Getting Started With The Google Keyword Planner

(1) Log into your AdWords account

(2) Click on Tools and Analysis and select ‘Keyword Planner’ from the drop-down

(3) Select ‘Search for keyword and ad group ideas’

(4) Enter keyword candidates under ‘Your product or service’. You can enter multiple keywords, one per line. At this stage, just use common sense and conjecture to come up with a few ‘seed’ keywords that represent the content of a particular web page or blog post. Try and get into the shoes (minds?) of your potential audience and think from their perspective. But at the same time your keyword candidates should be broad enough to let the keyword tool generate promising keyword ideas. For example, you could start with a broad keyword such as “Lebanese Restaurant Englewood” and the keyword ideas in the next step might include a more specific terms such as “Lebanese Restaurant Englewood NJ”, “Best Lebanese Food in Englewood” etc. which you could then shortlist (if the search volume is high enough).

(5) You can leave ‘Your landing page’ and ‘Your product category’ fields blank

(6) Under ‘Targeting’ click on the pencil icon to change settings.
Tip: If you click on the pencil icon for the country tab and then select ‘remove’, you can target all locations. However, it’s better to focus on a single country instead of all locations, because it’s unlikely that you will be able to rank for a keyword on the search result pages for all countries. Remember, the results that show up for a particular keyword in one country are likely to be different from the results for the same keyword in another country. For example, say you are in the UK and search for a term such as “online groceries”; Google will try to present you with results that make sense for the UK (as opposed to another country such as the USA).

(7) Click on the ‘Get ideas’ button

(8) Select the ‘Keyword ideas’ tab and you will be presented with the search volume data for your keywords and keyword ideas. You should consider keywords that have an average monthly search volume of at least 1000 for a given country and that have low competition.

(9) Competition analysis of keywords is a bit of an advanced topic. Please know that the “Competition” in the keyword tool is not an indication of how hard it will be to rank your website for a particular keyword. This metric is for those who are looking to buy ads on Google, that is AdWords customers. There are keyword tools that give you the difficulty level for ranking for a particular tool at the push of a button, but they are paid tools such as Long Tail Platinum.

(10) For a free solution – you could use Traffic Travis, which is a free tool. Install the tool and when you are ready open it up and create a new project. Give the project a name and then move on to the next step. Select the “SEO” tab in the horizontal bar and then on the “Competition” sub-tab. Enter the keyword(s) that you want to analyze competition for and then click “Fetch”. You will be prompted to provide your AdWords account login information so do that and then just wait for the results to load up.The “Difficulty” column will tell you how easy or hard is it going to be to rank for a keyword.


  1. Sriram says

    Hi Reeta,
    I have been wanting to ask this question for a while. What is the advantage that Traffic Travis or any other vendor will have over Google Keyword planner ? Are they going to provide some extra “edge” or information that you wouldn’t find in Google planner ?


    • Reeta says

      Actually most paid keyword tools extract their information from the Google Keyword Planner (GKP). So if all you’re interested in is the search volume for a particular keyword then stick to the GKP. But if you would like more information such as – competitor analysis to see how easy it’d be to rank on page #1 of Google for a given keyword, you could invest in a tool such as Long Tail Pro or Market Samurai (the former is easier to use). I think both have a free trial, so you can get a feel for them and see if they’ll serve your purpose.

    • Reeta Krishna says

      Yes, it is still available. Make sure you’re logged into adwords and you’ll find the Keyword Planner under Tools.

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