Google Ads Keyword Planner – A 7 Step Complete Guide

What is the Google Ads keyword planner? 

The keyword planner is a forecasting tool that analyzes search volume as well as competition on Google search and other Google networks.

Keyword planner objectives

The keyword planner aids us in a few ways, namely:

  • Identifying consumer search trends
    How do your customers search for you?
    What are the keywords that they search for?
  • Analyzing the search competitive landscape
    What is the competition level for a particular keyword?
  • Planning our Google Ads or SEO campaigns

Do we have to use the keyword planner?

Yes. The keyword planner is a must-use tool when it comes down to planning a campaign and keywords. This is especially true for search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO).

Why use the keyword planner?

Think about it this way, you would not want to run SEM or SEO for a keyword that has no searches right?

You’d also want to identify the bids for each keyword for SEM, lest we end up competing for a $50 cost per click keyword. (Ok, we’re exaggerating about the $50 but we do see some pretty expensive keywords.)

Simply put, there’s just no point in wasting time and money on ineffective keywords.

Can you get more results if you plan for keywords effectively? Absolutely.

The keyword planner helps you by providing insights into the different keyword searches. For instance, search volume, competition, and bids. 

You can identity keyword variants as well since there are relevant keywords suggestions. This allows you to understand better the search behaviour of your customers! 

Is the Google Ads keyword planner free?

Yes, Google provides the data for free. However, the depth of the data differs between active and inactive Google ad accounts.

Google Ads account without active campaigns

Google Ads account with active campaigns

Keyword planner metrics

  • Average monthly searches
    How many times on average, this keyword is searched for each month?
  • Competition
    How competitive is this keyword among Google Ads advertisers? In most cases, a highly competitive keyword indicates that this keyword is generating conversions!
  • Competition (indexed value)
    This shows how competitive an ad placement is for a keyword.

    The index ranges from 0 to 100. A higher index means higher competition!

    Number of ad slots filled / Total number of ad slots available
  • Keyword bids
    This is useful if you are planning for a campaign on Google Ads.

    There are 2 types:
    Top of page bid (low range) &
    Top of page bid (high range) 

    Low range accounts for the top 4 ad positions on Google search.
  • Ad impression share
    This only applies if this keyword is in your Google Ads campaign.
  • Organic impression share
    The percentage of your website showing up for a keyword on Google’s organic search results.
  • Organic average position 
    Shows how your website ranks compared to other websites.

How do we use the keyword planner? 

Well, it is simple to use. Here are the steps to go about it!

Step 1: Simply log in to your Google Ads console

Step 2: Click on Tools & Settings > Keyword Planner

Step 3: Select ‘discover new keywords’

That is if you are starting a fresh research.

Selecting ‘Get search volume and forecasts’ provides insights to keywords you’re already familiar with.

Step 4: Start searching for keywords that you’re interested in!

You’ll be able to generate key statistics such as the average monthly searches, competition levels and other metrics mentioned above.

And voila! We now have excellent data to leverage on! 

For Google Ads planning, steps 5 to 7.

Step 5: Add your target keywords into your plan

Step 6: Evaluate your budget and performance estimates

Once you have added the keywords and you think that you are done. Head over to Keywords and take a look at it. 

With this, you are able to identify an estimate of your clicks, impressions and most importantly the recommended budget.

Step 7: Adjusting your budget

However, what if you are not happy with your budget and you want to invest less or more?

Simply click on the arrow and adjust to see the estimated clicks, impressions and Avg. CPC for your campaign!

Once you are done, you may want to take a look at the keywords match type first. Are you really going to run all broad match, phrase match or exact match? Decide on it and add it to the plan.

Once all this is done, you are ready to go! Run your campaign and learn from it.

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