an idea of the “value” of the keyword.

  • 1. Access the Google Keyword Planner Tool

    You need to have a Google AdWords account in order to use this important tool. If you do not have one, here is how to set up one:

    • Go to

    You can create it under an existing Gmail account or set up a new account.   The best strategy is to set up an account, if possible ahead of time. You do not want to have your inbox full of AdWords emails.

    • Enter some details like currency and time zones
    • Set up your billing information

    After setting up your AdWords account, log in.

    • Go to Tools and Analysis (on the Green Toolbar)
    • Select Keyword Planner
    • Under ‘what would you like to do’, you will access 4 different tools
    • Choose all except ‘get traffic estimates for a list of keywords’ (only choose this is if you are an advertiser)
  • 2. Choose your Tool

    Like we have seen, the Adwords Keyword Planner offers 4 tool options under ‘what do you want to do’. Let’s delve into the 3 that you will need (if you are not an advertiser).

    a) Search for new keywords and ad group ideas

    • Note that the keywords generated here depend to a large extent on the ‘seed keywords’ that you input. This is the best tool to find new keywords. Selecting this tool opens up another list of options.
      • The first is ‘enter one or more of the following’
    • Here, you enter your:
      • – Product/service
      • – Landing page
      • – Product category
    • The options that you key in here affect the value that you get from the keywords planner. How then do you ensure that you fully utilize this tool?
      • – Product/service
    • This is a list of keywords. Enter 1 to 3 keywords. Each should be in a different niche. For instance, you could enter football accessories and free kicks.
      • – Landing page
    • This is mainly for Adwords users. You could get some really good keywords using your website’s home page or an article from your website
      • – Product category
    • This tool helps you gain access to Google’s internal database of keywords in the different niches. You are likely to find some keywords here that you may have missed. If you were not able to find keywords using the first 2 tools, this tool will be very important in finding some.
    • Fill out all the other options with the appropriate information (targeting, negative keywords, customize your search, keyword filters, suggested bids, and keyword options)

    b) Get the search volume for a list of keywords (you can also group them into ad groups)

    • This tool is helpful if you have a list of keywords and you want to check their search volume. You are not able to generate new keyword ideas here. You can upload a CSV file or copy and paste a list of keywords into the search field.

    c) Multiply keyword lists for new ideas

    • This feature takes different keywords and combines them, making even thousands of new keywords. From time to time, you can find a very good keyword here (that you could never have thought of yourself). This keyword planning tool is useful in e-commerce research.

    To use Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner:

    • Enter a list of keywords into the first list, ‘list 1’
    • Add another keyword list to ‘list 2’
    • Click the gray ‘X’ to add another field
    • Click ‘get search volume’ to see the keywords generated
  • 3. The Keywords Results Page on the Adwords Keyword Planner

    Here, there are targeting and filtering options that you can use to modify your results. You can also find good keywords from the ‘ad group ideas’ tab. Note that average monthly searches may be misleading, as it may be influenced by factors like seasons. For instance, in October, keywords related to Halloween may get unusual search volumes.

  • 4. Finding great keywords

    Here, we are going to do a demo:

    • – Come up with a broad keyword in your niche (it should describe your product, service or content idea)
      • – Enter the keyword into the field ‘your product or service’
    • – Click get ideas
      • – Look at some of the ad group names, you could find great keyword ideas here.
    • – Click one of the ad group names
      • – Look at the keywords in the ad group. You may find great keywords here too that may not appear in the keyword ideas area
      • – Write down those that may seem like a good fit
    • – Click on the keyword ideas tab
      • – Look at the keyword results. Go for the keywords with higher search volumes, suggested bids and competition.

    By comparing the CPC (cost per click), the competition, and the value in relation to your content, you can select keywords that will be useful to your web page or blog.

Some caveats

Note that the Adwords Keyword Planner is not a perfect tool. It has some limitations. The average monthly search volume is a rounded figure. If you have 2 keywords with the same monthly search volume, there could be a significant difference between them. You may also get some weird keyword combinations. Do not blindly add the suggested keywords to your campaign if you are an advertiser. Keyword combinations also have some inconsistencies, especially when it comes to spelling. Many people misspell words when keying in search terms. What traffic does Google account for? Correctly spelled or misspelled words? In a nutshell, you need to dig deeper before you settle on keywords when using the Google Keyword Planning Tool.

All in All

The Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool is very important as it gives you a place to start with regard to keyword ideas, search volumes, and ranks. The Google AdWords keyword planner is not perfect, though, and you have to dig real deep for you to get substantial, accurate and helpful information.